Fun With Lawyers


The New York Times is having a bit of fun with attorneys, putting together a series of videos acting out word for word some of the funnier cross-examinations and depositions they can find. This one is from a deposition where an attorney gets increasingly frustrated with a witness who refuses to say whether his office has a photocopier.

Comments

  1. troll says

    I work in IT, and I have had terrifyingly similar phone conversations with some of my users. I once was trying to get a user to look for an icon down next to the clock in the system tray. She insisted there was no clock. After several minutes of back and forth and me sounding more and more like the lawyer in the vid, she finally said, “There’s no clock! There’s just the time!”

    I think my brain melted.

  2. sigurd jorsalfar says

    One of my personal favorites:

    Q: And where, ma’am, did you first have sex with Mr Smith?
    A: (looks up at Judge) Do I really have to answer that?
    J: Yes, you do.
    A: In the butt.

  3. eric says

    I liked this one:

    Judge: Why did you kick Mr. Smith in the crotch?
    Defendant: How was I supposed to know he was going to suddenly turn around?

  4. roggg says

    I think my blood pressure went up 20 points watching that. Please give us some kind of trigger warning if you’re going to put our health at risk. :)

  5. moarscienceplz says

    @#2 troll

    Actually, I kind of sympathize with the user. If she’s my age or older, she associates the word ‘clock’ with a round dial face. This is why I think icon-based interfaces are a crummy idea. Apple used to have an icon of a hourglass as a wait symbol, but how many people today have seen an hourglass AND would understand that that weird little picture is supposed to indicate one AND understand that this is a metaphor for a request that the user do nothing?

  6. MyPetSlug says

    Oh my god, I love this. All of it. I love the concept and the acting was great. Can’t wait to see more.

  7. Stacy says

    Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
    Witness: “No.”
    Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
    Witness: “No.”
    Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
    Witness: “No.”
    Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
    Witness: “No.”
    Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
    Witness: “Well, his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar, but I suppose it’s possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”

  8. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    but how many people today have seen an hourglass AND would understand that that weird little picture is supposed to indicate one AND understand that this is a metaphor for a request that the user do nothing?

    I suppose an icon of the an anthropomorphic computer jerking off would be more accurate, but I think people might complain.

  9. lorn says

    With all due respect the term photo-copy machine is irrelevant. What is being asked is if there is a method of making copies.

    ie: I don’t own a photo-copy machine but I have a scanner and a printer hooked to my PC and I can use it to make copies.

    ie: Any process used to create a copy other than that developed by Xerox cannot be properly called a photocopier.

    Also, the term photocopy is a term used for a particular process developed by Xerox in which a high intensity light is used to activate portions of a roller so those areas will pick up and deposit ink which is then electrolytically deposited upon the paper and bonded with heat and pressure.

    As much as a the employee and his lawyer come across as assholes they are wearing down the other side on an irrelevant point. Getting them to wear themselves down on non-issues can pay dividends as they have less energy for pursuing the substantive points.

  10. dingojack says

    Q: Do you have anything in your office that can transfer an image from one piece of paper to another piece of paper?
    A: Yes.
    Q: And what is that called?
    A; An image transfer I suppose.
    Q: No. What is the thing used to do this ‘image transfer’?
    A: A pencil, or a pen. You could use a marker I suppose.

    :D Dingo

  11. yoav says

    Any of Larry Klayman greatest hits made it or were they just too funny for the actors to keep a straight face?

  12. cjcolucci says

    I’m at a loss to understand what the witness’s lawyer (it certainly wasn’t the witness’s idea to testify that way) was trying to accomplish — other than being an asshole, which, for too many of us, is an end in itself. The questioning lawyer eventually got what he wanted. I came up with the way to get it sooner, but whether I would have come up with it that fast in the heat of the moment, confronted with such surely unexpected nonsense, I don’t know.

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