First Time in a Court Room

Today, I was covering a case in the Appeals Court. My case was about four people suing this group, CAIR, for providing them with a lawyer who wasn’t actually a lawyer.

Now, usually the law frowns upon this act, but for this case the judges seem to be leaning in CAIR’s favor. The lawyer for the other side seemed to be having a lot of trouble focusing his thoughts.

I first got to the courtroom a little early, and there was another argument going on. I couldn’t really tell what the case was about (a lot of legal jargon), but I was instantly impressed with the lawyers’ composure and their ability to think on their feet when standing in front of the judges.

The lead attorney stands at a podium directly in front of the panel of three judges and argues his case. Now, the judges don’t just sit there and let him do his thing. They jump right in and question every statement he makes, and he can’t stop, he can’t stutter. He has to respond to every one of their inquiries as though he were expecting it. It’s hard to get across this seriousness in writing, but it was nerve-wracking. I couldn’t imagine doing what they were doing.

The lawyer for my case appeared slightly less composed than the guys for the previous case, although the judges seemed to turn up the heat on him. The judges questioned whether his argument for the day was different than his formal complaint for filing the case. From my point of view, the judges appeared frustrated with the difficulty the lawyer was having in getting his points across. He looked lost as he flipped through pages searching for an answer.

When it came time for the CAIR lawyer stand up to give his side of the argument, the chief judge told him to sit down. He didn’t need to make an argument. Doesn’t sound too promising for the side pressing charges against CAIR.

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