John and I went to see Captain Marvel on Sunday, and wow was it good! It is so gratifying to see movies with strong female protagonists.
So the next morning when I needed to go to a legal proceeding, I decided to harness a little Captain Marvel power of my own. The hearing was the kind where the client is not invited to participate or even be in the room. No, my assigned role was to sit in the lobby and wait until my attorney came out to give me the low-down.
But I decided I didn’t like that option.
This wasn’t my first time at one of these hearings, and each time I have been asked to stay outside. So I decided to dress like an attorney and grabbed my big black binder with all of the medical and legal documents from the case and headed for the courtroom.
I was determined to hear what was going on for myself, but when I arrived I got nervous and sat down outside the courtroom like I had the previous times.
My heart was racing and my throat dry from nerves, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to get up the gumption to walk into that room. But after deciding it was now or never I took a deep breath and walked in right behind two attorneys.
In the center of the small room was a long table lined with chairs. There were a handful of chairs along the outside walls and I quickly walked to one, sat down, opened my binder and pretended to read from it.
At the far end of the room perched on a platform, was a desk piled high with papers and a judge sitting behind several computer screens. Writing notes in my binder, I tried to avoid eye contact with him.
After about five minutes my attorney came through the door and man was he surprised to see me. He came over to me and the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m staying.”
He nodded with a look that conveyed he knew arguing with me was pointless and sat down next to the defense attorney.
As the two attorneys argued the case, I began to find my voice. There were several occasions when one attorney would ask the other a question about the case and not know the answer. Each time I opened up my black binder, quickly found the right document and answered the question myself.
This went on for about 30 minutes, and then they finally spoke before the judge. All was agreed upon and this hearing was over. There will be more, and you can bet I will be there.
What I realized was neither of the attorneys nor the judge had any personal stake in the outcome of the proceedings. I was the only one in that room who did, and it was up to me to speak up.
I’m glad I went and that I found the courage to do what I knew was my right.
I may not have saved the world, but I am proud that at the very least I stood up for what was just. I think Captain Marvel would have approved.