“Could you Perhaps Rephrase that Last Response?”

 

“COULD YOU PERHAPS REPHRASE THAT LAST RESPONSE?

INTRODUCTION

A whole lot of crazy takes place in courtrooms. As a lawyer I can tell you that no matter how good something may sound the night before, the best laid plans can go horribly awry in open court, and outrageous (and unintended) exchanges occur as a result.  A seemingly innocuous question may yield the most bizarre responses. Then, of course, there are those occasions when people act as their own counsel, an often regrettable decision.  More crazy.  Whatever the case, below you will read real-life courtroom exchanges, repeated word for word, as recorded by court reporters who labored to remain straight-faced whilst typing some of the most ridiculous conversations ever committed to paper. Please enjoy:

Truth is most definitely stranger (or at least funnier) than fiction.

 _________________________________________

  • Lawyer: “Can you tell us what was stolen from your house?”
  • Witness: “There was a rifle that belonged to my father that was stolen from the hall closet.”
  • Lawyer: “Can you identify the rifle?”
  • Witness: “Yes. There was something written on the side of it.”
  • Lawyer: “And what did the writing say?”
  • Witness: “‘Winchester’!”

 

  • Lawyer: “What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?”
  • Witness: “Gucci sweats and Reeboks.”
  • Lawyer: “Can you describe what the person who attacked you looked like?”
  • Witness: “No. He was wearing a mask.”
  • Lawyer: “What was he wearing under the mask?”
  • Witness: “Er…his face.”

 

  • Lawyer: “This myasthenia gravis — does it affect your memory at all?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “And in what ways does it affect your memory?”
  • Witness: “I forget.”
  • Lawyer: “You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?”

 

  • Lawyer: “How old is your son, the one living with you?”
  • Witness: “Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.”
  • Lawyer: “How long has he lived with you?”
  • Witness: “Forty-five years.”

 

  • Lawyer: “What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?”
  • Witness: “He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?'”
  • Lawyer: “And why did that upset you?”
  • Witness: “My name is Susan.”

 

  • Lawyer: “Sir, what is your IQ?”
  • Witness: “Well, I can see pretty well, I think.”

 

  • Lawyer: “Did you blow your horn or anything?”
  • Witness: “After the accident?”
  • Lawyer: “Before the accident.”
  • Witness: “Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.”

 

  • Lawyer: “Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?”
  • Witness: “Yes, sir.”
  • Lawyer: “What did she say?”
  • Witness: “‘What disco am I at?'”

 

  • Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
  • Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
  • Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
  • Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”

 

  • Lawyer: “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?”

 

  • Lawyer: “And you check your radar unit frequently?”
  • Officer: “Yes, I do.”
  • Lawyer: “And was your radar unit functioning correctly at the time you had the plaintiff on radar?”
  • Officer: “Yes, it was malfunctioning correctly.”

 

  • Lawyer: “What happened then?”
  • Witness: “He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.'”
  • Lawyer: “Did he kill you?”
  • Witness: “No.”

 

  • Lawyer: “Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man–“
  • Witness: “Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.”

 

  • Lawyer: “You were there until the time you left, is that true?”

 

  • Lawyer: “So you were gone until you returned?”

 

  • Lawyer: “The youngest son, the 20 year old, how old is he?”

 

  • Lawyer: “Were you alone or by yourself?”

 

  • Lawyer: “How long have you been a French Canadian?”

 

  • Witness: “He was about medium height and had a beard.”
  • Lawyer: “Was this a male or a female?”

 

  • Lawyer: “Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?”
  • Witness: “I went to Europe, sir.”
  • Lawyer: “And you took your new wife?”

 

  • Lawyer: “I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.”
  • Witness: “That’s me.”
  • Lawyer: “Were you present when that picture was taken?”

 

  • Lawyer: “Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?”

 

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