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March 7, 2011
Volume I of IV






Department Y
The Honorable Asa Hornscar

JUDGE ASA HORNSCAR: We now call The People of the State of California v. Edgar Scattergood, the only case on this morning’s calendar.

Good morning, counsel. Please state your appearances.

MS. CARLA FOUND: Good morning, Your Honor. Deputy District Attorney Carla Found for the People.

MR. SIMON SINGH: And a very good morning to you, Your Honor and learned Counsel! Along with a belated Happy New Year! Oh, and before we cook my client’s goose again in this veritable oven, allow me to also wish you the same holiday greeting on behalf of my client, Dr. Edgar Scattergood!  I am Simon Singh for the tender Dr. Scattergood!

(COURT REPORTER’S NOTE BY MATTIE JENNINGS:   During Mr. Singh’s protracted and spirited appearance, Deputy Carla Found makes incidental eye contact with me.  While she does not roll her eyes or smirk as I often see less professional attorneys do, there is one barely perceptible shake to her head and the ghost of a pricelessly wry smile.  I suppress my giggle . . .)

JUDGE HORNSCAR: This hearing–

( . . . until it busts out into a medium-loud snort. I get a sharp glance from the Judge, but she declines to otherwise address my outburst. Poor Deputy Found, though.  Her eyes widen and fixate on an empty stretch of the table she and Singh stand before.  She’s mortified that she had any role in the interruption and my inappropriate laughter.  I doubt she will ever look my way again.)

JUDGE HORNSCAR: This hearing comes by motion of the People who claim an emergency situation with the sudden disappearance of . . . [stops to read the brief filed by the People] . . . eight people.  Eight people?! Before you explain this, Ms. Found, why have two attorneys from other firms checked into my courtroom on this matter. Do we need to note other appearances?

MR. SINGH:  Objection, your honor! Compound question!  Ha ha ha. Kidding, just compounding the kidding.

(No one else is laughing in the courtroom, which is also populated by two elderly male attorneys (just mentioned by the judge), a bailiff, the clerk, and about a dozen exotic insect photographs that hover in a swarm of frames on and behind her bench. The judge’s new favorite is a beetle photo that has sat next to her gavel since last week.

But to get back to the sudden quiet here, not even a cricket chirps.)

MR. SINGH: Tough room.

(As Judge Hornscar tries to wither the newly irrepressible Simon Singh with a glare, Ms. Found checks me out again. After all. But quizzically so, as though she wonders why and how I am continuing to make furious shorthand strokes on my stenotype during one of the most awkward long silences on record.)

JUDGE HORNSCAR:  Mr. Singh, you’ve brought a lot of energy with you this morning.

MR. SINGH:  Yes, I’m afraid so, your honor.  Really charged up today!

JUDGE HORNSCAR:  Push the energy saver button now counsel or I will have your plug pulled.

MR. SINGH:  Ha ha, “energy saver butt–”

JUDGE HORNSCAR (Interrupting.):  Ms. Found, continue.

MS. FOUND:  Other appearances are probably necessary.  These attorneys represent UCLA and the physicist Stephen Hawking*–who did an interview about our case–on claims they allege against our creators.

JUDGE HORNSCAR:  Your creators? (Laughing.)   It must have been a remarkable read, these new allegations.  Tell me, Ms. Found, who did you learn to be your creators?

MS. FOUND:  No, our creators, Your Honor.  Judge Asa Hornscar’s creator is named, too.  Though they are all named as John or Jane Does.

(Judge Hornscar looks up at the two yet unnamed attorneys.)

JUDGE HORNSCAR:  You’re suing my creator?

(They both nod in embarrassed agreement.  One of them, a pasty-faced guy, old and grave, slouches down in his chair as though to avoid legal thunderbolts.

From the judge herself there radiates not annoyance or bristling tolerance but enigma.  A beatific Mona Lisa smile that my vast shorthand experience cannot adequately record.  You have to be here.  It’s as though she was expecting this news and now welcomes it.  Could her reaction be related to the destiny alluded to in this news item about her rejecting the Governor’s offer of elevation to the Supreme Court?

Meanwhile, defense attorney Simon Singh bends forward and scribbles this on his yellow legal pad: “Claims by UCLA and Hawking? Double-check my legal disclaimer on the website!”

He writes this reminder just below an underlined note he must have made before he came in.  That underlined note is a doozy: ”Put on an antic disposition.

Put on an antic disposition?!? There are more mysteries in this story and court than I dreamt of.  But, alas, Deputy Found is staring at me again and will now surely call me out on my extracurricular typing.)

MS.  FOUND:  Your Honor, excuse me, but may we go off the record for a moment?

(I like Deputy Found, but she will soon find out that this Show Me State girl never goes off the record.


End of Volume One.)

4 Responses to “Court Transcript’s Volume One: Appearances”

  1. Creators should get legal assistance ASAP. Also, beetle photo is very nice, but perhaps breaches some reserved rights…

  2. We can confirm that Mattie Jennings is the fastest court reporter we’ve ever seen in the Golden State. However, we do not condone her practice of adding narration to the oral testimony that court transcripts are normally confined to. She obtained her Narration Certification at the national level–it is not accepted here in California.

  3. [...] from Volume One in which Deputy District Attorney Carla Found and defense attorney Simon Singh made their [...]

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