I was walking from a parking garage to the Will County Courthouse a few blocks away this morning. It was cold-ish and misty and wet and just kinda gross, so I had my gray American Giant hoodie on. If you don’t know what American Giant is or why it’s special, I can tell you real quick: they make freaking AWESOME hoodies. This isn’t a plug, this is a genuine product recommendation that I’m not being compensated for in any way. Their hoodies are warm, 100% cotton, made in the USA, and they’ve got ribbed cotton panels on the shoulders and arms that give them a really slimmed down, flattering look. I mean, I love men’s hoodies, because I can pull one on and generally disappear in that giant bag of thick fabric, but I also like the silhouette-skimming, close-fitting hoodie I recently bought from AG. They’re like $90 a pop, but they’re durable and they don’t shrink in the wash and they’re basically perfect, so I’m happy to pay that price based on what I get in return.
I was wearing my black leather flats and a black skirt with a sweater and I had my hoodie on with the hood up because it was gross outside, and I’m certain I looked about 12 years old. I just had one case up that day, a second-DUI that I had tied up with a neat bow and was prepared to plead that day to no jail time (whoo!), and I was a little late to court but it didn’t really matter.
So I’m walking to the ramp that leads to the Attorney door for the courthouse when I noticed that one of the felony judges was coming my way from the opposite side of the street. I’ve appeared before this judge many times, and I really like him, and in fact he was one of the first judges I appeared before and we pled a tw0-count felony Possession of Child Pornography down to a 1 count misdemeanor Obscenity (which this judge didn’t like so he added some thorns to the deal but ultimately accepted it).
Then there was the time I was looking for the Court Reporter’s office and I went into the back hallway on the wrong side of the building and walked through a random door that I thought was the right office but it turned out to be the door that led to the chambers of a couple judges, and he was standing at that door reading a flyer on the wall and munching a donut, and I almost walked into him and he’s like 8 feet tall and he looked down at me like ‘wat’ and when I realized where I was my eyes went real wide and I literally turned on my heel and ran away, and I’m sure he was just like WTF.
Whatever. I really like him, but we have no open cases before him currently, so I don’t get to appear in front of him unless he’s taking over the call for the day from one of our judges, as had happened two weeks ago.
So I see this judge walking up with one of the male bailiffs and I smiled at him, but I didn’t think he saw me, and I didn’t think he’d recognize me, especially with my get-up, but, obviously, I wasn’t going to be impolite and ignore him. Also, I smile at everyone. It’s gotten me in trouble many times when that smile has been misinterpreted, but those are tales of romantic misadventures that I’ll save for another time.
I just filed in behind him and this bailiff, trying not to walk too close, and also quickly trying to get my ass into the building and up to the misdemeanor floor before my client came up from his drug test.
So the judge is talking to the bailiff about something that was happening in the courtroom that the bailiff was stationed in, before another judge. They were talking about some exchange that had occurred between a judge and an attorney.
Judge: Wait, who said that?
Bailiff: [Attorney redacted]!
Judge: Really? Nah, it probably wasn’t him, you must mean an AGGRESSIVE YOUNG FEMALE ATTORNEY, LIKE THE ONE RIGHT BEHIND US.
And then he turned over his shoulder and grinned down at me.
Seriously, I was so surprised, and then I just burst out laughing. I had no idea that judge even knew who I was. Although, yeah, he probably did, considering I appeared before him at least twice a month for about nine months while we had active cases in front of him, and had just appeared before him two weeks ago on a case that he was just filling in for as the judge.
But still, it was the sweetest thing, and just absolutely made my week.