By Carol Rust
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, May 27, 2006
HOUSTON, May 26 -- Across town from the federal courthouse where he spent four months, Doug Baggett did something Friday he had not done for a long time.
He slept until 7 a.m. -- scandalously late for him. He watched the morning news, and he read the newspaper.
As a juror on the Enron trial, he had been able to do none of those things. But now, a day after the jury found two former Enron executives guilty of multiple counts in the fraud trial, life was beginning to return to normal.
On Fridays during the trial, Baggett had headed into work at Shell Oil Co., where as manager of the company's legal department, he directed seven employees taking care of 130 company lawyers. Fridays meant trying to catch up on a week's worth of work, although he managed to answer e-mails at night and on weekends. U.S. District Judge Simeon T. Lake III presided over the Enron trial from Monday to Thursday and handled other cases on Fridays.
"I'd try to talk to my employees and keep everyone in some normalcy," he said. "But working with a bunch of lawyers, I couldn't walk down the hall without about 10 people coming up to me and asking me how the trial was going. 'Was it interesting?' 'Was it boring?' It was very difficult to get any work done at all."
This Friday, he didn't wake up thinking about Enron and wondering what his verdict would be. Those thoughts had accompanied him to bed each night during the trial and had begun dancing in his head about 15 minutes before he woke up every morning.
The hardest part about hearing testimony the first four days of the week and going back to his regular job on Friday was shifting his thinking from the trial to work.
"That was very difficult. For four days, you were loaded with information about this one subject. And then Fridays, well, here you were back at the life you had before."
"What did I do today?" he said with a chuckle. "Absolutely nothing."