“Dan, would you please come to sidebar for a conference?”
“Sidebar! What sidebar and where is at?” Dan looked at Juggernaut sitting at his large corner desk.
“Sidebar is a legal jargon for a desk from where Judges preside.”
“Well, you were not a judge and your desk is not a sidebar.”
“I understand that but when we discuss legal matters of interest, I want to play the role of a judge and my desk turns into a sidebar.”
“You were watching too many law and order shows on TV and wrapped up with legal lingo.” “If I were to be a prosecutor in the legal briefings, we need a mean lawyer to conduct counter arguments.”
“I did create an imaginary defense lawyer named Mel McMurtry, a real life character with a sleazy personality.”
“The name Mel comes across as a crooked old man with a grey mustache and McMurtry sounds like a bald heavy set pawn shop operator on a snow covered rural road.”
“You are absolutely right; that’s exactly what I have in mind when I created the character Mel MurMurty.”
“When I will be meeting Mel McMurtry at the sidebar?”
“Right now, let’s reenact a court scene in which you bring a character Mr. Yellowaters to justice for polluting a river with wastewater from his factory.” “The court is in sessions and Judge Juggernaut is presiding,” Juggernaut announced himself sitting behind his desk or now a sidebar. “Well Dan Dookaran, the Assistant DA would you please present your case,” Juggernaut spoke softly to allow Dan to make an opening statement.
Dan came close to sidebar and made a statement. “Your honor, years ago when Mr. Yellowaters was working as a General Manager, he willfully allowed wastewater from his factory to flow into a nearby river and now the law caught up with him since old satellite pictures came to light that show Mr. Yellowaters himself turning on factory wastewater discharge pipe into the river.”
“Well, counsel Mr. McMurtry, do have an opening statement?” Judge Juggernaut asked.
“Yes your honor, I am Mel McMurtry; I specialize in environmental law representing Mr. Yellowaters.” “Before I went to a night school to become a lawyer, I worked in the field of environmental affairs as a Vice President and gained immense experience dealing with compliance issues at city, state and federal level with respect to every media from air to water and anything in between,” McMurtry was interrupted by Judge Juggernaut. “Mr. McMurtry, this is about your client Mr. Yellowaters not about you, I have no interest in your resume,” Judge Juggernaut’s voice was stern.
“I am sorry Judge, my ego got better of me and placed me on a high horse and I was carried away,” Mel McMurtry was apologetic.
“Please proceed with your opening statement,” stated Judge Juggernaut.
“The defendant, Mr. Yellowaters is now retired living in Southern California in a country club gated community playing golf.” “The indictment was completely false and baseless; Mr. Yellowaters believes that water by its nature always in motion whether it is from factory or storms until it reaches its natural destination in this case was a nearby river, that’s how the factory wastewater ended up in the river with no fault of Mr. Yellowaters,” Mr. McMurtry looked at Mr. Yellowaters as if he was looking at a saint.”
“Mr. Dookaran would you like to cross exam Mr. Yellowaters?” asked Judge Juggernaut looking at Dan Dookaran, the DA.
“Yes your honor,” said Mr. Dookaran and proceeded to ask Mr. Yellowaters. “On what grounds you allowed the factory wastewater to flow into the nearby river?”
“On the same ground we are all standing ‘Mother Earth,” replied Mr. Yellowaters with a smirk on his face.
“Don’t give me smart ass answer,” DA Dookaran was annoyed.
“Mr. Dookaran, please watch your language, in my court,” Judge Juggernaut warned the DA.
“I am sorry Judge, I apologize.” “Mr. Yellowaters, please answer my question,” DA Dookaran looked at Mr. Yellowaters with a look of contempt.
“Your honor; while at college decades ago I majored in Physics and I still considered myself as a student of Physics; as per laws of Physics, water in motion, continue to be in motion until it reaches its destination, wastewater from my factory followed the natural gradient towards the nearby river; I emphasize the word “Natural.” The river acquired its infamous name “Rouge River” from receiving wastewater from factories around the area, therefore it was the Rogue River at the lower end of the gradient that caused the dirty water to flow into it,” Mr. Yellowaters looked at DA and the Judge in a quick succession several times as if he was puzzled why he was there and why he was subjected to the silly questioning by the DA.
“Well, if Mr. McMurtry has nothing to add, I will give my judgment based on the facts not natural law as Mr. Yellowaters wants us to believe,” “I sentence Mr. Yellowaters for one year to live in Bakersfield, California, the most polluted town in the United States, the court will see that Mr. Yellowaters lives next to a animal rendering plant and experience the day and night stink from the factory as he subjected the people around his own factory years ago, his movements will be monitored electronically and for any violation, he will go back working in the rendering plant not as a manager but skinning the dead animals,” Judge Juggernaut concluded the proceedings by looking at Mel McMurtry to see if he has anything to say.
“Your honor, in my several years of distinguished career as a Vice President of environmental affairs and later as successful lawyer defending violators across the country never heard such a harsh punishment; I may consider repeal your judgment in a higher court as it was unusually cruel,” McMurtry looked at his client with a look of reassurance.
“Well, Juggernaut you did a splendid job of impersonating the characters as the Judge, the defense counsel and the defendant; how you did it?” Dan has all the praise for Juggernaut for his entertaining play recreating the court scene in the office.
“Well, in my real life I had the unfortunate experience of working with simple minded morons similar to the characters portrayed here,” Juggernaut took a sip of wine in a mood of relaxation.