Day 1′s events can be read here.
Day 2’s events can be read here.
Today is day 3 of the trial and, I am sad to report, I was not there for most of it.
Before day 2 came to a close, the jury had been excused so that the judge and the lawyers (and Mr. Smith) could discuss some technical details. Much of it was very technical legalese and I must admit, I had a difficult time following it.
What it did drive home for me was just how physically strenuous being a trial lawyer is!
The first day of the trial had been long and exhausting, but, before they left, the judge gave the lawyers homework: they were to write a short 1-2 page summary not of the facts, but from what positions they would be arguing the case.
Now, at the close of the second day, the judge gave out more homework!
And this time, it was not just a short summary: the judge wanted each of the sides to look up precedent law on the technical bit they had been discussing and present him with it before the trial resumed today!
That is a lot of work, paying close attention to all the details of the trial and then having to spend the evening doing more detailed research – as well as work what had gone on in the courtroom into the next-day’s plans…you would have to be not just intelligent, but also have a lot of physical stamina in order to withstand this kind of a highly stressful workload.
But, again, I digress…
So, this morning had been more discussions between the judge and the lawyers and no presentation of evidence to the jury. And, again, my lack of legal training is a sharp limiting factor on my ability to have followed the crux of it, but…this is the best I could glean.
The jury will be asked to rule if specific – certain, very specific – posts on the Free Dominion discussion forum (they keep referring to it as a message board) – if these constitute libel against Mr. Warman.
The problem is that these specific comments are in different conversation threads in different bits of the site, there are cross-references and soon, the mesh becomes very difficult to navigate. Time-lines complicate things even more… Yet, for the jury to render their decisions, things have to be as easy to follow as possible. So, to the best of my understanding, they were discussing how best to achieve this, how best to organize the material for presentation to the jury.
The court adjourned while the counsel counseled their respective clients on the suggested organizational methodologies.
After all this had been agreed to by all the parties – an amicable process, at least when one watched it from afar, the court re-convened. And – the judge made an exciting announcement: we had another question from the jury!
Once they begin deliberating, will they have access to their original binders, with their notes in it?
This warrants a little explanation.
The jurors are permitted to take notes during the testimony, but are not allowed to take them out of the courtroom, for security. Many of them have, indeed, been taking notes – either on note-pads or right inside the evidence binders, as they were following the testimony regarding the various posts and how they affected Mr. Warman and his reputation. To the best of my understanding, the jurors were asking if they would have access to these same binders – with their notes in them – while they deliberate, which will, of course, not be inside the courtroom.
Justice Smith smiled and said the answer was yes. Then, he asked the counsel if they think it would OK for them (judge and lawyers and Mr. Smith) to call the jurors in, give them the answer, but then excuse them until 2pm so that they (the judge, the lawyers and Mr. Smith) could finish going over the details of what and how organized and labeled and highlighted the ‘posts in question’ will be presented to the jury.
All agreed, the jury came in, got their answer, was dismissed till 2 and left.
And, even though my own load in just observing the process is much lighter than that of any other person there, I must admit, I was exhausted. I am not very healthy and not being able to lie down for this long at a stretch, several days in a row, had taken its toll on me…I was tired, so very, very tired…
Plus my pen ran out of ink…
My backup pen was in the second bag from yesterday, which I had left in the car…
My backup backup pen was in the backup notebook, which I just could not find…
so, ladies and gentlemen, I apologize but, I, too left…
I hope to gather information on what happened after 2 pm from any observers who might have been there, but, up till now, I have not received any.
What I did do, however, was to try to get a perspective on how Mr. Warman behaved on the stand from a non-Aspie observer. I am, after all, rather blind to social cues and body language, so I know my perceptions of how Mr. Warman performed on the stand are necessarily poor.
What I heard did not warm my heart.
It seems that Mr. Warman’s positioning himself as a victim was skilfully executed and that casually slipping in the ‘damaging’ (to him) information into what he said likely went quite unnoticed by the jury.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
UPDATE: (at 22:22) I have found my backup notebook with my backup backup pen!