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  • Scott Gardner

Practicing in SW - Sandra Dee

Updated: Oct 11, 2019


Zero dark 30 and traveling to a courthouse three hours away for a 9 AM hearing. As the sun rises, I pull into a Sheetz for a caffeine fix. At the counter I’m standing behind a guy that looks like he just fell out of an Eno and crawled down the mountain from Floyd Fest. He’s buying two 24 ounce IPAs, a box of wine, a sausage biscuit and a single rose. It’s 6:55 AM. I want to ask. He’s counting out some crumpled bills and some loose change and it’s obvious he doesn’t have enough. He’s pondering which item he’s going to put back. Wheels are turning. He reaches for the rose. “Take some advice from an old married man. Don’t leave here without that Rose”. I give him five bucks to cover. Now I’m in the courthouse parking lot and the defendant is waiting for me. I have sympathy for most defendants, but she hasn’t paid her mortgage in a year and a half and has manipulated two continuances. Thats 18 hours of drive time for me. I’m in no mood. She hikes up her best court spandex, takes a drag off her cigarette and asks, “what’s it gonna take to get me another 30 days? “. Now she’s getting pretty close to me and I can’t tell if she’s propositioning me or threatening to kick my ass. I’m thinking only one option is likely. Then she does her best Sandra Dee, putting out her cigarette with her shoe and telling me she’s hired a lawyer. Inside it’s obvious I have missed the seersucker and bowtie memo and I am getting home-jobbed by the judge and the lawyer. The judge says I’m missing a document and is going to continue the case yet again. I tell him I can have the document in 15 minutes. He looks down his glasses and gives me 10. Dialing my office as I leave the courtroom. I look down the street - three law offices in the block. On my second try, I meet Claire.She says she has to run it by her boss. I tell her I’ve got six minutes. Now I’m thinking “what’s it gonna take?” After a couple minutes and a couple twirls in her chair she hands me a copy of the document from her printer. I will return later with a latte and a scone. It’s a cigar worthy win all before 10AM. Leaving town enjoying a Kristoff and a few songs by Brandi Carlisle. Thinking I’ve got to check out Floyd Fest next year.

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