Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Text Messages From The Peanut Gallery

I've written before about how abysmally tedious sitting in the courtroom and observing a proceeding, such as the current NLRB/News-Press hearings, can be. And no, having been a lawyer of many years standing doesn't make it any less painful.

Take the last couple of days when the cross-examination of witnesses Starshine Roshell, Melissa Evans and now Karna Hughes have been handled by one of Barry Cappello's associates, Matthew Clarke.

There are many times during his examinations when he seems to have absolutely no idea where he is going with his line of questioning, which at least makes two of us in the room who are in the dark on this subject.

On more than one occasion I've had the urge to summon him to the back of the courtroom, hand him a yellow slip and send him to the attorney's conference room down the hall to study F. Lee Bailey's treatise on effective cross-examination.

Cappello himself has frequently been audibly coaching Clarke.

And if you think that this is a transparent attempt to get Cappello to assume all of the examination duties on behalf of the News-Press, it is.

Yesterday, there was a bit of relief from the tedium during Roshell's testimony. Despite the fact that the only reason testified to by Scott Steepleton when he was on the stand for taking away Starshine's column, was a "policy" of not having staff reporters also write columns, Clarke tried to suggest that the reason the column was yanked was because it was too racy.

That gave him reason to introduce into evidence a sampling of Roshell's columns which ran under headlines such as "Unveiling the Truth About Lusty Bridesmaids," "Cougars On The Prowl" and "Geeks Are Hot." For a few minutes my mind was distracted from the tedium of what was taking place at the front of the room while my thoughts drifted to how long it had been since I attended a wedding and where I might encounter some "cougars" who were into geeky bloggers.

Reality swiftly set in when it I realized that at my age the place I was most likely to find "cougars" would be Casa Dorinda.

Time to get back to the courtroom and witness more of the quest for truth.

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