Bailiff: Will Bank of America please come to the bench.
(no activity in the courtroom)
Bailiff: Will Bank of America please stand and come to the bench.
(still no movement in the courtroom)
Judge: Is there a Bank of America in the room?
Judge: (quite firm) I will ask just one more time. I have a judgment that I am going to announce, and I must have Bank of America come to the bench and be sworn in.
Judge: All right, I assume that absent…
(interruption. A man in a gray suit – gray hair, approximately 50 years of age, slim, well groomed)
Man: Your Honor. I am representing Bank of America for this hearing.
Judge: I appreciate your willingness to represent the Bank of America, but this judgement of 19 billion dollars must be rendered to Bank of America, and not a representative.
Man: Your honor, I am hesitant to inform the Court, but there is no individual named Bank of America.
Judge: Sir, excuse me. Your name.
Man: Cutler, Mr. Harry Cutler, Your Honor.
Judge: Thank you, Mr. Cutler. Understand, I am fully aware that the Bank of America is a United States Corporation. I am also aware that the United States Supreme Court has declared that corporations have the same first amendment rights as do individual citizens. With that in mind, despite my distaste for that decision, I insist on having before me the Bank of America. Is that clear, Mr. Cutler?
Mr. Cutler: Yes Your Honor, but I understand that it is somewhat difficult to accept that the guilty party is a Corporation, but honestly that is who – I mean that is what is being punished, honestly.
Judge: Mr. Cutler, I do not want to discuss the issue of Bank of America, the real, or make-believe person. What I am much more concerned about is, or was there any person, male or female, that resembles most of the persons in this courtroom that was responsible for any illegal behavior as regards the mortgage loans in question. Anyone-did any human being do anything that would suggest he or she was involved in such illegal actions? I would like someone with a name, social security number, or Facebook account. Please answer my question.
Mr. Cutler: Your Honor, it is Bank of America that is totally responsible for any actions that have resulted in the mortgage irregularities.
Judge: Sir, I have allowed you to finish your statement, but I must tell you that I am at the point of charging you with contempt, but I will not, seeing that you are willing to talk to me. I know that you are in a difficult position in that Bank of America will not face this Court.
Mr. Cutler: Your Honor, I was…
(Mr. Cutler is interrupted)
Judge: Do not say another word. Not another word. I know this. On a particular day or days, in some location a real red blooded person did somethings that have resulted in harm to other red blooded persons. I promise you that I will not require you, or any other red blooded person to pay damages of 19 billion dollars, but, I am determined to hold some person or persons accountable. I believe by all that’s holy that someone did something, and Bank of America is holding the bag!
Mr. Cutler: Your Honor I do not understand.
Judge: (vexed) Bank of America, this thing, this company, this name-tag is willing to pay a lot of money, and in fact Bank of America did nothing wrong. Do you understand me?
Mr. Cutler: Your Honor, I have told you that Bank of America is totally responsible for any damages. The
Bank really means to make good.
Judge: Mr. Cutler, just stop with this silly talk about Bank of America. Listen to me, does Bank of America drive a car, sweep a floor, flush a toilet, eat chow mien, or watch Beavis and Butthead? Does it? Of course not. But there is someone who works for Bank of America and does some or all of what I just mentioned, and many more things. In addition, someone at Bank of America screwed up, excuse my language. I demand to know who that was. I will not close this case until I find out. Do you understand Mr. Cutler!
Mr. Cutler: But sir, if I can just explain how the process works at the Bank?
Judge: (more relaxed) Mr. Cutler take it easy. Let me tell you a story. Let us say that you and your family, the Cutler’s live next to a neighbor who grows roses – beautiful roses. One day the man notices that his rose bushes have been cut down. All the stems are resting on your lawn – right alongside the remaining rose bushes. Your neighbor, formerly a good neighbor, calls the Police and he presses charges. He believes that someone in the Cutler family destroyed his rose bushes. Your neighbor presses a charge against, THE CUTLERS. All six members of your family, but not any one person, just the CUTLERS. Perhaps you as the Father of the family or perhaps your wife, Mrs. Cutler know who cut down the roses, or perhaps the culprit is for the moment unknown. The likelihood that the entire Cutler family went together and cut the roses is rather slim, but the Police and a Court will be obliged to punish the entire clan absent identifying the rose cutter.
Mr. Cutler:(upset) But Your Honor…
Judge: Just shut up, Mr. Cutler. Is it right that each of you, including your 12 month old infant, and your 4 year old daughter should be held guilty?
Mr. Cutler: (flustered) Your Honor, I have no wife, nor children. I am not married.
Judge: So what! I am just telling a story. Can’t you get with the program? I mean, I am getting disgusted with this entire case. It is plain and simple. I want the names of the guilty party or parties, and I do not want to hear it was a company foul-up nor clerical error, or case of PTSD! This case is adjourned until sanity returns to this court house! (bangs the gavel)
Writers Cramp, 2014, Tom Golden