One Hand Clapping

Opinion: 'Yo, Yo, Yo, White Boy' And Other Courtroom Comedy

The Connecticut Law Tribune


Norm Pattis

Judge Arterton is a working judge. That evening, she had a pre-trial in a civil case in which I was plaintiff's counsel. I sat awaiting a conference in her chambers with some white-shoe types.

The judge walked into the waiting room, hand extended to each lawyer. I can't recall most of the fellows who were there.

"Mr. Jones," she said. "Mr. Smith," she continued. "Mr. Keefe" — yes, oh, he of many wonders was there.

I was last to be greeted. She did not extend her hand. Instead, placing one hand on each hip, she cocked her head ever-so-slightly to the right and fixed me with a look I'd not yet seen from her.

"Yo, yo, yo, white boy, you ready for me?"

My white-shoe colleagues were thunderstruck. Whatever else Judge Arterton does in a case of mine, that will remain my favorite memory. I am certain of it.


The young lawyer couldn't persuade the marshal she was a lawyer, so he would not grant her admission to the lockup to meet her client.

"I am a lawyer," she said.

"You sure," he leered.

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