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Fun from the courts

As a result of writing the trial sequence, I'm getting more interested in what actually goes on in the courtroom. So I enjoyed this report from The Volokh Conspiracy, unfortunately not well-sourced:

A small community in California passed a local ordinance prohibiting fortune telling within its city limits. A fortuneteller named Fatima Stevens brought a lawsuit seeking an injunction against enforcement of the ordinance... our Supreme Court granted a hearing.

As counsel for the fortuneteller rose for oral argument to present her case, Chief Justice Lucas said, "Counsel, you have us at a disadvantage."

The attorney was perplexed. "Why, Your Honor?"

"Well," said the Chief Justice, "hasn't your client told you how this case will ultimately turn out?"


(Volokh:)
On its face this was an irrelevant joke; but it was, intentionally or not, sending a subtle message that fortune-telling is indeed bunk, and that even the lawyer can't be taking it seriously -- something that would have dovetailed well with the city's arguments that fortune-telling is fraudulent and should be banned. Dangerous stuff for the lawyer. Here's how Mosk describes the lawyer's artful dodge:

[...] "No, Your Honor," he replied. "You must remember I did not consult my client for advice. She consulted me."

A judicial interchange worthy of Fafnir and Isolde Shieldbiter, methinks. Volokh reports that the fortune-teller won, by the way.

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