Member of Sam’s Club Got It

Twenty years ago yesterday I actually wrote a twice-daily haiku. The second one was the result of something that happened during what had become a rather common back and forth between prosecution and defense counsel. The prosecution during this discussion was represented by deputy district attorney Lisa Kahn. Here’s the haiku. Following is an explanation of what was going on: Repeated lyric: “Baby, I just can’t please you” Lisa Kahn caught on. 9/21/94 When prosecutor Lisa Kahn responds with “We just can’t seem to please you,” to defense attorney Barry Scheck’s repeated assertions that the prosecution hasn’t turned over all its discovery to the defense, Judge Lance Ito, who knows about a song with similar lyrics mentions the singer’s name.  Only Kahn understands the reference. The only reason I got it was because of an incident during a planning meeting in the judge’s chambers a couple of weeks earlier. As was his habit, he had a radio on very low volume, playing pop music. In the midst of instructing his judicial assistant what to do with some case filings, he paused and turned up the radio volume. After listening for a minute to a song whose lyrics were “Baby, I can’t please you, please you, Baby” repeated over and over, he asked his research attorney to find out the name of the song and who was singing it. The song was the newly released “Baby I Can’t Please You” recorded by a woman named Sam Phillips. After repeatedly trying to get defense attorney Barry Scheck to say just what specifically he was accusing the prosecution of not turning over to the defense, Kahn said, “We just can’t seem to please you.” Ito remarked they should just play Sam Phillips. Scheck stopped and, looking confused, said, “Excuse me?” “Never mind,” the judge replied. Later, in chambers, he said, “No one caught it except Lisa Kahn.”

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