Dream of:16 November 1982 "Lowered Pitch"
Two or three other law students and I were riding around in a Volkswagen. I was wearing a white shirt and a nice pair of pants. We had all been preparing a case for practice court -- the others had been preparing the plaintiff's side, and I alone had been preparing the defendant's side. The case involved an obese man who, while running toward a swimming pool, had tripped on a girl and injured her leg just before he had jumped into the pool.
We pulled up to a curve and stepped out of the car. A man was standing next to a building was going to be the judge in our case, and he told us to begin. The others presented the plaintiff's case. The man then looked at me and told me to begin. I thought, "Well, this is it."
A couple women (each about 25 years old) were sitting nearby watching us. One had black hair. At first I was standing in the street off the curve. I stepped up on the curve so I was a bit taller. I began presenting the defendant's case, always referring to the defendant as "my client."
The judge (about 45 years old) seemed to be an amiable man. As he questioned me, I felt good about my presentation. Things seemed to be flowing naturally and I wasn't making any mistakes. My sentences were forming correctly and I felt good about what I was doing. However, I felt as if I had a weak case, and that the plaintiff's case was very strong. Although I felt as if I were doing a good job as a lawyer, I didn't think I was going to win.
The judge seemed to want to hear more from me. Once when I stopped, he said, "No, I want to hear more from you. Go on."
I began talking again off the top of my head, but my words seemed to make sense. At one point, it came to mind that I should focus in on the guilt of my client. I said, "The guilt of my client has not been proved, because they have accused him of doing something intentional. They have pled that he has done something intentional. Although he might be guilty of some negligent act, they have not pled or proved a negligent act."
The judge stopped me and said he didn't want to hear anything about that because they had pled negligence. He said negligence was a lower-included offense of the pleading. Reflecting that this was a civil case and not a criminal case, I recalled my knowledge of torts and said, "Oh, yea. Now I remember."
Once while I was speaking, the judge walked over and talked to the other side for a minute. The two women who were watching said something to me. The black-haired woman said I was doing a real good job, but asked me if I had ever thought about lowering my voice. I asked, "What do you mean? Do you mean in volume, or do you mean in pitch?"
"In pitch," she answered.
I responded that I knew I needed to lower my pitch. I didn't think I had been speaking loud in volume.
When the judge returned I knew the trial was over. I thought, "Well, I've just lost. There's no chance, even though I did a good job."
The judge said he could really sympathize with my case, and he let me know he wanted to see more of me in a court setting. It was the first time I had ever taken part in a trial, and I thought, "Well, it wasn't bad for the first time."
The verdict came in. It was "not guilty." I had won.Dream Epics Home Page
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