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Column: Local lawyer apologizes to cyborg

Dear readers,

A few weeks ago, John Richmond, a classmate of both mine and Warren Good, alerted us to the fact that a cyborg was practicing law here in Shelbyville.

John spotted the robot outside of Superior Court 2 in the Shelby County Courthouse. As John stated in his letter to me, “My first thoughts were of you and our classmate, Warren Good.  I thought, how can my friends compete with this shyster robot?”

Upon learning this shocking news, I hurried down to the courthouse for some reconnoitering. John was right. A cyborg lawyer was loitering in the lobby of the courthouse searching for clients.

Back at the radio station Jeff Brown and Johnny McCrory convinced me to go on the offense. Both Johnny and Jeff came up with plans.

Like the sports guy he is, Jeff quickly sketched out a play on a clipboard. He named the play “lights out” and it called for me to distract the cyborg by pretending to remove my thumb -- it is the only trick I know, and it usually amazes children of all ages. While the cyborg was trying to figure out what happened to my thumb, Warren Good was to sneak around and unplug it. 



All went exactly as planned. When Warren unplugged the cyborg it made a series of beeps, shouted “Danger Will Robinson” and then fell dark and silent. The cyborg must share DNA from the old robot on the TV show “Lost in Space.” It was always wandering around shouting “Danger Will Robinson.”

Warren and I were famous among the local members of the bar for putting the cyborg out of commission. However, our fame was short lived. The scuttlebutt around the courthouse was that the cyborg had permission from Judge Riggins to solicit clients in the hallway outside of his courtroom.

Not wanting to be found in contempt of court and knowing that “honesty is the best policy” I decided to ask Judge Riggins about his robot lawyer.  He told me that it wasn’t his cyborg, but we really should plug it back in.  

Judge Riggins explained that the machine is a Civil Legal Self-Service Robot. It is designed to provide Hoosiers without internet service a way to use the civil legal system. 

Hoosiers with the internet can access legal forms online at Anyone without internet service can visit the friendly robot at their local courthouse. Soon the robots will be in every courthouse in Indiana. Hoosiers will be able to access legal forms, instructional videos, and referrals to free or low-cost legal services.

Loretta Rush, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, pointed out that this is an example of the courts embracing innovative solutions to increase access to justice.

I told Warren about my conversation with Judge Riggins and how the cyborgs were being put in every courthouse. When I got to the part about the Chief Justice being in support of the program, Warren suggested that we apologize and get the cyborg some balloons.

The cyborg beeped a couple of times and seemed happy to be plugged back in. I think it liked the balloons, but it was hard to tell. Warren said maybe I should have paid the extra money to get the balloons filled with helium. 

I was just glad that we didn’t use Johnny McCrory’s plan. Johnny thought we should just toss the cyborg out the front doors of the courthouse like cowboys tossed guys out of saloons. Johnny was probably thinking of a Country and Western song. After all, he is Johnny in the morning on Giant FM Country.

 See you all next week, same Schwinn time, same Schwinn channel.

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