RETURN OF THE BOOMERANG

January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

More actual courtroom proceedings collected from hither and yon over the years …

Putting the “Dire” in Voir Dire

Q:       Would you say that you have strong opinions?

A:       My friends at the barber shop say I do, yes.

Q:       And what do they say about your opinions?

A:       Well, they call me “the hanging judge.”

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Q:       Mr. Eugene Smith, are you related to my client here, the defendant Mr. Dan Smith?

A:       Oh my gosh, no! Heavens no! Thank God I’m not!

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Q:               Ma’am, is there any reason at all why you believe you could not be completely impartial in this case?

A:               Yes, but I’d rather not say.

Q:               Ma’am, we need to know what your reason is.

A:               Judge, do I have to tell?

Judge:      Yes, ma’am, you do.

A:               It’s this lawyer, judge. He’s the most obnoxious person I think I’ve ever been around.

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Q:       Would you say that your pregnancies were uneventful?

A:       I never heard of one that was uneventful.

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Q:       In what state were your children born?

A:       A fairly good state, I would say, except one of ’em had a rash.

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Unidentified Flying Objections

Atty:       Objection. Dead horse.

Court:     Sustained.

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Atty 1:          What did you see when you arrived on the scene?

Witness:       I saw the car crashed into a light pole and a man lying in the street in a puddle of blood.

Atty 1:          What happened next?

Witness:       I run up to him and cradled his head in my arms, and he said …

Atty 2:          Objection, hearsay.

Atty 1:          It’s excited utterance, Judge, and dying declaration.

Atty 2:          No foundation for either, your honor.

Court:           It’s lunchtime. We’ll break here, and you lawyers can get some cases together and argue after the break.

[Court is in recess and returns after the lunch break]

Court:          All right, counsel, do you have some authority for me to consider?

[Whereupon counsel each present the judge with several cases and argue their respective positions further]

Court:          I have several appellate court opinions to review here before I rule on the objection. Court will be in recess subject to call by the bailiff.

[The judge retires to chambers and reads the case law. His staff attorney provides some research material. Finally, after an hour the judge returns to the court room.]

Court:          Having read the cases submitted, and having done my own research, I am satisfied that the record to this point establishes that the statement made by the decedent was sufficiently spontaneous and related to the accident to qualify it as an excited utterance, which is an exception to the hearsay rule, and therefore I overrule the objection. Please repeat the question.

Atty 1:         Sir, you said you cradled the decedent’s head in your arms. What if anything happened next?

Witness:      [Annoyed at the delay] Well, I was going to say what the man said.

Atty 1:         The judge has ruled that you can tell us.

Witness:      He said, “duh,” and he died.

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To Insure Domestic Tranquility

Q:       Ma’am, would you please tell the court about your sex life in the year leading up to the separation?

A:      You mean with my husband, or what?

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Q:       As for his drinking, could you smell the odor of alcohol when your husband would come home from work?

A:       No, not really. I can’t smell.

Q:       You can’t smell at all?

A:       No, I lost my sense of smell some years ago. It has to be a very, very strong odor for me to smell it.

Q:       I’m sorry to hear that. It must be a big disadvantage not to have a sense of smell.

A:      Living with him, it’s actually quite an advantage.

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