Who’s Afraid of the Appellate Division?

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 the interests 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:        My 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.

DeLaid:(smugly)   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.

(all concur).


4 Responses to Who’s Afraid of the Appellate Division?

  1. Claudia Conway says:

    That was hilarious!


  2. Kathy Hardy says:



  3. James Doyle says:

    You’ve got a whole Supreme Court shaped up here if you add
    Delimit, Delectable, Delerious, Delightful and DeLovely, JJ.

    Very nice piece of SJ Perelman zaniness with the special sinister tang that the judiciary provides!

    Keep ’em coming.


  4. Mark M. says:

    The Law. Outstanding.


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