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My day in court against the DoD: Everyone was wearing black suits but me....

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Message Jane Stillwater
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To see photos of me in my tweed jacket and my granddaughter Mena judging my son Joe's coffee at Rudy's "Can't Fail" Cafe in Emeryville, click here.


I was all excited this morning because I was finally going to get my day in court regarding my case against the Department of Defense. Were they finally going to pay me the $1,780 they owed me -- or not?

Eagerly I watched as the two cases appearing on the docket before mine were heard so that I could get some idea of what to expect when the judge got around to hearing Stillwater vs. Department of Defense. The first case apparently involved some rich dude who was hiding money from his creditors. The judge asked some questions and the attorney representing the rich dude answered them. Could I do that too? Just stand there and answer questions? Yikes! I should never have eaten all those chocolate chip cookies before bedtime last night. I was a nervous wreck.

"Did your client receive any monies from the trust?" asked the judge with regard to the first case on the docket.

"No, he did not. And my client has no property in trust either. We have been paid fees but no money has been held by us. This allegation has no merit whatsoever." Yeah, right. "There is not one scintilla of evidence here."

"The scintillas in this case seem to be few and far between," commented the judge. "The plaintiff has been trying to find out where his money went to."

"Those monies have disappeared," agreed the plaintiff's counsel, "and we are entitled to know who -- what -- where -- when!"

"There was never any money in the trust ever," stated the defendant's attorney. Money has mysteriously disappeared? This case is HOT! "We request that this order to testify be quashed." But then I went off into day-dreaming about my case and missed what the judge answered to that.

"You filed a paper yesterday that I haven't had a chance to read," the judge then admonished the plaintiff. Oops, I too just filed a paper with the judge's clerk, just this morning. I'm screwed. "Next case!"

When the next case was called, no less than five lawyers stood up. This issue was about a bank. President Obama sez that while banks are sometimes the bad guys, we can't live without them. No money stuffed under the mattress for us.

"We have resolved the electronic information issue," said the plaintiffs' attorney. This apparently is a motion hearing regarding discovery issues. "However, we need the bank's information back as far as 2002." Apparently this hearing is for a class-action suit involving home mortgage loans, and the plaintiffs want the bank to give them information on how to get in touch with possible further plaintiffs. In a few minutes, I too am going to be up there testifying like I too am an attorney or something and actually know what I'm doing. Too late to go to law school now! My knees started to shake.

"We have a protective order in place to keep plaintiffs from accessing confidential loan information." Aha. I bet that people who have been foreclosed on by the bank want to get data proving that they was robbed. Interesting.

"Prejudiced policy.... Lack of information...." This case droned on and on. Just give them the freaking data! And what if the judge throws out my case because I couldn't find any lipstick this morning and my pant-legs are too short?

Everyone else in the courtroom is wearing black suits but I'm wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow-patches that I got out of the People's Park free box back before it was torn down by the University of California. Maybe that will work in my favor? And if I were a judge, I'd make sure that there were full-spectrum fluorescent light bulbs in his courtroom or else he would never get any sunlight at all except for on weekends.

"Mortgage loan pricing.... Credit characteristics.... Category of production that need not be compelled...." But the judge didn't agree.

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Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She has recently published a book entitled, "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips For Touring (more...)
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