When I write about a television court show, I react to episodes that involve tax in some way or at least have some sort of tax angle. This time the America’s Court episode did not involve tax. Nor did it involve the First Amendment, legal education, music, model trains, chocolate chip cookies, genealogy. Perhaps, of all the things I profess to write about, at least occasionally, it involves, in some remote way, religion and theology. As in, perhaps, don’t do this.

The plaintiff, Samantha, began with the following story. She had been dating the defendant, Paul. She let Paul use her car while she was out of town. She returned to discover that Paul had been in an accident with the car, and that the car had been damaged. Her insurance paid for the repairs except for a $1,000 deductible that the plaintiff had to pay. Samantha and Paul agreed that Paul would pay half of the deductible, $500, to the plaintiff. Paul had not yet paid $500 to the plaintiff. The plaintiff then learned additional information that caused her to decide to sue Paul for the entire deductible.

The defendant began his story with an attempt to butter up the judge by saying, “Just as I am all about hustle and grind I appreciate the hustle and grind you bring to your courtroom.”

It gets better.

The judge asked Samantha, the plaintiff, “You agreed to $500, so why are you now suing for $1,000?”

Samantha replied, “I would like to introduce my witness, Miss Bennett, a friend.” The judge swore in Miss Bennett, and asked, “What’s your role in this case?”

Miss Elliott explained, “Samantha and I met several years ago on a shoot. We became friends. We are busy so we don’t see each other often. When we got together, she told me she had been dating a guy named Paul who had four kids, but things went bad when he borrowed her car and had an accident. So I said to Samantha, ‘Wait, I was on a date with a guy named Paul who has four kids and when I was with him on a date we were in an accident.’ Samantha took out her phone, and showed me a photo of Paul, and it was the same guy!”

The judge asked, “The defendant here, Paul?”

Miss Elliott replied, “Yes.”

The judge turned to the defendant Paul and asked, “You have four children?”

Paul replied, “Yes.”

The judge asked, “You see to it they are cared for, have what they need?”

Paul again replied, “Yes.”

The judge then asked Paul, “All with one woman?”

Paul replied, “No, four different women.”

The judge turned to Paul and remarked, “Mr. [can’t remember Paul’s last name], perhaps it is time to cool down your hustle and grind!”

The judge continued by asking Paul, “So what defense do you have, if any, to the plaintiff’s claim to the full deductible?”

Paul replied, “When the accident happened, I was running errands for the plaintiff.”

The judge asked, “Is Miss Elliott an errand?” Laughter erupted among the spectators the courtroom.

The judge concluded by saying, “I’ve heard enough. Judgment of $1,000 for the plaintiff.”

Perhaps stories like this are far more common than I am imagining. Yes, I’ve heard and read stories about two women discovering they are dating the same guy, or two guys discovering they are dating the same woman, but never in the context of one woman suing the guy and then having the other woman be the witness in litigation whose testimony makes the plaintiff’s case.

And the idea that the defendant considered dating the plaintiff’s friend to be running an errand for the plaintiff is just totally preposterous. And hilarious. I suppose if the defendant had taken on a date someone who was a stranger to the plaintiff, whose presence in the vehicle was demonstrated by a photo or a police report, and who was not in the courtroom, he would have come up with some excuse along the lines of just giving a friend a ride. Sure.

By admin