COURT ROOM “BRAWL”
Her heavy pilot bag thumped at her feet as she trailed a finger down the roll call list stuck on the wall next to the door of Court Room 60. As usual the Applications have been allocated in order of seniority of the representing Attorney for the Applicant.
“You will get to the top of that list one day.”
She found her name second last on the list and checked to see who would be acting for the Respondent.
“Ah, shit, just my damned luck. That I have to have that facetious, arrogant, bombastic son of a bitch opposing the matter.”
She straightened her black robe, grabbed her pilot bag and turned towards the door.
“Miss Gilbert just a moment before you go in. I would like a word with you.”
The sun blazed through the large hallway windows, skated on the polished passage floor, sending a volley of blinding rays straight into her eyes. She lifted her hand to her brow and squinted at the silhouette behind the voice.
“Yes Mr Hilton?”
“I wondered if you could explain to me what in the world you and your client think can be achieved with this ridiculous Application against Coca-Cola South Africa. “
“And just why do you think there is a need for me to explain anything to you? Pray tell?”
“Your application, my girlie, is ridiculous to start with. If you withdrew it now and tendered my client’s wasted costs, it would save a lot of time and of course, money. My client is prepared to accept a withdrawal, each party to pay their own costs. Then your client would not have to worry about the costs she will be in for once the Order is made.”
“So you think you are going to win? Is that what your crystal ball told you today, or was it a vision you received in your dreams last night?”
“Don’t you take that tone with me. I am your senior.”
“That you may be, but the last time I checked I was not employed by you.”
“You disrespectful little…..”
“I’ll see you in court.”
She shoved open the courtroom door. Adrenalin loosened its grip on her and she sank down into the closest chair available. She tucked a stray curl behind her ear and opened her pilot bag, unpacked her pen and papers. She double checked her list of case law and lined up the law journals in the correct order under the podium in front of her.
“Hey Mandy, I see you drew Mr Pugnacious himself as an opponent today.”
“Hi Anna. Yip, so it seems.”
“He is very clever you know….”
The orderly called the court to order and the Magistrate entered. “Thank goodness it is Rolling Eye Rodney, at least we have a brain cell on the bench,” she thought to herself.
She looked at Hilton as he sat down in front of her and lifted her chin.
The Magistrate dealt with the matters incisively and soon it was her turn to present her Application.
And then it was her turn
She got up, smoothed down her black pencil skirt, and placed her notes on the lectern. Tension cramped in her calves. She squared her shoulders, looked at the Magistrate and began her argument. She knew it by heart and hardly looked at her notes.
Hilton half turned in his chair, cupped his chin, and smirked at her. In her mind’s eye she flipped him the bird.
Sarcastic whispered comments interrupted her flow. Her temper ignited and set off a flare that rammed through her. “My Lord, I believe my learned colleague, Mr Hilton, has something to say to the Court.” Swiftly she sat down, leaving Hilton no option but to get up and address the Magistrate.
Hilton blanched and half rose off his chair. “I have nothing….” The rest of his sentence was drowned out by a roar of pure red hot lava anger rushing through her, entering her ears. “The conceited little arsehole! No wait, an arsehole has a function, it gets rid of shit. Wet carton – that’s it. Too useless to pack a book in,” she thought to herself.
She shot upright. “I would appreciate it if your Worship would then order my learned colleague, Mr Hilton, to allow me to finish my argument without any further whispered commentary.”
The Magistrate’s steely gaze pinned Hilton in his chair. In her mind’s eye she assists with sticking duct tape over his mouth. “Any further interruption by you of Miss Gilbert during her argument and I will hold you in contempt.”
“My apologies to the Court and Miss Gilbert your Worship.”
“His case is a suitcase and he knows it,” she thought to herself. “Bloody bully.” She has dealt with worse than him, he can take a number, take a seat.
She finished her argument without any further ado. Hilton argued in cross for barely ten minutes.
“My learned colleague’s argument does not warrant a reply your Worship. The Applicant closes its case and humbly requests for an Order to be granted as set out in the prayers on the Application.”
“Well if that is all then, I rule in favour of the Applicant and hereby grant the prayers as set out in the Application.”
“Justice,” her mind screamed.
She packed her pilot bag and excused herself. She checked her wrist watch. “If I hurry I can still miss the lunch time traffic and be in my office in half an hour.”
Setting her phone to blue tooth she phoned her client whilst navigating the traffic, sharing the good news.