Dream of: 03 April 1999 "Character Hearing"

I was sitting in a bankruptcy court, a court where I had never practiced law before. I was here because I needed to obtain the permission of the judge of this court before I could actually practice law here. A character hearing had been scheduled for the judge to examine me to see if he would allow me to practice law here. I had prepared a written statement which I planned to read at the hearing.

Quite a few people were sitting in the pews of the courtroom. The judge was already on the bench. He looked exactly like Rodgers (a middle-aged Dallas immigration judge). I walked up in front of the bench and the judge told me to begin my presentation. I sat down at the counsel table in front of the judge and I began.

As part of demonstrating that I had the proper character to practice law in this court, I had also been ordered to bring in a former client to testify on my behalf. For this purpose, I had brought with me an old black woman (probably in her 80s) who had been one of my bankruptcy clients many years before. As I proceeded with my presentation, I finally turned back to the audience, and called out for the woman to step up and testify. She walked up to the bench and sat down in the witness chair next to the judge, high above me.

I hadn't previously gone over the testimony with the woman and I had no prepared questions. In fact, I was a bit surprised she was even here. I first asked the woman her name and she responded. But when I asked her how old she was, she refused to give the information. I quickly concluded the question was probably not a proper one, and I continued to the next question by asking her what she now did with her life. I then asked her where she used to work and whether she was married and where she lived.

As I proceeded with the questions, the woman seemed to become more and more nervous. I had the impression she might be somewhat senile. She finally climbed out of the witness chair and walked over and sat down next to me. With her at my side, I continued my questions.

I was becoming somewhat nervous. I seemed to remember that when I had represented the woman, something hadn't gone right with her case, and I worried she might say something against me. But she didn't. She simply continued to politely answer the questions which I posed to her. The presentation was going smoothly, and apparently the matter would turn out well for me.

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