We join our sweet, pretty young Nola inside the 11th circuit district courthouse, in Miami Dade Florida.
Bailiff: The honorable Judge Sauls now presides. Please stand.
Nola: (to client) It’s fine if you just stay put. And actually, if you could just move as little as possible, this wool suit is a mess if it gets wet.
Judge Sauls: Aww, Nola Shumway, such a pleasure seeing you again. Haven’t seen you since-
Nola: -Two thousand. Recount. Chads.
Judge: Is Al-
Nola: -Still bitter?
Judge: (chuckling) Come on, he can’t still be upset.
Nola: Upset, no, not upset. He’s totally over it.
Judge: Great. Let’s get started. Before we begin lets settle the costs incurred to be here. Nola, have you any expenses you wish to recoup by means of lawsuit this morning.
Nola: Yes, your honor, on the way in this morning I bought a Trip-Vent-Skinny-3pump-Mo. And I would like to sue the Starbucks on Flagler and SW Miami.
Judge: On what grounds?
Nola: Coarse, your honor. I believe the coffee was ground in a coarse manner causing the pleasure of drinking it to go down a substantial amount. Substantial enough to represent a monetary amount of $4.80.
Judge: Awarded. Anything else?
Nola: Yes, $25.00 for parking.
Judge: Does the prosecutor have anything?
Nola: (to herself) I smell a Twart. (Looks at her phone) Aha moment!!
Prosecutor Rundle: Um, (looking up from phone) No, I’m good.
Nola: She was Twatting! (Holds up phone)
Nola: You should hold her in content of court!
Prosecutor Rundle: That’s contempt, you little girl.
Nola: No, content. I’ve read your Twats. Someone should sue you. In fact, Judge, may I approach the wench?
Judge: You may not, we’re moving on with the real matter at hand: The State and Sea World VS Till-ee-kills-um.
(Snickering from Prosecution side)
Nola: Objection! We know the name is Tilikum. That is an obvious attempt to sway the voters.
Judge: Nola. In this courthouse, you will refer to them as jurors.
Nola glances over at jurors…
Judge Sauls: We’ll begin with opening arguments. We start with the Prosecution.
Prosecutor Rundle: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury…
Let us cut to CNN….
Wolf: Hello everybody, on this afternoon of firsts. For the first time ever an animal will stand trial for murder. Thankfully the judge has allowed cameras into the courtroom so we’ll be able to follow every detail as it is presented. Also, for the very first time ever, you at home will have a say in the outcome of the trial! To explain how it works I’ll turn you over to my lovely co host, Nancy Grace. Nancy?
Nancy: Wolf, wolf, wolf. Hahaha. Okay, listen this is how it’s gonna work. Who knows the judicial system better than your ordinary, plain citizens at home? Who? No one! That’s who! So, at the bottom of the screen we’ll be interrupting our previous interruptions with a number to text your vote to. What are ya’ll voting on? All sorts of stuff. For instance right now, (looking at a CNN screen) the question at the bottom says “are you over the prosecutor’s opening statement’? If yes text 01 to 88991. If no text 02 to 88991.
Let us cut back to the Courthouse….
Prosecutor Rundle: And, I also would like to point out the facts-
Producer: (waving his arms behind a camera at prosecutor) you’re done! You’re done! Stop talking! Stop talking!
Prosecutor Rundle: Your honor, I rest my opening argument.
Judge Sauls: Let us now hear from the defense.
Nola: Yes. (Gets out her ‘In Memory of Harvey Milk crate and stands on it) Injustice! Injustice! (Throws herself on the ground, kicking and screaming) I want to win! This isn’t fair! I want my bottle! (Bailiff hands Nola a baby bottle) No, you idiot, my Vodka bottle! (Screaming and crying)
Judge Sauls: Nola!
Nola: (looks up) yes?
Judge Sauls: Is this your opening statement?
Nola: It’s how I became state debate champion in Illinois.
Judge Sauls: Get up.
Nola: Fine. Defense rests. Literally. I’m tuckered. I’ll be snoozing with Tili. Wake me when you need us. Or chowtime. (Runs and jumps up on Judges bench, pulls a knife from her boot, holds it to his throat) BUT… NOT… BEFORE. (Climbs down, sits back in her seat, puts her head down and starts to snore)
Prosecutor Rundle: Your honor, for our first witness, the state calls head of Cnn breaking news programming.
Man comes over with stack of books and begins the swearing in process:
45 minutes later……
Prosecutor Rundle: Please state your name for the court.
Cnn guy: My name is Cnn, Guy. Guy Cnn.
Prosecutor Rundle: Guy, I’m going to play back a video for you and I want you to tell me what you see.
Cnn guy: It’s a whale. Sitting in a pool.
Nola: (shouts) Objection. Your honor a whale cannot ‘sit’ in a pool.
Judge Sauls: Overruled.
Nola: Come on…
Judge Sauls: Nola, the whale is clearly sitting, in a chair, next to you.
Nola looks over at Tilikum. Reaches into her bucket o fish, throws one into his mouth and sits down.
Nola: You’re right. Proceed. (Goes back to her nap)
Judge Sauls: Nola! I say proceed! (pause) Proceed.
Prosecutor Rundle: And on the day in question what did you see?
Cnn guy: Um, well nothing. I mean, we knew that the whale killed the trainer.
Prosecutor Rundle: Yes because you saw this tape. I’m going to play it again. Anything else you noticed?
Cnn guy: No, I mean, we just knew that the Killer whale-
Nola: (jumps up out of her slumber) Objection! Alleged Killer Whale. Ah-ledge-jid! Witness is swaying the voters.
Judge Sauls: Sustained. You will refer the defendant as the alleged Killer whale.
Prosecutor Rundle: If I could, play this tape a few hundred times. I think then we’ll get the idea. (two hours of replaying tape sitting in the pool) Yes, you see the whale is sitting in the pool. And this is after the attack (pause) alleged attack. And we start to see the picture. It gets clearer as you keep watching. This alleged Killer whale savagely and mercilessly killed this beautiful young trainer who was full of life. Isn’t that what this video, which you so bravely and dutifully showed to the public for hours on end, shows?
Cnn guy: Um, no, well like I was saying, we knew that the whale had (glances at Nola who makes a throat slicing motion toward him) um, allegedly killed the trainer. The video we put on loop because we didn’t really have anything else to do.
Prosecutor Rundle: (to tea party jurors) Be-cause they did-n’t have any-thing else… to…. Do. The despair, of this network. The trauma. (Prosecutor’s aide/make up artist tugs on her pant leg)
Prosecutor’s aide: Um, we’re trying the whale for murder, you’re off track. And shiny. Blot.
Prosecutor Rundle: Oh, yeah. Um, so the whale did it. Prosecution rests.
Let us now Cut back to Cnn for more late breaking news
Wolf: Wow, well, the prosecution makes a strong case. I guess it’s up to the defense to save the whale. Nancy, I understand you have some polling numbers.
Nancy Grace: Wolf, wolf, wolf. Let me just say this nation is full of armchair lawyers. 53%, a huge majority of our viewers think the whale made a huge mistake in taking Nola Shumway as counsel. We’ll see what this little eight year old has up her sleeve, but I gotta tell you Wolf in all my 9 months as a trial lawyer, I gotta say, I’ve never seen a more open and shut case. The viewers agree. I call this for the prosecution.
(Her cell rings)
Nancy: Oh, hello Nola. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Ha-ha. Yeah. (hangs up) Well Wolf, that was Nola. We have a bet. If she wins this one I have to throw my babies off the Brooklyn Bridge. Ha-ha. Funny. Wolf, back to you.
Let us cut back to the courthouse
Judge Sauls: We’re going to take a break. Court will adjourn for a 15 minute status update break.
To be continued………