“Before I tell you more about this case, let me introduce myself. My name is Mary MacIntosh and I’m one of Butch and Beth Anderson’s attorneys. My senior partner over there,” I said, pointing toward the plaintiffs’ table, “is my law partner, Andrew Harrison. Everyone calls him ‘Harry’ and he’ll be talking to you over the course of this trial also.” Harry deftly grinned at the jury with his broad smile. He’s tall and fit with twinkling hazel eyes and dark hair. A former Stanford football star prior to becoming a successful lawyer, Harry was handsomely dressed in one of his high-end Italian business suits, which fit right in with the venerable courtroom decorum of posh cherry wood paneling, fancy millwork and trim, and the elaborately carved judge’s bench. Federal courtrooms were notoriously more grandiose than state courts, and this Federal Building was no exception. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, it consisted of as a massive three-story Classical Revival style office building brocaded with unique red pressed brick.
“During voir dire when we asked you questions about your past, some of you indicated that you’d never served on a federal jury before. You might be nervous about your role in deciding justice for the Andersons. Well, I have to share a secret with you. I’m a little nervous today too. This is the first time that Harry has allowed me to give the opening statement at trial. I’ve earned his respect after working for him for ten years, and I hope to earn your respect also. Respect is important, and it is an underlying theme to this case. You see, Butch and Beth Anderson are here because their land was not treated with respect, and no matter how hard they tried to get MethZap to respect their land, MethZap not only refused to oblige, but deliberately and callously defaced the Anderson’s land, livestock and livelihood.
“But let me back up a bit and give you some history about the Andersons. Many of you may know of Butch, as he is world-famous on the rodeo circuit.” Many of the jurors nodded in Butch’s direction, acknowledging his fame. Dressed in a brand new pair of Wrangler jeans, boots and a light blue, pressed, button-down dress shirt, Butch looked the part of the modern-day born-in-the-saddle cowboy. His face was weathered from a lifetime of being outdoors, but it still held the glow of sunshine. His light brown hair matched his thick mustache and his light blue eyes sparkled under the courtroom fluorescent lights. He looked strange to me without his cowboy hat, but he understood that courtroom decorum disallowed it.