Jan. 9th, 2010 08:47 am
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So I wrote an actual entry this morning around 8 a.m. while I was lying on Ericka's apartment floor swaddled in a sleeping bag and feeling rather maudlin. And then because the internet in Ericak's apartment sucks and the LJ app on my iPhone hates me, the entry went and vanished. In retrospect, it's probably best that the sort of maudlin-ness I posted isn't up for public consumption anyway. Nevertheless, this is how things went when I was in Cedar.

I made it up to Cedar in good time on Friday afternoon and hung around the women's center with Ericka, as she volunteers there. I helped her fold anti-stalking flyers, which meant my years and years of origami skills finally came to good use. We went to eat at Café Rio together, which was pretty awesome, because it's been over a year since I've eaten there. And also? I ate an entire taco salad. By myself. Seriously. To those who don't know what Café Rio is, being able to eat a salad isn't that impressive, but anyone who has ever seen how big those salads are is probably thinking I'm a liar. I was pretty hungry is all.

Ericka and I wandered around WalMart getting random supplies and looking for snow boots for her, and then we went to Comedy University, Ericka's improv training group. I just watched, but she performed, and she was...amazing. I reckon I might have managed a couple of the exercises, but I'm a little too uptight to just let loose on a stage like that. Go figure.

Afterwards we caught up with the others and went to see DayBreakers, which I enjoyed. It seemed like an oddly-veiled eco-conservationist allegory (humans were the earth, and the vampires were the humans who were over-consuming their resources to their own destruction), but I enjoyed it anyway. Also, I like Ethan Hawke, for whatever reason. I blame it on movies like The Explorers and The Dead Poets Society from my youth. After the movie, Ericka and I went to Off the Cuff, which was awesome (and yes, I got my annual dose of Ian - no mocking!) and then, like the good old days, we went to Denny's. Ate. Were loud and rowdy. Talked novelizing and old anime and things we love.

And then Ericka and I went to sleep. We were both tired and I'd had a headache most of the night, so we were just zonked out. I was up early so I could get home in time to see my family and my sister's best friend, who's just back from the marines and getting ready to go to college. She was one of my friends in high school too, and it was good to see her, and this was probably our last chance to actually see each other, which was nice. I got to say goodbye to Audi the chihuahua. I don't like the bulldogs, though - they chewed on one of my boots.

On Friday morning I helped my mom change the sheets on my bed, and she said it was a bittersweet moment for her, because it meant my time at home was over. (She changes sheets once a week or, in the alternative, whenever a guest is leaving finally, whichever comes first.) Since we were changing sheets, I didn't think much of it, but when I was lying awake this morning, staring at Ericka's blurry ceiling, I realized that yes, this is the last time I'll have this much time at home with friends and family. Even when I finally become something in the way of my own boss, I won't have nearly this much time off.

But you know what? I had a good time at home with friends and family, one of the best trips home in a longtime. With my family we had an old-fashioned FHE with childhood songs, and my mom and I made buco pie. With my friends we did the old Pack routine - movie (instead of gaming), Off the Cuff, and the midnight Denny's. The simple things that made us who we are. In retrospect, I should have taken a picture of the gang at Denny's, if only to mirror the first time most of the Pack hung out. But now I'm in Vegas, on the way home. Because officially Omaha is home now. My true home will always be where my friends and family are, but I guess from now on, when anyone asks, I'm from Omaha. Gundam Wing

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So we lost our round today. I will be the first to admit that I wanted to advance, but we lost to a good team. I will also admit that I totally consoled myself with Merlin.

Gritty details of trial )

After lunch we came back to the hotel and wondered about what to do with our free day and for dinner and other things, and then we split up. Chelsea was full of awesome and let me borrow her laptop so I could watch Merlin. I even got Vanessa on my side - Chelsea looks like Lady Morgana.

Fangirling doth abound )

We were trained well, we did our best, and the rest was judge subjectivity. I gained a lot from this experience and am no longer sure I really want to be a litigator. It's draining. But we were team J and we fought hard. Now we can only hope we make it home.

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So today was the first full day of trials. We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then headed over to the courthouse as a team. We made it through security and proceeded to set up the courtroom to our liking as it wasn't set up for trials as much as appellate hearings. Melilli is also a little OCD about how the courtrooms are set up, but it's always helpful. We went against Northern Kentucky - we were on defense - and had a pretrial conference with opposing counsel. The one female attorney was surprisingly hostile about the stupid Res letter. And then the judge made some bizarre rulings (we later found out he was a civil attorney and had no experience in criminal work and so that explained some of his bizarre rulings). Vanessa rocked her opening, and I think it was one of my better crosses. The witness I crossed - she dropped an entire section of her direct and so that took some mileage out of my cross. And I got to make a successful objection on close. The most annoying motion in limine ever was the prosecution trying to preclude my witness from testifying altogether. Once I told the judge we would be calling that witness he realized that for the purposes of competition I sort of had to direct that witness. I won my motion in limine, and then the prosecution tried to make an end-run on the judge's ruling by opening the door for themselves. They don't get to do that. I was pretty mad about that, but I won again when I objected on cross. I also think I pretty much rocked my closing. When we rearranged the tables we ended up trailing some wires across the floor, and we were all terrified of tripping over the wire. Ironically, the only one who did trip over it was a judge. Dan was amazing as my witness. He made me smile.

Because the one judge was long-winded, we only had about half an hour for lunch, and then we were back in trial, and this time I was a witness. It was my best performance as a witness ever. The girl crossing me wasn't tracking the language and she also couldn't control me when I rambled. One of the best moments ever was when opposing counsel objected during Dan's direct of me, because their objection wasn't even a real one, and even then they had misread the evidence and so they were the ones mischaracterizing the evidence, not me. Dan and Chelsea rocked, and I think we did well.

Actually, I know we did well, because we advanced to the break rounds. We went to a cool restaurant overlooking the baseball field and talked, had tasty food. The judge who runs the competition sang the song Melilli wrote, which was a definite hit with the law students, and he sang a few more parody songs, and then they handed out awards and then announced the teams who advanced. We are up tomorrow, me and Vanessa as attorneys, Chelsea and Dan as witnesses. I am much more terrified than I was before.

On an up note, we finally got all of our luggage, so we looked presentable today.

Anyway, I am tired. I could say more about our rounds, but most of the humor would really only make sense to law students and lawyers in the competition.

Go Team J.

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So we made it through our first day, which Melilli says is the hardest. We made it to the hotel and Dan and Melilli went to the coaches' meeting while we girls decided whether or not Chelsea should dress up. We ended up deciding to all go in jeans as a matter of team solidarity.

The security line felt ridiculously long, but we made it through and saw the other team. All of the other teams have been really nice about us looking like hobos, and the Georgia team let us borrow their exhibit on direct. People have been nice about everything, although one older juror/evaluator said we were from School Scruffy. I confess, I really didn't think much of my role as a witness until I realized that Dan and I were the first ones to perform after Chelsea did her thing. And she totally rocked her opening. It was interesting to hear what opposing counsel's theory was , although the defense opening seemed a little too argumentative for their own good.

Now, for the meat of the trial... )

After the trial we met one of Melilli's friends who is a sheriff at the court and protects Melilli's judge friend. We walked back to the hotel and checked to see if our luggage had come in, which it had not. We had a review on the trial and then went to dinner down at the hotel restaurant. We each had the buffet and then we had a floor show. And by floor show I mean we got to see Chelsea lose it over the phone at the baggage claim person. Man. It was entertaining as he'll and also scary.

But we got luggage. Vanessa and Dan's suitcases came, so after I let Chelsea borrow one of my suits we will all be ready for trial tomorrow and dressed like real lawyers. Hopefully our big shiny exhibit will be ready in time for our prosecution trial tomorrow afternoon. It has been a crazy couple of days, though.

On a bizarre note )

It's been a crazy day. And I am tired. So it is time to sleep.

Go team J.

Note: it's not easy to edit posts from my phone. Otherwise, I'd just have one post per day. Melilli is OCD and full of bad puns, but he has been a great coach.

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So we got stranded in Detroit last night. People in Omaha had assured us that our luggage followed us to Minnesota and would find us in Detroit. People also told us that someone from the airline would meet us at the luggage claim carousel to arrange a hotel for us.

No such luck, of course. Our baggage wasn't there and no one was there to meet us. All of us made a series of calls - to family members to assure them that we were somewhere safe, and to see about getting hotels. Melilli totally went to bat on our behalf, but the first lady who was at the desk was utterly unhelpful. The second lady was very nice and we ended up getting vouchers for a room at a lovely hotel and for a meal.

We only got about three hours of sleep and had breakfast here at the airport. We may have to compete in jeans and tshirts, but we are going to go and fight and win. And hope our luggage arrives later today.

Last night I talked to my parents, Daniel, and Ericka. It was wonderful to hear their voices, and they were pretty awesome about talking to me and being sympathetic and encouraging. I have the best friends and family ever.

8:54 am: we made it to Buffalo. The scene here is familiar to the one in Detroit. We linger outside the lost baggage room while Melilli looms over airline employees and we gaze anxiously at other people's luggage and wish that it was ours. So far no luck. Attorneys in jeans it is. Even though I do have my suits, I will remain looking like a teenager as a matter of team solidarity. It's a good thing that Melilli knows the judge who runs the competition. Here's to us owning Georgia as proxy retribution against Delta, which has it's HQ in Atlanta. Yes, even law students and their professors can be petty.

9:49 am: so we made it to the hotel all right. We had to jam illegally into a taxi and I ended up sitting on Vanessa's lap and a round of bad Virginia Res jokes ensued. Our cabbie was, just like in the movies, Middle Eastern, but he was friendly and informative and, no, he didn't smell bad. We're going to see if Chelsea can't fit into one of my suits since the prosecution goes today. Hopefully Melilli's judge friend will have things sorted out for us for our round today. I need to commune with my witness before our round. Here's to taking names. Our hotel is really nice, though; women on one floor and men on the other. Dress up Chelsea, here we come!

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3:43 pm, day one: Stranded at the airport in Omaha as our flight to Cincinnati has been delayed. Melilli and Vanessa are playing mom and dad and trying to get us new flights. I have yet, in my law school career, to see a professor punch someone. I'm crossing my fingers.

4:19 pm, day one: Still stranded at the airport. We will be swinging through Detroit or something weird and may end up sleeping at the airport there, although it would be hella fun to watch Melilli negotiate us a hotel room. He was ready to give up and go home, but we didn't work that hard for that long to just give up. We may have to compete while sleep-deprived, but we are going to rock that courthouse. Hope we don't lose our luggage.

6:10pm, day one: still at the airport. Flight to Minneapolis delayed, but the airline gave us vouchers for dinner. We joked around and cheered ourselves up by hashing over the worst advice we ever got from judges. There was random talk about Will, oddly enough, and Melilli scandalized someone sitting at a nearby table by reciting his People v. Bolde song. We're all feeling better about life now.

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