[Ed.: from April 2004. Edited.]
So, I have this court case in Detroit for my strip club guy on an unrelated thing. He's also a contractor and there is a fraud claim to be sorted out. Usually, we just call walking off the job "breach of contract." But lawyer overreaching is a fight [Ed.: and post] for another day
I don't live in Detroit. Even from my hometown, Detroit is a three-hour drive; now it's a 3 day drive.
The bad guys file a motion for summary judgment. This is stupid on a fraud claim. Summary judgment motions rely on undisputed facts. Fraud depends on a defendant's intent, among other things. Good luck convincing a judge unless the defendant says under oath that he meant to mislead the Plaintiff.
Because this seems like a pointless motion and a waste of money, I ask the Court if I can argue my side on the phone. "Nope." WTF?!?! I argue motions by phone all the time in my "home court."
So I go to Detroit on America West (This is in March). Pay $150 for a 1st class upgrade. Sit in line on the tarmac behind 22 other planes. Moo! 90 minutes late, we take off.
Court the next morning - Wayne County, 3rd Circuit.No big deal - it's basically across the street from the hotel. 9:00 a.m. hearing. Sounds good, except there are 20 other lawyers there when I roll in at 8:55. They cannot all be there on my motion, can they?
Nope - it's "here's your place on the list, we'll try to get everybody out by noon." Moo!
Thirty minutes later, the clerk announces that the Judge is sick, so the hearing is canceled.
The flight back finds me in window seat in the last row - get off the plane 20 minutes after the first row. Moo!
Had to go back on Weds. Flew Southwest, the original good luck finding a seat airline. Moo!
Get assigned to group #C (last to board) because I wasted check in time trying to settle the case so I didn't have to go at all. But, there was a first row bulkhead window seat open. Wow - foot room, freedom to get up without weeks of planning and negotiation, and get off sooner rather than later. Moo(-1).
I go to court the next day. Judge decides to show up this time. He doesn't pop his head in until 11:15 (for a 9:00 hearing). Gets to our case at 11:40. (This was just to see if settlement was possible, in chambers). Moo!
Right after, he decides to take the bench. Back to the end of the line - get heard at 11:55. Moo!
Me: This is a fraud claim. It hinges on the defendant's state of mind at the time. There is no uncontroverted evidence he intended to defraud.
Judge: AYFKM? Home cooking for everyone!
I tried not to storm out. Some mysterious ghost shoved the courtroom door open so it banged the wall hard and loud and the sound resonated down the hall. Judge looked shocked! I apologized, because my hands were full and it was not what I was trying to do.
Back to my house on Southwest. Checked in 3 hours early to score an A group seat. 5th guy on the plane, after the kids and wheelchairs. Some people who queued up 2 hours early (gate opens 1 hour before the flight) bitched that I got ahead of them in line, because they were not paying attention when the gate opened.
(STFU - you people were all friendly when you were ahead of me and I didn't take a seat in a row where your group (of 6) would fit.). 2nd row, aisle. SCORE!
Yes, this is my life.