Key West, Florida, June 30, 2004. In what Navy and Coast Guard officials are calling "a direct result" of Monday's Supreme Court ruling that terrorists must be allowed access to the American justice system to contest their detention, 661 U.S. lawyers were found last evening floating in choppy seas south of Key West, Florida.
In a tragedy that might take on some proportion for someone, it appears that the victims were all on their way to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, where 660 "enemy combatants" from 42 countries are being held. Hearing the news, and thinking economic plunder from "major litigation", hundreds of lawyers boarded their yachts and headed for the south side of Cuba. Each wanted to be the first to sign up detainees, positioning themselves as legal representative in the inevitable avalanche of lawsuits to come. Unfortunately, lack of sailing experience and the rush to be the first one to sign up some prisoners (excuse me, "detainees") led to major boating collisions - yachts running into yachts, running into yachts…well you get the picture.
The Coast Guard saved most of the lawyers, although speaking confidentially, one smirking Coast Guard officer admitted that, "We might have left a few of the personal injury lawyers out there, but we'll go back and get them in a day or so - honest, we will."
There were additional lawyer sightings later as insurance counsel used searchlights to comb the waters for boating accident evidence in preparation for the maritime lawsuits, which will be filed shortly.
Key West residents who witnessed the debacle observed that, "Haitian boat people could handle a watercraft better than these buffoons." Other residents reported finding wine glasses, Louis Vuitton satchels, legal pads and scores of tasseled loafers washing ashore the next morning.