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VOL. 126 | NO. 38 | Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vic Fleming

Quintessential Pro Se Brie

Vic Fleming

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Let’s start by quoting some reader mail:

“I enjoyed ‘That blankety-blank law.’ …I’d like to include it on ... my Web page.” G. Green, Little Rock.

“I enjoyed as much as reading your article, doing your puzzle. Will this be a regular thing?” K. Hudson, Collierville.

“It was with much pleasure that I read your column ‘Whatever happened to Horace’….” R. Curlin, Memphis.

“I enjoyed your recent article, ‘Use puns, name change, win books,’ …” D. Yale, Bayside, N.Y.

To readers of The Daily News, The Memphis News and Nashville Ledger, “I Swear,” the column, and the “I Swear Crossword” are now regular features.

“I Swear” debuted in Little Rock’s “Daily Record” in 1993. After a two-year vacation around the turn of the century, it made a comeback, despite popular demand.

Its lifeblood has always been real world humor. Especially that which derives from court proceedings.

People who come to court without lawyers are said to be pro se.

Pro se is a Latin term, which, according to a judge I once thought wiser than me, is Latin for something having to do with the brightness of light bulbs.

With the help of others, I’ve taken snippets from courtroom dialogue and pleadings and briefs submitted by pro se defendants and woven them into one document, the quintessential almost-legal brief:

“Someone filed an affidata charging me with leaving the scenery of the accident that I had last year backing down a two-way street going south.

“I also got charged with carless driving, no insurance, and failure to occur.

“The truth is I was bed-risen and under the care of a position on my first court date.

“For a week I was comatoast and unable to go to the bathroom at work because of a bowl obstruction.

“She was taking her husband, who is dimensional, to the hospital, but before becoming that way he taught her intensive driving, and she was trying to void bad drivers.

“She should be charged with wreckless driving.

“I was also charged with having fake-titious tags and non registeration in my glove department.

“The lady said my driver’s license were expended for a re-admission fee which I know I paid twicet.

“Due to the legaltaties of a straining order that came about when I was charged with lottery near my ex-wife’s home, and she accused me of chalking her, she cannot be a witless in court with me.

“That whole thing should have been squashed, and my ex charged with public detox, but the judge recruised hisself at the arrangement.

“I was charged also with violating the speeding statue, which was not my fault cause I had a broken speed thermometer that got busted when someone hit-and-runned my car when it was parked in the center of Main and Broadway.”

Now that you have read this silently, please read it aloud to some loved ones, pausing frequently for effect.

They could use the laughs, I am sure.

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at vicfleming@att.net.

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