Wednesday, February 04, 2009

And So ... I Unpacked My Adjectives: Recent Court Case Where I served as a legal advisor & expert witness

Last weekend I helped my best friend's son fight a small claims court case in Charleston, South Carolina stemming from the breakup of his son's band and the unfair treatment he received following.

This is a great cautionary article that I will frame with a parody of my favorite SchoolHouse Rock song, "Adjectives". (YouTube video below)

Full lyrics (with credits):

Music & Lyrics: George R. Newall
Sung by: Blossom Dearie
Animation: Phil Kimmelman & Associates

Got home from camping last spring.
Saw people, places and things.
We barely had arrived,
Friends asked us to describe
The people, places and every last thing.
So we unpacked our adjectives.

I unpacked "frustrating" first.
Reached in and found the word "worst".
Then I picked "soggy" and
Next I picked "foggy" and
Then I was ready to tell them my tale.
'Cause I'd unpacked my adjectives.

Adjectives are words you use to really describe things,
Handy words to carry around.
Days are sunny or they're rainy
Boys are dumb or else they're brainy
Adjectives can show you which way.

Adjectives are often used to help us compare things,
To say how thin, how fat, how short, how tall.
Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And the other's the smallest of all.

We hiked along without care.
Then we ran into a bear.
He was a hairy bear,
He was a scary bear,
We beat a hasty retreat from his lair.
And described him with adjectives.

}} {Whoah! Boy, that was one big, ugly bear!}

{You can even make adjectives out of the other parts of speech, like
verbs or nouns. All you have to do is tack on an ending, like "ic"
or "ish" or "ary". For example, this boy can grow up to be a huge
man, but still have a boyish face. "Boy" is a noun, but the ending
"ish" makes it an adjective. "Boyish": that describes the huge
man's face. Get it?}

Next time you go on a trip,
Remember this little tip:
The minute you get back,
They'll ask you this and that,
You can describe people, places and things...
Simply unpack your adjectives.
You can do it with adjectives.
Tell them 'bout it with adjectives.
You can shout it with adjectives.

My Version

Served in a court case just before spring
Saw judges, evidence , and things
I barely had replied,
When the judge asked me to describe
The whole messy detailed thing.
So I unpacked my adjectives.

I unpacked, "unfair" first
Reached into a folder and found "worse"
Then I picked, "unethical" and
Next I picked "pathetical" [sic]
Then I knew I was ready to tell the judge details.
'Cause I'd unpacked my adjectives.

Legal jargon is what the attorneys tried to use
But all they did was abuse
They sounded "stupid", I seemed "brainy"
Lawyers like this drive me crazy
But 'calmness' and 'cordiality' will go a a long way.

Jargon was used to confuse everything
The judge just looked at the lawyer like a "ding-a-ling"
This lawyer started to compare
The lives of everyone everywhere
To nothing more than just "hobbies" "frolics" and "childish things"

So, I unpacked some more adjectives.
I described MySpace as "revenue"
I said iTunes was too
I even threw in a video on "YouTube"

Next time you serve in a court case
Just put a smile on your face.
The minute that it's done.
You'll know that you have won
Because the lawyers faces will be "red" and "blue"
Cause you knew exactly what to do.
You had expert witnesses.
You treated it like businesses.
And, you used the right adjectives!
Yeah, you used the right adjectives!

After my case with Bidzirk - winning it Pro Se in federal court - I felt this was going to be another Pro Se shoe in for my friend's son. I'm proud to report 2 wins in court. They had a high powered, high dollar, well respected attorney - my friend's son had just me.

I'll complete this story over the next few days. I'll discuss the importance of contracts and documentation and potential revenue streams that band members could possibly be hiding from their fellow members. I think it will also serve as a good primer for anyone being Pro Se in a court case.

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