Thursday, January 29, 2009


Merry, Joli & I just returned from a few icy days in Cape Girardeau, MO where I was scheduled to hold court from Monday afternoon until this morning. On Monday we held court as planned. Monday night it started to rain, then it froze. By Tuesday morning there was a thick coating of ice everywhere. Southern Missouri does not have a very large fleet of plows and salt trucks. Even the major roads and Interstates were iffy; everything else was pretty well impassable. Fortunately Bill Kumpe, the other ALJ on the trip, had his four wheel drive and plenty of confidence. We arrived at court on time Tuesday morning. We waited. No one showed up. The weather deteriorated as the day drew on. Overnight it got worse in the area to the south, referred to as the “bootheel.” Now power lines and tree limbs littered the rural roads. Towns were without power and sometimes without phone service. We tried to cancel Wednesday's court. We were unable to reach everyone so we trekked back to court Wednesday morning and waited. As soon as we got there the sun came out. Crews were using anything that could plow snow to clear the main roads and parking lots. By noon we had reached everyone by phone except for one client who had failed to show up or call by her 11:30 hearing. Of course, as soon as we headed out for lunch she showed up. Back to court we went. We finally got lunch about 2:00. Two days gone and only one hearing held between the two of us. We had 24 scheduled but now adjourned.

Today it warmed up and the roads north of Cape Girardeau are clear. Massive convoys of utility trucks are finally heading south to the bootheel. We held court as usual in the morning and headed back to St. Louis.

Tomorrow Merry & I head to NYC to see Billy Elliott on Broadway. You can expect my review when we get back. We know two of the young cast members, so my review will not pretend to be objective. What review ever is objective anyway?

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