By Judge Anna
When I was a kid out on the playground beating up bullies, I had a series of strategies to choose from.
My favorite and most successful ruse involved turning my back on my adversary, which enrages bullies and makes them prone to lose their balance. They come rushing in on the seemingly open target. And then….
Did my elbow catch you in the ribs as I was turning to face your unprovoked assault? And, as I fell to the ground, flat on my back, did my boots hit your stomach and fling you like a sack of flour clean over my head? And then, as I scrambled to my feet, did I lose my balance and….
….pardon me, did the heel of my hand catch your chin?
Those were the days when life was simple and brutal. The bullies rose up and the bullies got knocked down…. and most of the time they weren’t quite sure what hit them. They would wander around for a few days looking dazed and suspicious, but with the constant reminder that I was unpleasant to bump into.
On a few– very few– occasions, they came back for seconds. Usually by then they were convinced that I was a witch or some kind of evil small demon, possessed by something more than the hand-to-hand combat skills my Uncle Jesse, a WWII Navy Ensign and post-war Merchant Mariner, taught me.
He’s the same one who gave me the Mohawk haircut when I was seven.
My gentlemanly Father abhorred the thought that his little girl would ever have to lift her delicate hand in self-defense. Uncle Jesse just rolled his eyes and took me aside, muttering something to the effect that my Father still lived in the Nineteenth Century when men were men.
“Well….what are they now, Uncle Jesse?”
“Idiots. So, this is what you do….”
By age seven I had more Sucker Punches in my arsenal than most grown men will ever know.
I didn’t know it, but my Uncle Jesse was an infamous fighter and got kicked out of the Navy because he won a boxing match against an Admiral’s son. And it didn’t bother him, either.
He just went directly into the Merchant Marine Service, which welcomed him with open arms —- and, as he often observed, far better pay and benefits.
But I digress.
What goes on in a courtroom really isn’t that much different than a playground. The bullies wear suits and sometimes robes, but they are bullies just the same, and just as vulnerable to lame duck sucker punches.
Since I’ve been banned from the courtrooms in Boston and elsewhere, I’ve had to content myself with armchair participation from the second and third row seats, but the rules of engagement remain the same.
Surprise them (akin to turning your back) and “accidentally” beat them to a pulp before they know what happened. You have to be nice about it, of course. Always solicitous and polite. Never threatening or nasty.
Know that you are not subject to any foreign law, until and unless you voluntarily enter foreign territory.
Notice that word, “voluntarily” — for them to claim jurisdiction, you have to enter their jurisdiction and it must be done voluntarily, so both elements — your “presence” in their realm and the voluntary nature of that presence, must both be proven by the prosecutor, if you press the issues.
Otherwise, you are: (a) not in any federal jurisdiction; (b) not voluntarily in any federal jurisdiction, or (c) just utilizing a “pass through service” provided by your loyal employees, and they have nothing to say about that at all.