Having returned to Dallas after my trip to Europe, I went to judge Schwille's courtroom in the Dallas County Courthouse. I was wearing my blue pinstriped suit (I wondered if anyone would notice that it was one of the same old suits I had worn before I had left Dallas) and was planning to do some work in the courtroom. When I saw judge Schwille on the bench, I wanted to explain to him that I hadn't traveled to Berlin, Germany as I had told him I planned to do when I had left Dallas. I figured he would understand.
Before I had a chance to talk with Schwille, I was given a criminal case to handle. The case had apparently been mine for some time and was scheduled for trial this very day. In addition, I was appointed to represent a criminal defendant in a new case. I quickly arranged matters so I wouldn't have to handle the new case at the present, and then I proceeded to concentrate on the older case scheduled for trial today. I found the defendant whom I was representing (a tall black fellow probably in his mid 30s) and we began discussing his case.
It appeared he had been charged with a "nicety." I concluded that the charge meant he was accused of having indiscreetly solicited sex from a woman. I also gathered that he had previously jumped bail on the case and had therefore forfeited the $200 of bail money he had put up. He had subsequently been rearrested and compelled to post a second $500 bail.
I explained to him that we could probably plea-bargain. If he would plead guilty, he would probably only have to pay the costs of court, which would be around $700. He was shocked by the high amount; he seemed unprepared to pay that much. So it appeared we would have to go to trial. When I was finished talking with him, we separated to wait until the judge called us to trial, and I went on about other business.
My ex-wife Louise was also in the courtroom doing work as a lawyer. I thought I saw her mouthing something to me as if she wanted to speak with me. I had the feeling that she was actually glad to see that I had returned to Dallas. I probably lent some interest to her rather routine life.
Louise had cut her hair very short. It was its original color, a dark brown, almost black. The length of her hair contrasted with mine, which had grown quite long. I felt good being in the courtroom with long hair and apparently the judge didn't mind.
I wondered if I should talk with Louise later. I had recently realized much of my incentive for leaving Dallas had simply been the desire to get away from her. It might be better if we didn't revive any communication between us. I did however notice how soft her neck looked, as if it were extending an open invitation to be kissed. I wondered how Louise's new marriage was working out. I couldn't tell from looking at her.
When the judge finally began calling out the names of defendants who were going to trial this morning, I wondered whether I should try my case in front of the judge or in front of a jury. I was inclined to choose a jury because I was uncertain how the judge would view the charge my defendant was facing. Besides, I was anxious to stand up before a jury and practice my courtroom skills, even though I knew my skills would be rusty. It seemed the best way to polish my corroded abilities would be to actually use them.
The judge called out a name which I thought belonged to my defendant. As I headed toward the judge's bench, I realized I had left my notebook behind me, and I turned back to retrieve it. At the same time I glanced around the courtroom for the black fellow who was my client. When I failed to see him, I worried that he might have left. Suddenly I spotted him sitting with some other people in the jury box. Ready for trial, I finally walked up to the judge. He made it clear that he wanted us to settle the case; but I told him we wanted a jury trial. He docketed the case for a jury trial, but he informed us that we must first wait until another case was tried. Left with no alternative but to wait, I turned and walked away.
As the case before mine was about to begin, I realized Louise was the lawyer for the defendant in that case. At first I thought the case was a divorce action, but then realized the case had to be a criminal one because we were in a criminal court. As I walked past Louise, I thought about staying to watch her handle her case; but instead, I walked out into the hall and headed to another courtroom to see what was going on there.
The courtroom I next entered was crowded with people. A case was apparently being heard by the judge, an obese man (about 40 years old) dressed in a black robe and sitting high on his bench.
The defendant was sitting to the judge's right in the witness stand. Behind both the judge and the defendant hovered a group of people who apparently were somehow helping with the trial. It seemed highly irregular to me that so many people were gathered by the judge's bench.
The defendant (a black man probably in his mid 20s) was apparently having some problems answering the questions being asked of him. He only rarely answered, and when he did answer, he wouldn't look at the judge or at the person asking the question. In fact, one of the people standing behind the defendant answered a number of the questions for the defendant. Finally the surly judge became exasperated and muttered, "God damn." Hearing him take God's name in vain, I instantly took a strong disliking for the impious overweight judge.
The judge himself began questioning the defendant; but the defendant simply looked in the opposite direction and he didn't answer. Finally the judge hollered out "thirty days." Apparently the judge had given the defendant thirty days in jail for contempt because the defendant hadn't answered the judge's questions.
As I looked around the courtroom, still thinking of Louise, I noticed some other pretty women (along with a few ugly ones). The women made me realize that other attractive women besides Louise were available here.
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