Scene: the suburban home of JUSTICE WOTAN and his wife JUSTICE WINDMILL, of the Seventh Department.
Windmill: Darling, who are those two individuals exiting their vehicle dehors the house? They seem to be responding to this address.
Wotan: Surely I instructed you that I calendared Justice DeLaid and Justice DeNied to appear for cocktails at 1700 hours.
Windmill: Oh, how could you? You know their aggravating factors far outweigh their mitigators! Next time give me notice and opportunity to be heard.
Wotan: An irresistible impulse. I encountered DeNied at the gym exercising her interest of justice discretion.
Windmill: About time, it was getting pretty flabby.
Wotan: Never mind that, what are we going to serve them? These warrants are completely stale.
Windmill: There should be some leftover torts and estoppels in the fridge. Hold the guests in abeyance while I go upstairs to effect a change of clothing. (Exit)
Wotan: (shouting after her) This unreadiness is entirely chargeable to you!
(Answers the door. Enter JUSTICE DELAID and his wife JUSTICE DENIED)
DeLaid: All rise!
(Wotan keels over)
DeNied: (helping him to his feet)Are you all right? Do you want curative instructions?
Wotan: It’s nothing, just an issue of standing.
DeLaid: Sorry we’re late. On the way over we had a confrontation with a depraved individual putting his own interests above those of society. I scared him off with a few choice excited utterances. If DeNied hadn’t stopped me, I would have given him a few present sense impressions right in the mens rea.
Wotan: Incredible! I suppose his face is permanently etched on your memory?
DeLaid: No, unfortunately he was cloaked in the presumption of innocence.
(enter Windmill differently attired)
DeNied: Windmill, darling, how well preserved you look! Where can the Court powder its nose?
Windmill: It’s upstairs, I’ll show you. My, that’s a charming frivolous suit you’re wearing! We must go judge shopping together sometime.
(Exeunt Windmill and DeNied)
Wotan: Can I offer you an open container, DeLaid?)
DeLaid: That’s very persuasive of you, Wotan. Not too strong, I have 75 bench memos to read for the argument tomorrow.
Wotan: Relax, all you have to do is say, “Counselor, isn’t this unpreserved?”
DeLaid: But what if it isn’t?
Wotan: Then you tell them their time is up.
(enter FIZZY, Wotan and Windmill’s teenage daughter)
Fizzy: Daddy, can I operate the unmarked vehicle tonight?
Wotan: For what articulable reason? When I was your age, I went everywhere afoot. Shoes weren’t invented yet. Did I ever tell you how we used to wrap our feet in the Law Journal and trudge miles through the blizzard –
Fizzy: Primitivo and I want to act in concert.
Wotan: That’s what you said last time and then I found you two inextricably intertwined in the back seat.
Fizzy: The statement wasn’t offered for its truth. Besides, the probative value far outweighed the prejudice.
Wotan: Don’t get inadmissible with me, young lady. And take off that black lipstick, it’s an unreasonable application of makeup.
Fizzy: I can’t go out looking facially insufficient! I’ll die, I’ll just die!
Wotan: That’s enough, you’ve made your record. You can take it up with your mother.
(Windmill and DeNied return)
Windmill: What’s transpiring?
Fizzy: Mommy, ALL the kids are wearing black lipstick! It’s clearly established! It’s generally accepted by the relevant community!
Windmill: Really, Wotan darling, it doesn’t look so bad as applied to her.
In our jurisdiction we apply a more flexible standard. Our offspring are free to embellish themselves ad libitum so long as they refrain from exiting the premises.
DeNied: Yes, we don’t believe in being result-oriented.
Wotan: Harrumph! I see this is capable of repetition yet evading review. All right, so ordered.
Fizzy: (hugging him) Oh Daddy, what a sensitive and nuanced decision! You’re the Supreme! (exit.
Windmill: (to Wotan) Remarkably, we had two substantive bowls of torts and estoppels in the fridge last night and now they’re gone.
Wotan: (guiltily) We must admonish Fizzy to cease and desist her interlocutory snacking. Undermines the finality of meals.
Windmill: I could warm up some subpoenas.
DeNied: Please don’t bother, DeLaid and I are trying to watch our weight and sufficiency.
Wotan: An alternative mode of proceedings would be to betake ourselves over to Cardozo’s Bar and Grill for some hot ipse dixits.