Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Long Hearing


If you head to Court in Bradenton
Across the street you will see
An old brick building marked 1922
The Law office of Mark Lipinski

Mark brought me on board to help defend
A very serious situation
His client was facing years in prison
Accused of a violation of probation.

Gary the client looked like Elvis
If Elvis had reached his declining years
He was used to talking himself out of anything
But this time it looked bleak I feared.

I went early to the office,
to help organize the files
so that Mark would have the tools
to defend Gary all the while.

We looked for justice to the judge,
a prim and proper sort.
She cast a withering glance upon us
 as we entered into her court

The hearing began at nine am
and had a promising legal beginning
And even though there was no chance in hell
I thought we might be winning.

Gary was not allowed to work
 at any job or avocation.
We were saying he had not
 And thus no violation of probation.

A lunch break came and the lunch break went
 but Mark he did not eat
He sat in a room with stacks of files
to scrawl upon and read.

In the afternoon the case went bad
 as soon as the first witness was called
She testified and almost cried.
The judge began to bawl

But then Mark had some questions,
maybe just one or two.
He went on for more than an hour
and still he was not through.

At three thirty pm on Friday
Conflicts with the Judge arose
Mark moved to disqualify her
“Overruled” she snapped, “Let’s go.”

When the clock struck five, the State rested
Saying “Judge, that’s all there is.”
We applied for a continuance.
The judge said: “Call your next witness!”

At seven o’clock the air conditioning shut off
making a loud and lonely bang
 As I sat there, with sweat down my face,
the judge said “cross-examine?”

No real breaks were taken
 to relieve the prostates of old men
There was no time to eat, no time to call
before we were at it again.

The water had run out long ago,
while the bailiffs softly laughed
But Mark, mighty Mark, kept talking
 There were still more questions to ask.

Around about nine pm, he leaned over
And asked “How we doing Pal?”
”Going down like the Titanic” I replied
And all he did was smile.

The hearing didn’t end until eleven pm,
as Gary was hauled off to jail in tears.
But damn it Mark was still arguing for him,
even as the courtroom cleared.

Walking to the office I heard Mark exclaim,
“Break out the booze, I’ve got some I think.”
But though there was water, water everywhere
There was not a drop to drink,

At the end of this long hearing
We were tired, hot and hungry
“We will fight another day,”
said lawyer Mark Lipinski.

1 comment:

  1. Mark was a best friend and roommate my junior and senior years at Florida and a groomsman at my wedding. We met each other when I moved to Lakeland when I was 11 years old. We shared countless adventures growing up at Southwest Junior and Lakeland Senior High each one filled with mischief and unbridled laughter. He is unique among all my close boyhood friends and I can't imagine the loss his family and community is feeling. I've never been able to keep from smiling at the mention of his name even 54 years after having met him. The world will never see another Mark Lipinski and I am forever grateful for the years that we shared so long ago. Heaven will be an even better place tonight as he is escorted in. Rest well my dear old friend. We still have much laughter to share. Please save a chair next to you for me...