As I was driving through the town of Markdale the other day, I remembered an experience that made me smile:
Back when they used to convene “satellite” criminal courts at the Markdale Golf and Country Club once a month or so, I had a matter scheduled on a given day. Seems an old client of mine, in murky circumstances, had gotten a bit carried away and fired a pistol into the ceiling of the local watering hole.
I had a matter in another court scheduled that day, so I phoned the clerk of the court to let her know I’d be about an hour late getting to Markdale. She assured me it was a long list and that there’d be no reason to rush.
When I got to Markdale, about an hour after the start of court, I found the parking lot strangely empty. When I walked into the building, so was the lounge that doubled as the “courtroom”. I found my client sitting alone downstairs in the coffee room. When I asked him where everyone was, he said, “Outside, waiting for you”.
That remark sent a chill down my spine, Normally, keeping “everyone” (including a sitting judge) waiting is grounds for a serious talking to. I went outside to take my lumps.
I found the court crew all enjoying themselves on the practice putting green, all apparently in fine spirits. Judge Laing sunk the putt he was lining up, suggested we finish up court business and went back in to the building, not bothering to don his robes.
My client’s matter took about 5 minutes of court time and he went off bewildered but happy (on probation). Judge Laing apparently wasn’t finished engaging his passion for golf and challenged me to a putting contest. At 10 cents a hole, I took him for $0.80, which he paid promptly.