Dream of: 22 March 1984 "Personal Attack"

I was sitting in the gallery of a courtroom in which my brother Chris (who was sitting right next to me) was on trial. Chris's lawyer, Terrell, was sitting at the counsel's table questioning a man on the witness stand. The witness was on the opposing side. Terrell asked many questions until finally I burst out and said something rough to the witness. The judge didn't say anything. Terrell asked the witness another question and when the man gave an answer with which I disagreed, I hollered out, "That's bullshit."

Someone else in the courtroom said the same thing. Terrell turned around and gave me a piercing look which told me he was unhappy with my outburst. I rather hid my head behind Chris.

Crowden (a Waco female attorney), who was in the room, walked over to me and said, "Steve, I was meaning to say something to you about it before, but when somebody's being questioned up there, it's not proper to attack them personally. If you don't agree with what they have to say, you might say something about it, but you should not say anything against them personally. I remember one time when I was questioning a man. He was on the stand and he was very good about this. He said something to the effect that 'I'm angry about the questions I'm being asked.' But he never said anything against me personally. It's rather uncouth to say something personally about a person when you're in a courtroom like this."

When Crowden walked away, I knew she was right, but it rather perturbed me that she would come over and say something to me like that, because I knew now that if I said anything else during the trial, everyone would realize she had warned me against it.

Terrell was unable to ask any more questions because the judge announced there was going to be a recess for a lunch break. It was around noon and the judge said, "Court will resume at four o'clock."

I thought, "Four o'clock!"

That was over four hours and seemed like a very long time for me to wait until the trial resumed. I looked at Chris and said, "What are you going to do all that time?"

Chris was completely nude. I wondered if it was proper for him to be nude in the courtroom, but I concluded it didn't matter for him, because he had muscular dystrophy.

I felt sorry for him having to wait so long for court to resume again, but there was really not much which could be done about it.

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