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Tales from the past

At the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association annual gathering, the Criminal Law section meeting is a time for war stories, anecdotes and general hilarity. Last week, New Kent Circuit Judge Thomas Hoover recalled a session from the courtroom of federal district Judge D. Dortch Warriner.

As Hoover told it, Jimmy Morris was arguing a point with partner Bill Woods at his side. As Morris pressed on, Woods passed him a note: “The old goat is agreeing with your argument. Don’t blow it. Shut up and sit down.”

Morris persisted regardless, stuffing the note in his pocket. Finally, Judge Warriner stopped him and asked if the note concerned the case at bar. Advised that it did, Warriner then demanded to see the note. Reluctantly, Morris relinquished the paper. Warriner read it, looked down from the bench and stated, “Mr. Morris, this note is well written and you ought to read it again.”

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