Picking a jury when the judge looks like the walking dead


From the TV series Walking Dead

In a day and a half (this Monday) I will pick a jury in a civil case. As you may remember, my jury orientation is close and personal.

I am absolutely committed to spending an hour with the jury in the courtroom before trial begins so they can become comfortable with me and the process. I tell them exactly what will happen from the beginning of the trial to the end of the trial and their deliberations. I tell them why things are done the way they are.

We walk together around the courtroom. We go up on the bench, sit in the jury box and the counsel tables, sit in the witness-box, tour the jury deliberation room, reveal all the electronic stuff, and so forth. All the time, I am walking with the prospective jurors.

OK, now examine how I look:

IMG_0583 (1)

I have decided to be completely frank with the jury.  I will tell them the whole story about how I got to my present unpleasant looks. I will assure them that I can’t communicate shingles to them.

The virus cannot go air bound. The only way it can be transmitted is by intimate physical contact. Even then, I will stress that those who have had chicken pox or the vaccination (virtually everyone) would be immune anyway.

I don’t embarrass easily. I have paraded around in front of a jury not knowing my fly was open and just laughed it off when I later found out. But this “walking dead” visage?


* I confess something else to you. Joan and I watch The Walking Dead. What’s worse, we like it.

25 responses

  1. You need a funny cover story. The truth is boring. When I think of something funny, I will post it. In the interim, maybe the crowd here will think of something good.

  2. As perhaps the only bit of levity which could possibly be added to your post is this question:

    “Which of the two photos posted here is of you in your current condition?”

    Sorry to have had to ask, but simply could not resist.

    Please forgive/pardon me if — for nothing else — than my bad judgment of what is funny to anyone other than me.


  3. Jim,

    I thought it was really funny too. And truth to tell when I went to the image bank to look for images I thought the one I found and posted was pretty damn similar.

    The really funny thing is I no longer have front teeth. I have fake ones that go in and out. I suppose I could leave those out during the orientation to enhance the look.

    What you do you think? Never mind. What was I thinking asking you for walking dead appearance tips. I am fucking tired of being your straight man.

    All the best.


  4. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

  5. Ya know, you should have posted a warning or disclaimer or something! (Thankful here that I had finished lunch.) If this blog ends up being seem at some of those college campuses and law schools with the wussy, whiner students who don’t want to be made “uncomfortable”, you might get into trouble – of course, that is the last thing you worry about. 🙂

  6. You can tell them it’s shingles, or you can tell them you went to the movies with your girlfriend the other night and just got carried away sucking face. That’s been known to happen to the occasional teenager. It’s a better story, and you’ll catch a laugh or two.

  7. Fantastic idea. And the best part of it is that it makes sounds so virile–or maybe viral.

    All the best.


  8. Shingles ain’t pretty, that’s for sure. You’ve got a particularly ugly case. My sympathies, and hope they go away soon. There’s goipnna be some wincing going on in court.

  9. A medical note: You’re not contagious after the vesicles crust over. Until then just stay away from pregnant women who haven’t had chickenpox or been vaccinated and anyone immunocompromised, e.g. HIV, steroids. Oh, and wear a hood.

  10. I am 57 years old, and I get my medical care through the VA. Currently the VA will not give the shingles vaccine until age 60. I am hoping, praying, and crossing my fingers that I do not end up with shingles before I can get the vaccine. I hope that yours heal rapidly.

  11. Exactly why I can hardly wait until I turn 60, so that I can get the shingles vaccine from the VA. I had chickenpox when I was 5 1/2 years old and in kindergarten.

  12. Here and There

    ~~~We alternate between here
    and there. You see,
    there is a line, crooked and cracked,
    an emaciated demarcation,
    a highlight in air, breathlessly coughing
    and smelling of phlegm.

    It would be very painful
    to cross it, this line.

    Unable to be broken,
    we wax in and out.
    How to describe such a thing?
    Mind-numbing and distracting,
    distasteful, unpleasant, depressing and miserable.
    Regret, helplessness, extreme
    sadness. Sick,
    like you’re sick.

    What pulls us along is an anti-happiness,
    it drags us past the line,
    it is an anger and an envy, a struggle for
    God knows how long.
    It nests in suicidal thoughts,
    family problems, rolled-up eyes, severe
    shock, pain.

    Pain, it’s like,
    it’s a…

    A scar, a feeling I couldn’t recognize,
    a breaking of the arm, a finger cut off,
    a scrape of the knee,
    a ball to the head, hurt jaw, appendicitis, unbearable
    distress, tears, a scream, almost
    dying. Well,
    I don’t like pain.

    You can’t think, can’t do anything. Panic,
    confusion. There is a leaving behind,
    a change of identity—

    you lend a hand
    because you have to. You are supposed to do that.
    To help. The pity, the obligatory sad eyes.
    I wanted to stay away, I was really
    annoyed at the hack of her cough,
    her eyes, feverish.
    I actually wanted to avoid her, avoid
    crossing the line.

    The millionth tripping from one side
    to another sounds like fish scales,
    feels like rain, the starting
    and stopping, the forgetting and remembering
    of hoarse throat, runny nose,
    seasonal allergies, itchy and flushed.

    Forget about it,
    concentrate on something else, calm down,
    try to ignore it for
    telling people won’t change anything,
    screaming and shouting won’t do anything,
    It’s like no one understands, I deal with it
    myself, I can kinda block it out.
    Everyone does things to alleviate it.
    I’ll pray, but the only thing
    that really makes it go away is time.

    Halos of stars plaster the sky
    and the constellations only appear
    when a story is made for them. Let us figure then
    a way to line everything up against this thin mark
    between two vast caverns. The body flung
    from here to there
    is yours and mine. As it will always be
    your body, our pain.
    Our pain, my body.~~~

    Stephanie Wang Zuo class of 2017. Go figure!

    Discourage the ‘fools’ from studying law. Medicine might not be correlated but stop excusing your fears.

    Give the tour!

    It’s never been yours to interrupt.

  13. John,

    You are a rare spirit who sees through the cloud of words. That is a gift. Thanks for sharing your visions with the likes of me.

    All the best.


  14. Stephanie,

    The wincing is a part of legal realism writ large. Judges get old, frail and not pretty. Thanks for writing.

    All the best.


  15. Doctor Bill,

    I know. The hood, however, makes me look like a monk. In my case, that would be a fraud. So, hoodless I shall be.

    Hope you are well and writing up a storm. Best.


  16. Jan,

    My understanding is that the medical community is now recommending the shot at age 50 and above, and that is particularly true if you have other ailments. Talk to your doctor and, if necessary, see what it would cost you out of pocket to get one.

    All the best.


  17. SDoar,

    That’s my understanding too. That said, I a still a little mad at my body for being such a good host.

    All the best.


  18. Thanks for playing along. The new “pain” is-a-coming.

    Time will tell.

    Pass on the regrets and bunk the fire with your back.

    Looks like you got most of your teeth still. That’s pretty cool!

    Use ‘um!

    P.S. Your literal and across town neighbors have parties now and again. You should start attending more and throwing a few inbetween your ‘senior’ duty distractions and and pondering who wants your soul when you decide to sell your pickup.

    Not everyone reads you know…

    And for those today that do read patience is nearly universal.

    Go get a few new suits cut judge and smile, exercise is good.

  19. Pingback: Judge Kopf admits he looks zombie – and the rest of the Federal Judiciary? | zombielaw

%d bloggers like this: