Orders entered from Court hearings can sometimes be entertaining, as long as it doesn’t involve one of my hearings! I recently received an order that was entered in Federal Court, in Tampa, Florida. The date of entry was June 22, 2012.
According to the order, a criminal defense attorney was seeking the continuance (suspension) of a case. He represented a man who stood accused of murder-for-hire, conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, and a firearm offense.
The lawyer was asking for a continuance of the trial, because he is a perennial contestant in the Ernest Hemingway Look-alike Contest. The order fully describes the lawyer’s request, reasoning and Judge’s ruling. I really can’t do it justice in description. So, here is the order:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DESTRICT OF FLORIDA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CRISTIE FAY BOTTORFF
JERRY ALAN BOTTORFF CASE NO: 8:11-CR269-t-23AEP
LUIS ANGEL LOPEZ
Jerry Alan Bottorff stands accused of murder-for-hire, conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, and a firearm offense. For four months the parties have known with particularity when the trial begins-July 9th, 2012; the parties requested the special setting. Nonetheless, Bottorff’s counsel asks (Doc 127) to suspend the trial on Friday, July, 20th:
Undersigned counsel, a perennial contestant in the Ernest Hemingway Look-alike Contest, is scheduled to appear as a semi-finalist at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida at 6:30 PM on Friday July 20th, 2012.
In order to be able to be in Key West at the appointed hour, undersigned counsel has planned to depart St. Petersburg after the trial recesses on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 and drive toward Key West, arriving on July 20th, 2012
Undersigned Counsel has secured a block of six rooms to accommodate family, friends and fans and has had to pay non-refundable deposits.
Between a murder-for-hire trial and an annual look-alike contest, surely Hemingway, a perfervid admirer of “grace under pressure,” would choose the trial. At his most robust, Hemingway exemplified the intrepid defense lawyer:
He works like hell, and through it…He has the most profound bravery…He has had pain and the kind of poverty that you don’t believe; he has had about eight times the normal allotment of responsibilities. And he has never once compromised. He has never turned off on an easier path that the one he staked himself. It takes courage.
Dorothy Parker, The Artist’s Reward, THE NEW YORKER, Nov. 30, 1929 at 28-30 (describing Hemingway). Perhaps a lawyer who evokes Hemingway can resist relaxing frolic in favor of solemn duty.
Or, at least,, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
Best of Luck to counsel in next year’s contest. The motion (Doc 127) is DENIED.
ORDERED in Tampa, Florida, on June 22, 2012
STEVEN D. MERRYDAY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE