Author’s Note: This is the sixth column in a series. The first five installments, “This is Providence,” “Pharisees and Pharaohs,” “Prayers and Preparation,” “Pride and Perjury,” and “David French Slays Goliath” can be accessed in my column archive. Some of the themes discussed in this series were also part of a speech I gave at an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) event in July. The full speech can be viewed by clicking on this link.
We had been sitting in the attorney/client waiting room for less than two hours when we heard a knock on the door. We hoped it was our minions – two young ADF attorneys named Rory and Matt – bringing us lunch. But it wasn’t. Those guys need at least three hours to find a good burger and fries. Instead, the knock came from a U.S. Marshall and was followed by the ominous words, “We have a verdict.”
In less than two hours, the jury ate lunch, selected a foreperson, and rendered a verdict. I would joke later that I wished we had sent the jury to find us lunch instead of two ADF attorneys. I should not have been joking at all but my heart was pounding through my chest. I needed to relax. Just as I thought I was about to have a heart attack, I turned to David French with a little humor to lighten the tension,
“David, do you think the jury is going to hate me?”
“Why would they hate you, Mike?”
“Because I’m so good-looking.”
“Yes, there’s a real danger of that.”
The humorous exchange didn’t help a bit. I was still on the verge of a heart attack. But soon after we entered the courtroom and sat down at the table, Judge Howard called in the jury. The Marshall ushered them in one by one. We were almost there.
The first juror that entered the courtroom was the woman who was nodding so vigorously that she almost fell out of her chair. She was the one with Tea Party written all over her face. She was now the one carrying the envelope. That meant she was the foreperson and thus led the deliberations. I knew exactly what that meant. I didn’t need to hear the verdict.
Of course, the clerk read it anyway. And the words seemed to disappear into thin air just as soon as I heard them. Just to make sure it had really happened, I turned to David and I asked, “Does that mean we won?”
“Yes, it means we won. We won.” He was smiling from ear to ear.
Next, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a procession of defendants, lawyers, and tech supporters filing slowly out of the courtroom. A few were trying not to trip over their jaws on the way out. They could not believe what just happened.
In moment, just the three of us were standing there – me and David and Travis. We put our arms on each other’s shoulders while I just silently repeated the words “Praise God Almighty” over and over again. Then we headed back to the attorney and client waiting room where we would begin to make calls and celebrate outside the presence of the opposing parties.
When we got to the room, I had to place my hands on the table to brace myself because my knees were shaking so badly. I kept repeating the same three words over and over gain while a couple of tears landed on the table below me. Matt handed me a napkin that came with our long awaited lunch. Rory took out a computer and started to Tweet out the news of the victory.
My hands were shaking so badly I could not type. So I gave my Facebook password to Rory and he typed my status:
“Adams wins unanimous verdict against all defendants on all counts. Praise God Almighty!”
We composed ourselves and then got in the car and headed to the hotel. David called his wife Nancy who, in turn, texted her friend Sarah. A few minutes later, Nancy’s friend texted us back with a note of congratulations. It was Sarah Palin, by the way. I’ve always been a name-dropper. I learned it in college from Rafael Palmeiro.
I spent the rest of the day answering scores of calls, texts and emails from family and friends. I slept well that evening and we all enjoyed a big breakfast in the morning. Before I left, Sarah Palin had tagged me on Facebook. She’s such a name-dropper. But I didn’t mind. My status update got 1000 likes. Hers got 41,000.
When Fox & Friends called later and asked for an interview, I had to decline. I was exhausted and would not physically recover from the trial for over two weeks. I had to go home and get some sleep. I simply could not get up early for another interview.
In addition to that, something I had not anticipated was about to happen later on that night. I would need the sleep even more than had I expected.
…To be Continued.