Courting Disasters

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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No, not the romantic kind of courting disasters, not this time anyhow. Today it’s another selection from the courts.

You may forgive the witness and jury member responses (although some of them are really dumb), but it is hard to believe when you read some of this that these lawyers have had the benefit of an expensive education.

Money and time wasted?

Judge for yourselves.

Enjoy.

 

 

But first a joke….

 

A witness to an automobile accident was testifying in court.

The following exchange took place between the lawyer and the witness:

The lawyer: “Did you actually see the accident?”

The witness: “Yes, sir.”

The lawyer: “How far away were you when the accident happened?”

The witness: “Thirty-one feet, six and one quarter inches.”

The lawyer (thinking he’d trap the witness): “Well, sir, will you tell the jury how you knew it was
exactly that distance?”

The witness: “Because when the accident happened I took out a tape and measured it. I knew some stupid lawyer would ask me that question.”

 

 

 

Defendant: I remember when I was in your courtroom in 1956 when you was a municipal judge

Counsel: I don’t think we should go into that

Defendant: Not guilty, too

Counsel: Well, we all make mistakes, sir, but you didn’t make one

Defendant: Well you made one, I was guilty

 

  

District Attorney: Okay. How much earlier had you used cocaine?

Defendant: I was getting high all that day

District Attorney: All right. So you were using cocaine. Were you free-basing cocaine?

Defendant: No I bought it.

 

 

Counsel: Okay. Now let me ask you again, had you been drinking that day? Alcohol, I mean?

Defendant: Uh-huh

Counsel: Had you?

Defendant’s Counsel  Answer it audibly

Counsel: Had you been drinking alcohol that day?

Defendant: Audibly

Counsel: What were you drinking, beer or what?

Defendant: Uh-huh

Counsel: Beer?

Defendant: Audibly

 

 

District Attorney: Judge, I would object to Counsel’s characterization of this disagreement. He is giving a one-sided view.

Judge:  Of course he is. That is what you expect of a trial attorney

 

 

Judge:  Please begin

Counsel: Thank you

Q. (to witness) Miss, while you have, if you do have – you still- oh, you don’t.

Judge: That was a great start, counsel

 

 

Judge:  Are all of the defendants black?

Counsel #1:  My client is white

Counsel #2:  My client is described in the police report as mulatto

Judge: How do you describe her?

Counsel #2:  Pregnant

 

 

Counsel:  Your Honor, the defense would argue the People haven’t proved the prior conviction.

District Attorney: Oh shit!

Counsel:  That’s a legal term?

Judge:  One used quite often in law school

 

 

District Attorney: Did the defendant make any other statements to you at that time?

Witness: He told me he had the best lawyer in Los Angeles and that I didn’t have a case

Counsel: I’ll stipulate to that, Your Honor

 

 

Q: What about the research?

A:  I don’t think there is any research on that. There’s a logical hunch that may be true, but I know of no research study that would support that at this point in time.

Q: What about just common sense?

A: Well I am not here using common sense. I am here as an expert.

 

 

Q: How long would it take for a sphincter spasm to heal, Doctor?

A: Sphincter spasm is not a disease process. I mean, as you stand there, you can have a sphincter spasm if you wanted to.

Q: I could have a sphincter spasm right now if I wanted to?

A: Just tighten your sphincter and that is your sphincter spasm. Try it.

Q: Can you have one right now, Doctor?

A: Yeah, I think we all can

 

 

Q: Deputy, showing your photographs numbers 3 and 4, can you identify those?

A: Those were photographs taken at our sheriff’s headquarters.

Q: Do you recognize the individuals in the photographs?

A: Yes, sir

Q: And, in Exhibit No. 3, do you recognize that subject?

A: Yes sir

Q: How do you recognize him?

A: There’s a name card in front of him.

Court breaks into laughter

Judge: Oh, I love that. We don’t get paid much, but we do have a good time.

 

 

Q: Officer have you ever cut yourself?

A: Yes sir

Q: When you cut yourself did anything come out?

A: Yes sir

Q: What color was that?

Counsel:  I objet Your Honor as irrelevant

Judge: Overruled

A: It was red

Q: Did that red substance that came out appear to be similar to the red substance you saw at the scene?

A: Yes sir

Q: Does that red substance have a name?

A: Yes Sir, it does

Q: What is it called?

A: Blood

 

=========================

 

 

One Lump, Or Two With Your Coffee?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I’ve discussed before in other blog posts that part of the reason for the problems we suffer these days is the direct result of the staggering number of stupid lawyers who are being allowed to qualify from our universities in spite of the fact that they are clearly unfit to hold down a proper job in the legal profession.

Thus we have many of them turning into ambulance chasers to try to eek out a living, whilst others encourage equally dumb people into taking spurious law suits against decent people and  businesses.

The judiciary does not help by their tolerance of junk law suits and by some of their decisions, the stupidity of which take one’s breath away.

We’ve had the morons who sue people like McDonalds because they say they didn’t know their hot coffee was hot or their iced coffee was cold.

But just when you thought you’d heard it all, in one recent case a man claimed caffeine drove him to molest women.

Kenneth Sands was convicted July 3 for groping two women and three teenage girls after a volleyball game in Onalaska, Oregon, on Oct. 18, 2011.

His sorry-assed defense?

Blame it on the caffeine.

Sands, a school bus driver for the Rainier School District, attempted to argue in court that caffeine “caused a psychotic episode,” reported KOMO News. “My son-in-law and daughter have never seen that kind of behavior from myself,” Sands, 51, told the court.

This “behavior” that Sands claims caffeine induced includes grabbing a 46-year-old woman’s breasts several times during the game and later trying to grab her butt as she tried to get away; grabbing a 15-year-old’s butt outside of a bus after the game, and then slapping a 16-year-old’s butt as she was getting on the bus. Sands climbed aboard the bus and touched yet another volleyball player before he was kicked off, the Lewis County sheriff’s office told KOMO.

Thankfully some sanity prevailed on this occasion and the court ruled that caffeine was not, in fact, the reason behind Sands’ aggressive and lewd behavior. He was sentenced to 30 days for each of the five counts of fourth-degree assault.

Sands’ caffeine defense might have been inspired by the “Twinkie defense,” ABC News suggests. San Francisco supervisor Dan White successfully avoided a first-degree murder conviction for the 1978 assassination of San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, claiming his sugary diet caused depression.

Dr. Martin Blinder, the psychiatrist who presented the “Twinkie defense” during the 1979 trial, told ABC News that caffeine could not hold up as a defense because it is made from coffee beans, which are all-natural. “We have no evidence that coffee is harmful,” Blinder told ABC.

Rest assured: drinking too much coffee will not turn you into a serial groper.

One lump, or two?

 


============================

The Curious Case Of The Coroner’s Conundrum

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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In 1994, at the annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Science, their then president, Don Harper Mills, astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death.

Needless to say it featured an idiot, in fact several idiots, which is why it is being recounted on the fasab blog.

This is the unlikely story.

 

On 23 March 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head.

The deceased had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He had left behind a note indicating his depression.

As he fell past the ninth floor, his attempt to kill himself was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the jumper were aware that a safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide because of this.

Ordinarily, if a person sets out with the intention of killing himself and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he originally intended, the death would be deemed a suicide.

Thus, in normal circumstances, the fact that Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide.

However, in this case, the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful, because of the safety nets, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands.

The room on the ninth floor where the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by and elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with the shotgun. But he was so upset that when he pulled trigger he completely missed his wife and the shotgun pellets went through window striking Opus as he fell and killing him.

The Coroner held that, “When one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B.”

However, when confronted with this charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded.

The old man said it was his long standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her – therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident in that the gun had been accidentally loaded by someone else.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal incident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

The case now became one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

 

But even that would not be enough to feature in this blog.

Further investigation revealed that the son, was none other than one Ronald Opus, who had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder.

This had led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23, only to be killed by a blast from the shotgun he had loaded himself some six weeks previously as he fell past the ninth story window of his parents’ apartment.

 

The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

 

 

Another Edition Of Stupidity Is Legal

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

They tell me it’s Monday again. Where do the weeks go? Still, there isn’t much we can do about it but start the week with a bit of a laugh.

This is another selection from my “stupidity is legal” file. Some of these are so daft that they are bound to raise a chuckle or two. I hope so anyhow. And I also hope that there are no repeats from other post, although I cannot guarantee that. Even if you have read some of them before they are the kind of thing that can stand a second or third or fourth read without lessening the enjoyment too much.

Here we go.

 

 

Lawyer: Mrs. Smith, you do believe that you are emotionally unstable?

 

Witness: I used to be.

 

Lawyer: How many times have you committed suicide?

 

Witness: Four times.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: Were you acquainted with the deceased?

 

Witness: Yes, sir.

 

Lawyer: Before or after he died?

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: You say you’re innocent, yet five people swore they saw you steal a watch.

 

Witness: Your Honor, I can produce 500 people who didn’t see me steal it.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

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 also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?

 

Mr. BROOKS: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: At the time you first saw Dr. McCarty, had you ever seen him prior to that time?

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: Did the lady standing at the driveway subsequently identify herself to you?

 

Witness: Yes, she did.

 

Lawyer: Who did she say she was?

 

Witness: She said she was the owner of the dog’s wife.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: Please state the location of your right foot immediately prior to impact.

 

Witness: Immediately before the impact, my right foot was located at the immediate end of my right leg.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: You don’t know what it was, and you didn’t know what it looked like, but can you describe it?

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “Sir, what is your IQ?”

 

Witness: “Well, I can see pretty well, I think.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

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: “What is your brother-in-law’s name?”

 

Witness: “Borofkin.”

 

Lawyer: “What’s his first name?”

 

Witness: “I can’t remember.”

 

Lawyer: “He’s been your brother-in-law for years, and you can’t remember his first name?”

 

Witness: “No. I tell you, I’m too excited.” (rising and pointing to his brother-in-law) “Nathan, for heaven’s sake, tell them your first name!”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?”

 

Witness: “No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “What is your marital status?”

 

Witness: “Fair.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “Are you married?”

 

Witness: “No, I’m divorced.”

 

Lawyer: “And what did your husband do before you divorced him?”

 

Witness: “A lot of things I didn’t know about.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

The Court: “Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?”

 

Witness: “He didn’t offer me nothing. He just said I could have the furniture.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?”

 

Witness: “I didn’t see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.”

 

Lawyer: “It was covered?”

 

Witness: “Yes, bandaged.”

 

Lawyer: “Then, later on…what did you see?”

 

Witness: “I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head.”

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

 

Lawyer: “The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn’t it? You too were shot in the fracas.”

 

Witness: “No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval.”

 

===============

 

A Little More Stupidity Is Legal

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

Here is another selection of courtroom bloopers. I hope there are no repeats from the last lot, but even if there are you can read most of them again and still laugh. I know I can.

Enjoy!

 

Lawyer: Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?

Witness: By death.

Lawyer: And by whose death was it terminated?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Have you lived in this town all your life?

Witness: Not yet.

– – – – – – – – – –

 

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: How many times have you committed suicide?

Witness: (looking confused) Is that a question?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: And where was the location of the accident?

Witness: Approximately milepost 499.

Lawyer: And where is milepost 499?

Witness: Probably between milepost 498 and 500.

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?

Witness: What do you think counselor.

– – – – – – – – – –

Lawyer: What happened then?

Witness: He told me, he says, “I have to kill you because you can identify me”

Lawyer: And did he kill you?

Witness: Yes!

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Was that the same nose you broke as a child?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Were you alone or by yourself?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Do you have any children or anything of that kind?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: So you were gone until you returned?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

A Texas attorney, realizing he was on the verge of unleashing a stupid question, interrupted himself and said, “Your Honor, I’d like to strike the next question.”

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

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: … any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?

Witness: The victim lived.

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Did he pick the dog up by the ears?

Witness: No.

Lawyer: What was he doing with the dog’s ears?

Witness: Picking them up in the air.

Lawyer: Where was the dog at this time?

Witness: Attached to the ears.

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: What is your relationship with the plaintiff?

Witness: She is my daughter.

Lawyer: Was she your daughter on February 13 1979?

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Lawyer: Did you stay all night with this man in New York?

Witness: I refuse to answer that question.

Lawyer: Did you stay all night with this man in Chicago?

Witness: I refuse to answer that question.

Lawyer: Did you stay all night with this man in Miami?

Witness: No.

 

 

 

Stupidity Is Legal, And That’s Official

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

You would think that lawyers would be just that little bit smarter than the average Joe. They certainly think they are, and they have received the benefit of a reasonably good and expensive education. But sometimes it is true that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Sometimes of the people they have to question don’t help matters either.

Here are a few excerpts from actual court transcripts. You may have come across them before in emails, that’s originally how I got most of these. But they are funny and well worth reading again.

I think so anyway.

Enjoy!

 

 

Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in the voodoo or occult?

A: We both do.

Q: Voodoo?

A: We do.

Q: You do?

A: Yes, voodoo.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

Trooper

Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing

A: Yes.

Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: What did she say?

A: What disco am I at?

– – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Doctor (1)

Q: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Doctor (2)

Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

A: Yes

Q: And what were you doing at that time?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Really Silly (1)

Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Really Silly (2)

Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Really Silly (3)

Q: You were there until the time you left, is that true?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Q: Can you describe the individual?

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

Q: Was this a male, or a female?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Date of Birth

Q: What is your date of birth?

A: December twenty fifth.

Q: What year?

A: Every year.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Memory

Q: This myasthenia gravis-does it affect your memory at all?

A: Yes.

Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

A: I forget.

Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you have forgotten?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Memory take two

Q: How old is your son-the one living with you.

A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.

Q: How long has he lived with you?

A: Forty-five years.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

What’s in a name?

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that Thursday?

A: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’

Q: And why did that upset you?

A: My name is Susan.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Jerry Bartle was arrested and put on trial for robbing a local shop at gunpoint. In his wisdom he decided that he would represent himself in court. He appeared to be doing reasonably well until the shop’s owner took the stand to give his evidence.

She had identified him immediately as the robber, when Bartle jumped up and yelled,

‘You’re lying! I should have blown your head off!’

He paused, then added,

‘If I had been the one that was there.’

The jury found him guilty and Jerry Bartle was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

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

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

A: Oral.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for blood pressure?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for breathing?

A: No

Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

A: No.

Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?

A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A defense attorney was cross-examining a police officer during a felony trial:

Q: Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?

A: No sir, but I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender running several blocks away.
Q: Officer, who provided this description?

A: The officer, who responded to the alarm.
Q: A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?

A: Yes sir, with my life.
Q: With your life? Let me ask you this then officer – do you have a
room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?

A: Yes sir.
Q: And do you have a locker in that room?

A: Yes sir, I do.
Q: And do you have a lock on your locker?

A: Yes sir.
Q: Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those same officers?

A: You see, sir, we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.

 

 

Have you had similar experiences? Send them along. Let the world know what is happening before it is too late.