Oral argument, that is. Get your minds out of the gutter!
One of the things about my job is that the judges sit for oral arguments five times a year, and occasionally for special sessions outside then. Today was one of those "special" days, and I, as part of my well-packed training schedule, got to sit in on oral arguments in several interesting cases. In oral arguments there are 3 judges who preside over two timed 15 minutes sessions in which each side gets to argue their case, or in reality, defend it as the judges pummel them with well thought out, probing questions. Some of it was difficult to follow as I didn't know the case at all, but mostly I could follow the arguments. On the judges' side it seemed to be somewhat informal--they interrupted where they wanted to, asked whatever they wanted to, cracked jokes where they wanted to. The lawyers, on the other hand, were obsequious (wouldn't you be if you were standing in front of not one but three judges who were frowning down at you over their reading glasses?) to a point, but struggled to disagree with the judges when then boiled down any issue to a simple sentence. Ah, lawyers. They like to split the hairs.
Other than that I'm meeting people and beginning to remember names (at least the names of the people who are on my side of the clerk's office--it is one long narrowish room with a great wall of windows on one side).
I thankfully have someone to eat lunch with every day (Mr. Bump), but even if I didn't, working downtown provides a myriad of distractions one can take during the lunch hour. The other day I went for a tour of another piece of the court not housed in the courthouse and discovered the building next door has a wonderful atrium space that has tables for lunching (in the air-conditioned indoors). We've spent the last two lunches out of the horrible heat in that building.
The pressure on my brain is beginning to ease with regard to all the information coming in, but I know it will ramp up next week. But for now I'm focused on picking out a jean-related item of clothing to wear on my casual Friday and looking forward to dinner tomorrow night with my old co-workers.
Happy weekend everyone!