I went to court this morning with the senior partner of the law firm. When I use the word "court," I'm using the term to mean that we appeared in a contested matter before a judge.
However, we did not venture into a courthouse.
That's because the courthouse where we were to convene is being renovated. Instead, we met in "the old school house building" (which I had envisioned a 19th century brick or stone structure with stately columns and live oaks out front - WRONG). The old school house is more along the lines of a dilapidated school built in the early 1970s - cinder block walls, boxy structure, rusting metal on the outside. Ironically enough, that area's local Head Start program is housed in part of that building. (I can see it now: "We'll call the program Head Start, but we'll put these post-toddler children in the most rundown facilities we can find across the state." Nice.) I digress, as I so often do.
As we pass through the metal detectors, the deputy checking the bags at the door tells us that the courtroom is the first door on the left. Courtroom? A hilarious overstatement! It was a small classroom outfitted with two tables in one row and a podium in between, a single table in a second row (the bench, if you will, for the presiding judge), and a small desk off to the side for the court reporter. We were not thrilled with the digs when we arrived, but the judge looked absolutely appalled. Not exactly the majesty of a wood-paneled, leather-seat-endowed, wireless network ready, bench-on-a-platform room we are used to when conducting court. The deputy, noticing all of our reactions, interjected, "Well, at least we're inside."
Given the way our hearing went, I wish we had been outside - even with the rain.
Our Last First Day of School
7 months ago