Have you been to Key West?
At times, I’ve found this place to be magical. Other times, its just another crowded, over priced tourist trap. Back in the 1990’s, I was in Key West and had the opportunity to meet Mel Fisher. He was just sitting there, drinking at Rick’s off Duval St. Within minutes, my (now ex) wife was buying treasure jewelry. What is treasure jewelry, you ask?
Mel Fisher was a treasure hunter in Key West. He was ridiculed by most folks because he came up empty handed for 16 years. Maybe “treasure hunting” was just an excuse to get out on the ocean every day with investor money, right? Every day for 16 years, he told his crew “Today’s the Day!!”.
Once you’ve failed to find treasure after five solid years of combing the ocean, isn’t it time to give up? What about the eighth year? The eleventh year can’t be an easy sell, can it? Surely after fifteen years of searching, who’s going to believe you know what the heck you’re doing.
In year 16, Mel Fisher struck gold, $400,000,000 worth. Mel’s tenacity is the stuff of legends. Truly inspirational.
Now, some of the stuff Mel dredged up wasn’t worth much, but they are artifacts of sorts, so folks transform these items into what is known as treasure jewelry. Basically, all the worthless little coins are transformed into earrings, or necklaces. You’re not buying gold, per se, you’re buying the story. And, its an expensive story.
In Seth Godin’s excellent book “All Marketers Are Liars”, there’s a story of how home stereo speakers were sold to Harvard students each year. When the college dorms are teeming with life, a crappy van pulls up to the dorms. The back door of this “shady” van opens wide to reveal speakers packed in like sardines. These “smart” college kids were told a story about how these speakers just, somehow, fell off the back of a truck–so they were quite a bargain.
Sure, the shady van folks implied that the speakers were stolen. And yes, these speakers sold like hot cakes.
Actually, the speakers were not stolen–they were clearance items bought from big box stores. Actually, these smart kids paid more for these speakers out of the back of a van, than they would have paid down the street at Best Buy. Why did they pay more? Because, they bought the story.
The legal lesson for today involves telling the right story. Today, we’re going to review what happens when you tell a judge the wrong story. The case for today involves the prosecution asking for a continuance because their star witness has a pre-paid vacation lined up to watch the solar eclipse. Now, I never would have told a judge this story–but to each their own.
Do you think a judge will grant a continuance so that someone can go watch the solar eclipse?
Do you think any judge, ever, has quoted a Carly Simon song?
Here’s Judge Steven Merryday’s response. Enjoy. Continue Reading