The United States legal system is the full interconnected system of judicial, regulatory and governmental authorities who together administer and enforce the laws of the United States, operate the judicial system, and resolve judicial disputes and appeals. (Wikipedia) (Note: If I ever use Wikipedia as a reference or source, I am not too serious about my topic. This is a first for me.) There are rules and roles that the players must follow.
Everyone is serious in court. It is a place of quiet, order and respect. If someone gets out of hand, the Boss bangs the gavel and shouts “Order in the Court” or “Bailiff, clear the courtroom” and “If you dare act like that again, I will find you in contempt and charge you $200 and a Happy Meal.”
Have you ever wondered, though, about the Court Reporter? The silent observer, recording every single word, pause, noise, in order to make a legal transcription of the proceedings. A huge responsibility.
Following are some quotes taken from actual court records. I wonder how these professionals keep a straight face as they record some of these answers. (Even seasoned trauma professionals sometimes balance the tension with off-beat and dark humor.) Here are some choice quotes from real documents:
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!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
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?
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?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
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.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
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.
(From: Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History, by Charles M. Sevilla)
A special thanks to a several of my “twisted sisters” who all sent me copies of this on FB today – thus solving my dilemma of “occupation” and my need for light and laughter. xox.
Edited: Sept. 8, 2013 for submission to:
yeah write weekly writing challenge #125 Moonshine
Badge added, content unchanged. Title Changed: Omitted words “Word of the Week Challenge:” This was originally published in response to a challenge on “workers”.
Categories: Humor - I like irony, puns and dark side humor.