The world is indeed small. I know the judge who'll decide the fate of my beloved Dodgers.
Scott Gordon was the Assistant DA in charge of domestic violence cases in LA County. We shared nine months of purgatory on the Simpson/Goldman murder trial.
A year later, I spotted him on the streets of The Hague in Holland, carrying an absurdly large black umbrella. He looked like a character from a Magritte painting. I shouted his name across a busy street and I don't know who was more surprised. It turned out, he was one of the lawyers lent to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia by the American Bar Association, working on rules of the road issues. I was covering the ICTY for Monitor Radio. It was wonderful to see a familiar face from LA six thousand miles away. This being Holland, a beer was called for. But I really didn't get to know Scott until Rwanda.
Scott Gordon and another lawyer on that ABA trip to Holland managed to get donations of computers and software and modern investigatory technology for prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. They also managed to get a Ford Foundation grant, which allowed myself and three other journalists to come along. It was a tough trip, traveling to Kigali just four years after the genocide. But it was inspiring to see these lawyers so committed to justice that they found a way to bring the 21st century to their compadres investigating war crimes in a place where electricity was unreliable and the red dust of Kigali often clogged computers, printers, and copy machines.
It was amusing to witness the banter between Gordon and Jimmy Martz, his old partner from their days on the Santa Monica Police Department, now a judge himself. Like Gordon, Martz moved from law enforcement to law and was with the Florida Attorney General's office. He'd helped facilitate the donations. The two of them fell into one liners as though they were still in a squad car patrolling Pico Blvd. Later, a small group of us hopped a plane to visit the Tribunal itself, working out of a 1970's era conference center in neighboring Tanzania. Years later, I can still remember Scott's sense of humor - and his smarts about what not to tell a reporter.
I laughed when he became a court commissioner - Commissioner Gordon. Every time I saw a "Batman" movie, I cracked up.
And now he's Judge Gordon, deciding whether the McCourt divorce means the franchise must be sold.
I love the Dodgers. I even wrote a musical about the team's move to Los Angeles. The Dodgers were the reason I got into radio. (I wanted to be the next Vin Scully. But a lack of depth perception made every fly ball look like a home run, so I turned to interviewing instead of play-by-play.) So all this uncertainty about the fate and future of the team weighs heavily on me.
But whatever the decision, the McCourts and Dodger fans can be assured there is no better person to play umpire in this case. Play ball, Judge Gordon!