rix_scaedu (rix_scaedu) wrote,

Opening Addresses

I wrote this to lilfluff's prompt "The Writers' Tribunal and the Case of the Comma."

“Your Honours,” the barrister, dressed in 18th century mourning for Anne of England and the English language, bowed to the Tribunal.  “My client agrees that the published version of his work carries a number of errors which would appear to qualify him for the charges that bring him before this court - if he had, indeed, committed those errors.”  The barrister paused.  “We will endeavour to demonstrate to Your Honours that the subject matter of this trial was not caused by a lack of diligence by the defendant or his hard-working editor but by the theft and unauthorised publishing of his manuscript by persons who are both unscrupulous and self-serving.  It is their pursuit of both profit and control over my client’s output that brings us here today and not, I repeat not, any action or inaction by my client.  Our case will prove that to your satisfaction.”  He bowed to the empanelled Tribunal again and resumed his seat.

On the other side of the aisle the prosecuting barrister rose from his seat, the only difference in his dress from that of his colleague being that he wore a black wig and not a white one.  He too bowed to the Tribunal before beginning, “Your Honours, the work that has given rise to the charges before you was written by the defendant, has been published under his name and the royalties received from its sales are to be paid into a bank account held in the defendant’s name.  The original digital document file provided to the publishers bears the defendant’s electronic signature and it is the basis of the prosecution’s case that the defendant, and only the defendant, could have provided this document and authorised its publication.  Our case will demonstrate this is the case beyond all doubt.”  He bowed and returned to his place behind the prosecution bench.

“Your Honours,” a third barrister, this one female but wearing a red wig in an 18th century masculine style, rose from the body of the courtroom and stepped into the aisle to make her bow to the Tribunal, “I must declare my interest in this matter before the Tribunal.  It is my duty to advise Your Honours and my esteemed colleagues that I have been retained by a client who has the expectation that the defence’s case will rely upon the slander, defamation and/or libel of herself.”

Tags: prompt request dec 12, the writers' tribunal
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