Disorder in the American Courts

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The following are examples from a book called “Disorder in the American Courts” and I would like to give you a fair warning: “Stop eating, chewing and drinking before you start reading.” I almost choked on my cookie. This are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters, who had the torment of staying calm, while these exchanges were actually taking place.

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ATTORNEY:  The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS:     Uh, he’s twenty.

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ATTORNEY:  Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS:     Are you serious?

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ATTORNEY:  How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:     By death.
ATTORNEY:  And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:     Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?

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ATTORNEY:  Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS:     Huh….are you qualified to ask that question?

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ATTORNEY:  This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS:     I forget.
ATTORNEY:  You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

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ATTORNEY:  What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS:     He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY:  And why did that upset you?
WITNESS:     My name is Susan!

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ATTORNEY:  Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS:     We both do.
ATTORNEY:  Voodoo?
WITNESS:     We do.
ATTORNEY:  You do?
WITNESS:     Yes, voodoo.

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ATTORNEY:  Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS:     Did you actually pass the bar exam?

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ATTORNEY:  She had three children, right?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  How many were boys?
WITNESS:     None.
ATTORNEY:  Were there any girls?
WITNESS:     Are you serious? Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

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ATTORNEY:  Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS:     No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

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ATTORNEY:  Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS:     All my autopsies are performed on dead people. Would you like to rephrase that?

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ATTORNEY:  ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS:     Oral.

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ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS:     The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

ATTORNEY:  And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS:     No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!

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And the best for last?

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


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