Thursday, April 06, 2006

Object Lessons

One of the best parts about my job is I get an inside look on how to do or, especially, not do in the course of lawyering. Within the past week, there were four incidents which were what KRS-One might describe as "Edutainment." (Names, conversations and anything else that follows have been altered or completely fabricated for the purposes of self-preservation)

Lesson # 1: Don't mix your metaphors, avoid Stengalese. Rising to beign his rebuttal argument an attorney friend of WAPtm was heard to intone: "Your honor, opposing counsel is attempting to cut the cheese to finely." Perhaps an odd way of saying that the other side's position does not pass the sniff test. (Alternatively, they're full of shit.)

Lesson #2: Don't tell the judge what he can't do:
Judge: Motion denied

Lawyer: Judge, you can't do that.

Judge: I just did.

Lawyer: Respectfully, you don't have the authority

Judge: I have all the authority I need. See you for start of trial on Monday

Lawyer: Well, you can start the trial on Monday, but I won't be there.

Judge: (Looking up) Oh, You'll be there

Lesson #3: Relatedly, when you're winning, shut up. Immediately after the above:
Judge: Other lawyer guy, do you have anything to add at this time

OLG: No, sir. Your honor's understanding of the situation is perfect. Your wisdom is beyond reproach. Best. Judge. Ever.

Judge: Why yes, yes I am.

Lesson #4: The Chewbacca Defense is useful in front of a jury. In front of a judge who knows what you are doing, not so much.
(Scene: Discovery dispute where side A has allegedly not given documents to side B despite repeated promises that disclosure was forthcoming)

Harried Side B Lawyer: So you see your honor, despite these 17 promises, in writing, we still haven't received anything.

Judge: Thank you. Slimy Side A Guy, what do you have to say for yourself?

SSAG: I like peanut butter.

Judge: That's nice, what about the documents?

SSAG: If his hair is sloppy, he does not get a copy.

Judge: I'm sorry, you are basing your defense on opposing counsel's hygene?

SSAG: Look! A Jackalope!

Judge: Yes, they do bound through from time to ti...wait a minute, that's not an answer!

SSAG:

Judge: Baliff, take that *&^$ downstairs and book him for contempt
And, Scene.

4 comments:

DJ Ninja said...

Your stories --> transactional law. QED.

Pooh said...

I understand your theorem not at all. Please elaborate, oh Gopher forerunner.

Frankie said...

Ah, you lawyer folk. Crack me up!

DJ Ninja said...

Oh, it's just that litigation seems to those of us on the ouside like such a weird collection of headaches. Oh, and D-bags, too. (Referring to the storied, not the story-teller, of course.)