Murder trial role must be earnest, lawyer told
A GOOD-HUMOURED judge has tolled the bell on a Florida lawyer who wanted time off from a murder trial to appear in an Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest.
Attorney Frank Louderback, who resembles the late author, said he had been picked as a semi-finalist for the event at Hemingway’s former favourite bar, Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, last week.
The lawyer said that he had booked six hotel rooms for “family, friends and fans” to attend and had paid a non-refundable deposit.
But district judge Steven Merryday, apparently a fan of “Papa’s” novels himself, ruled that the trial in Tampa, in which Louderback represents Jerry Bortoff against charges relating to a 2007 murder, takes precedence.
“Between a murder-for-hire trial and an annual look-alike contest, surely Hemingway, a perfervid admirer of ‘grace under pressure,’ would choose the trial,” Merryday wrote in his motion denying the request.
Hemingway, who wrote several popular novels, including For Whom the Bell Tolls, used the phrase “grace under pressure” in a 1929 interview with New Yorker magazine to explain what he meant by “guts”.
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