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President's Message
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     It’s official!! The 2014 Fall Montgomery County Bar Association Bar Bash was a huge hit.  Over 200 guests attended the event at Bar Louie for free food and beverage provided by the courtesy of our sponsors, Plant Depos and Lightspeed.  Indecent Exposure, a band consisting of lawyers and judges was well received.  Special thanks go out to David Bach, Bass; Jim Gleason, drums; Richard Rosenblatt, lead guitar; The Honorable John Moffett, rhythm guitar and Dan Gaskill, our favorite Mick Jagger impersonator.  By popular demand, our next Bar Bash is in the planning.  
Thank you to all that have made this such a success!


Life is Full of Surprises....
Some humorous; some bizarre.

     For attorneys, who on a daily basis deal with clients or appear in court, life is indeed full of surprises.  For those of you old enough to remember, Art Linkletter had a weekly television program called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”  The Bar Association of Montgomery County’s version of this would be “Defendants and Counsel Say and Do the Darndest Things.”  Many of the attendees present at our annual meeting have expressed their delight with the presentation prepared by Judges John Debelius and Eric Johnson, which consisted of some of the legendary Montgomery County court room stories. 
     Anyone fortunate enough to try a case before the Honorable William Miller clearly would have stories and vignettes which should be included in our Bar’s history.  In the interest of collecting and preserving these stories, retired Judge Michael Algeo, michael.algeo@montgomerycountymd.gov, and Assistant State’s Attorney, Ray Pilkerton, ray.pilkerton@montgomerycountymd.gov have agreed to serve as archivists for the Bar Association.
Some of our trial judges have provided the following: 
     Judge Nelson Rupp, in his 21 years as a judge has been a witness to a number of humorous events and proceedings in court.  He recalls one event that occurred while a jury was deliberating in a civil case.  
     As we all know, at the close of any case the judge gives the jury the instructions as to the law which is applicable to the case.  It is my custom and practice to also provide written copies of each of these instructions for each juror to take into the jury room to review while they are deliberating.  After this jury had been deliberating for some time, they sent out a note saying that they were having difficulty making a decision.  After consulting with counsel, I sent a note back to the jury advising them to continue to deliberate.  Shortly thereafter, the jury sent a note back.  It was written on the jury instruction which specifically told them that, in order to reach a verdict, each of them must agree upon and that their verdict must be unanimous.  Their note read:  Is 5 – 1 good enough?
     Judge Rupp notes: You can’t make this stuff up.
     Judge Algeo has more than just a passing interest in unusual stories.  Several years back, he tried a case with Ray Pilkerton, Assistant State’s Attorney.  Ray was prosecuting a man accused of shooting an acquaintance twice in the chest during a cookout.  At the conclusion of the evidence, the matter was submitted to the jury.  Twice during breaks in jury deliberations, a juror argued out loud with Judge Algeo, telling him that he could not hold him any longer.  The man was separated from the other jurors who continued to deliberate.  Judge Algeo ordered him to return to the jury room and he refused, indicating he couldn’t be forced to deliberate.  When the man walked back into the court room and began to go through his personal affects, the Judge ordered the Sheriff to take him into custody.  A mistrial was declared and just moments later, there was a knock on the door and the remaining jurors indicated they had reached a unanimous verdict as to all charges.  Judge Algeo recalls the difficulty in having to explain to the jury that the missing juror was in custody and all of their efforts had been in vain.  
     Judge Patty Mitchell recalls, “It is not always what you think.”  Some years ago, she had sentenced a Defendant and it appeared as if he wanted to say something to her.  She advised him that it would probably be in his best interest to speak through counsel but he insisted that he wanted to speak.  She suggested that he speak with his attorney present at the table before addressing the court, to be certain that it was appropriate.  After a few moments of whispering, the attorney nodded and the Defendant said, “you know, your dad sentenced me too..... and I just wanted to tell you..... he was a great guy.”
     Approximately 20 some years ago, I defended a tension filled civil case arising from the wrongful death of a young man who was killed in a one punch bar fight.  After we finished direct examination, Al Brault  gave one of his text book cross  examinations. He cross examined the stunningly beautiful waitress at the bar, in an attempt to establish that the Defendant was extremely intoxicated when he struck the decedent.  This examination did not go quite as he intended. 
     Examination by Attorney for the plaintiff:
     “Now Mr. Snyder asked you on direct examination if you had served a drink to his client and I believe you testified that you brought him a drink known as a Multiple Orgasm?”
     “Yes Sir”
     “Now that’s a very strong drink, isn’t it young lady?”
     “Sir, I wouldn’t know.“
     “Now, you’ve been a bar maid for how many years?”
     “Sir, for approximately 3 years.”
     “And you don’t know how strong that drink is?” 
     “Well Mr. Brault, I’ve never had a Multiple Orgasm....the drink that is.”
     At this point Al, who had been bouncing on his toes in his excitement to elicit a.... winning response that the defendant was extremely intoxicated went flat footed.  His mouth was open and he looked up at trial Judge, Irma Raker, whose head was down on the bench, face first into in a law book laughing hysterically, as were the attorneys for the defendant and the entire jury.  Al simply looked over to counsel table, smiled, and then had to chuckle knowing that he had been had. 
     As you can tell, these types of stories certainly need to be recorded and reserved.  Your assistance in providing information to be documented in our archives would be greatly appreciated, by all.  
     Some things are best not forgotten!

Mal Snyder