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“Lawyer Idiocy” as Demonstrated by Some of Them

On November 8, 1998, there was an article in “Dear Ann Landers” titled, “Lawyer-bashing: Sometimes wounds are self-inflicted.”

The Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal printed the following questions actually asked of witnesses by lawyers during a trial. The responses to some of the questions were given by insightful witnesses. This is not a put-on. It’s for real. —Ronita in Center Line, Michigan”

  • Question: Now, doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
  • Question: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
  • Question: Were you present when your picture was taken?
  • Question: Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?
  • Question: Did he kill you?
  • Question: How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?
  • Question: You were there until the time you left, is that true?
  • Question: She had three children, right?

    Answer: Yes.

    Question: How many were boys?

    Answer: None.

    Question: How many were girls?

  • Question: You say the stairs went down to the basement?

    Answer: Yes.

    Question: And these stairs, did they go up, also?

  • Question: How was your first marriage terminated?

    Answer: By death.

    Question: And by whose death was it terminated?

  • Question: Can you describe the individual?

    Answer: He was about medium height and had a beard.

    Question: Was this a male or a female?

  • Question: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice that I sent to your attorney?

    Answer: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

  • Question: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?

    Answer: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

  • Question: All your responses must be oral. OK? What school did you go to?

    Answer: Oral.

  • Question: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

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

    Question: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?

    Answer: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

  • Question: Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you?

    Answer: I went to Europe, sir.

    Question: And you took your new wife?

  • Question: So the date of conception was August 8th?>

    Answer: Yes.

    Question: And what were you doing at the time?

  • Question: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

    Answer: I have been since early childhood.

  • Question: You were not shot in the fracas?

    Answer: No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel.

Oh, well! That's the way it goes sometimes.

This entry is located in the following unit: Focusing on Words Newsletter #05 (page 1)