Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's Funny Until

I'm assuming none of you have sent that poor Nigerian man who e-mailed you any real dollars, and I've had my own chuckle or two. But then comes the update of the story on the minister's wife in TN who shot him dead, apparently in part due to conflict they had over the $17,000 she sent to Nigeria. This will work its way through the system, but it reminds me of some of my feelings when I was mediating cases for the OK court system a few years ago. People would start explaining their side of the dispute, and I would end up thinking (while keeping my "active listening" mediator face), "You what? You thought what?? You did what???" I left the experience convinced I could never be a judge and wondering how court practitioners could do this day after day. It's a little harder to believe that the factors in any case could come down to the few variables most guidelines systems employ after you've sat through some cases yourself, and they never let me near any legal equivalents of sharp objects. Those folks deserve their money, and the lady in TN needs to tell her story to anyone with brains enough left to listen.

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