I always maintained my sense of humor throughout the civil (and not so civil) procedural tumultuous emotional years of my lawsuit. Most major players were aware of this because, at one time or another, they were recipients of written communication of my idea of finding the funny within the treacherous wretchedness of the matter. Hopefully, the attendant satire (titled at the time as, Preparing the Defense (or Attack)) is evidence that I was not all “monster.” 1, 2
I wrote the attached “journal of my thoughts,” as it were, in anticipation of a pending November 9, 1985 meeting between me, Larry Drivon, and Richard Bridgman (a San Francisco-based attorney).3 According to Larry, Mr. Bridgman was purportedly, allegedly, supposedly, and reputedly considering accepting my case as successor counsel. So I wrote the attached (conceivably and hoped-for) amusing self-deprecating narrative of my pending trip to San Francisco, depicting what I might encounter on my way and when I’m up there.4
Don’t get me wrong, I was dead serious about my case. But I was not risking anything by making light of the up-coming meeting. There had been a long-term plan for me. My suit was in its proper place within the realm of the matter (wherever that was-I still don’t know), and although I wasn’t sure at the time, Mr. Bridgman was never going to be a part of it. (See Berberian Mystery Theatre) I knew that Larry would fill Bridgman in on who I was and how I behaved as a client.5, 6 No lawyer is going to spring someone like me on his Brother without full disclosure beforehand, especially when there is so much money at stake as there is/was in my case.
I sent the attached satirical piece to Larry, but not to Bridgman. However, there were a couple of things that Bridgman would say during the actual meeting which made it evident to me that he had read Preparing the Defense (or Attack).
1 The original letter is handwritten. However, the version attached, I typed up on my computer for the purpose of visual clarity and readability. Other than that, I didn’t change a thing.
2 Had I known then what I know now, I would have included the attached whimsical anecdote to my June 16, 1986 opposition papers to Larry Drivon’s motion to withdraw. Larry attached a September 25, 1983 personal and confidential letter from me to him to his May 21, 1986 moving papers for withdrawal, a letter which made me look awfully bad. (When I confronted him, he stated that said letter was part of the case. Yes, the part wherein I am depicted as and considered to be a raving lunatic) But, to use an old cliché, there are two sides to every story. The attached satirical piece penned by yours truly, and Berberian Mystery Theatre as a whole, are an exposé of the other side of the story.-My side of the story. 3 See Timeline post/entry at November 9, 1985 titled, “Levity Along the Way,” to see the letter that I sent to Larry Drivon and Richard Bridgman after said meeting.-Only if you are inclined to do so, of course. 4 The anticipated 3-way meeting would take place at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco. We would have our meeting in Larry’s hotel room, walking there together from the lobby. I enjoyed the banter. When we were sitting there in the room, I believe Larry even blew cigar smoke my way when I wasn’t looking. I didn’t truly realize it until I was driving home and reflecting on the meeting. But no problem. No hard feelings then and no hard feelings now. I had a trick up my sleeve as well. And both men knew it. It was obvious. But they didn’t know just what it was. I clued Larry’s secretary, Judi Miller, in to a degree thereafter during a phone call when she probed me for an explanation. (See Timeline at 11/09/85, “Levity Along the Way” for clarification) And that was fun. It was all in fun. Just like Preparing the Defense (or Attack).
5 One of the reasons I could comfortably send this and my other “crazy” stuff to Larry and other players is because I wasn’t respected enough to be allowed into the loop of my own lawsuit, especially as to how it melded, amalgamated, conflated, interfused, homogenized, and/or was joined at the hip with that of my father’s legal matter. I don’t know which, if any, or if all of the foregoing metaphor/synonyms apply. But one or all of them do. (Just take a peek at Berberian Mystery Theatre) To this day, I still don’t know which, when, where or how one or all fit into the scheme of things. But there is no “if,” and I know approximately why. (Take another peek at Berberian MysteryTheatre) I also knew that the legal parameters of my lawsuit, though connected in some way, were not strongly situated within the realm of what was truly going on. That dominion/domain was in some other parallel legal world instigated (but not formally instituted) by my father and I knew that it was negatively affecting mine. And so I became irreverent, but never meaning any disrespect. I was (and am) not just a screwball per se. There was a method to my screwy madness and a good reason for it. How about my sanity? But take one of my writings out of its context and show it to someone as an example of the behavior of the client that I was and you’ll get a giant-sized “OMG!” (Thank you, Lord, for the Internet)
6 I knew that there was nothing that powerless me could say in any letter, serious or not, that would change whatever legal machine was set in place. So I said whatever I wanted on any given day. My psychiatrist at the time, Arnold A. Sheuerman, Jr., M.D. of Stockton, never took issue with my letter-writing. The only thing he mentioned was at the very beginning with my first letter to my business attorney, Rudy V. Bilawski of Stockton (to whom Dr. Sheuerman had referred me). I was addressing him as “Rudy,” rather than “Mr. Bilawski.” The Doctor goes: “Rudy? Rudy?!” I go, “yep.” That’s the way I talk and that’s the way I am. Informal. And Mr. Bilawski stayed “Rudy” throughout the coming years and until his withdrawal from my case on September 28, 1984.