Above: Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
By Dilip Bobb
The exchanges below are from a book called Disorder in the Courts and are things people actually said in court. Some classic examples:
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: I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognise that picture.
Accused: That’s me.
Lawyer: Were you present when that picture was taken?
Lawyer: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
Witness: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
Lawyer: And why did that upset you?
Witness: My name is Susan!
Lawyer: Can you describe the individual?
Witness: He was about medium height and had a beard
Lawyer: Was this a male or a female?
Witness: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
Lawyer: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
Witness: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
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: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
Lawyer: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
Witness: I forget.
Lawyer: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
Lawyer: 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?
Lawyer: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
Witness: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
Lawyer: Could you see him from where you were standing?
Witness: I could see his head.
Lawyer: And where was his head?
Witness: Just above his shoulders.
Lawyer: Do you know how far pregnant you are now?
Accused: I’ll be three months on November 8.
Lawyer: Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?
Lawyer: What were you doing at that time?
Lawyer: She had three children, right?
Lawyer: How many were boys?
Lawyer: Were there any girls?
Accused: Your Honour, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
Lawyer: How was your first marriage terminated?
Accused: By death.
Lawyer: And by whose death was it terminated?
Accused: Take a guess.
Lawyer: What happened then?
Victim: He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me’.
Lawyer: Did he kill you?
Lawyer: Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man
Accused: Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.
Lawyer: When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?
Lawyer: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.
Lawyer: 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.
Lawyer: ALL your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
Lawyer: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
Witness: Are you qualified to ask that question?
Lawyer: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
Lawyer: Did you check for blood pressure?
Lawyer: Did you check for breathing?
Lawyer: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
Lawyer: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
Witness: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Lawyer: 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.