Tuesday, June 23, 2009

UnReality TV

Last night on "Raising the Bar", I got to live out a little fantasy fulfillment. Jerry Kellerman (played by Zack Morris) pulled not one but two stunts in the courtroom. The first was to point out to the judge that his rigid application of courtroom rules was unfair. The second was to make a point while arguing a motion. Fortunately for Jerry, he made his point in both situations, got his way, and did not suffer any consequences, except a bit of a tongue-lashing from his boss. But there were no repercussions from the judge. In fact, the judge seemed to gain respect for Jerry.

If only. We've seen other scenes of t.v. or movie lawyers acting out in court like that. Most memorable to me was Bobby on "The Practice" once walking to the wall and pounding his head into it to show how frustrated he was with ruling after ruling by the court that seemed designed only to screw the defendant. I have had those moments. I suspect most defenders have. We've all had times when we wanted to respond in a way that is less dignified than befits a courtroom. We have all been on the losing end of rulings so ludicrous, the only appropriate response would have been, "I call bullshit on that ruling, your honor."

But I don't work in the suspended reality jurisdiction that Jerry Kellerman does. In the real world, I've never had the nerve to try something outrageous, no matter how outrageous the court's view of things was. I can't afford a contempt fine and I definitely cannot handle any time in jail. I don't want to deal with the stress of a disciplinary action, especially one initiated by a judge's complaint. Instead, I am stuck living vicariously through Jerry. And occasionally putting myself to sleep by imagining the tirades I would unleash on judges if I ever decided to leave the real world.

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