I told Colin Simpson a few weeks ago I think I’d have made a great lawyer.
I made the claim during our wildly popular among a tiny sample-size, radio show The Sports Nuts and I was serious as an STD. I’m not without experience, and though I lost all three of my cases, I showed remarkable poise and potential.
I’ve always wished it was me instead of Ted Bundy who heard the judge’s backhanded tribute while pronouncing the death sentence: “You’d have made a good lawyer and I’d have loved having you practice before me, but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself.”
Of course, he didn’t and was eventually fried, but I’d kill to hear those words from a judge.
Ed Webster said nothing similar while pronouncing sentence in the famous “Blough versus Cody Police” case, but did loan me a pair of his reading glasses. It concerned an alleged driving-under-suspension violation in ’07 after my truck ran out of gas on the way home from Jim Clingman’s warehouse party where I had made $120 by agreeing to let Jim shave my backside in front a large throng of cheering revelers. But that’s a sermon for another day.
At preliminary, the judge asked if I wanted a court-appointed attorney and my exact words were, “No Judge, I’m gonna have a fool for a client and represent myself.” Except for a few gasps from the gallery, you coulda heard a gavel drop.
The day of trial, I had to be driven to court by my old neighbor Martha Skar – coincidentally the mother of a local judge – and while rushing from her car, I bumped my head and lost my reading glasses. Judge Webster was gracious enough to take me into his chambers and hook me up.
This was compelling courtroom drama my friends, much like you’ve probably seen on LA Law. I got to give an impassioned opening statement, quiz potential jurors and cross-examine my accuser – in this case “AOB,” “Arresting Officer Beck” as another of his frequent perps had labeled him.
Among prospective jurors needing to step down was Tim Moir, who felt he had too many tennis ties to the Blough family to be totally impartial. That was too bad; I really could have used his favorable bias. An older gentleman requested a judge’s chamber meeting, whereas he gave me the stink-eye, told the judge he should recuse himself because he’s a frequent guest at police cookouts. I recall his words being, “I’d believe any one of those officers before I’d believe Doug Blough.”
I thanked him for his honesty, but whispered to Kolpitke, “Apparently a big fan.” I believe that little bonding laugh Scott and I shared served me well as the trial convened. If you can remove any potential vitriol between prosecution and defense, it is smart lawyering to say the least. Some might even say a brilliant tactical move.
Due to space limitations, I must request a recess, but don’t miss part II when I chronicle my other courtroom defenses, both concerning past dogs of mine. The latter I like to call, “The Barking Police Chief Case.”