This sentencing excerpt from Judge Vickers L. Cunningham, Sr. of Dallas (County Criminal Court 8):
Judge Cunningham: Mr. Jones, I have checked the box on the probation
order which will allow you to be off of supervised probation once you
have completed your fine, court costs, community service hours, and the
family violence counseling. What I have just done is put the ball in
your hands. So that if you can take care of your business in six months,
you are off the reporting probation in six months. Do you understand
what I'm talking about here?
Judge Cunningham: If you are going to drag it out, you are going to
be on probation for two years. So I put the ball in your court...do you
Defendant: What I don't understand is what you mean by getting the ball. That's the part I don't understand.
April 2008 - Justice in Rusk County
This marvelous!!! contribution is from Justice Bailey C. Moseley
of Texarkana (Court of Appeals, 6th Appellate Dis-trict), who writes:
number of years ago, I was engaged in a jury trial in Rusk County,
representing the defendants in a trespass to try title case in which the
plaintiffs were claiming ownership by adverse pos-session. The
plaintiffs had a woman who lived nearby testify about the supposed long
and continued use of the property by the plaintiffs. “On
cross-examination, I wanted to establish that the witness did not fully
understand which piece of land was really in controversy, so I began to
question her about its location.
Q. What direction is this property from your house?
A. Well, I am not too good at telling directions.
Okay, let’s talk about it in ways that can help this jury under-stand.
Say that it is just at dawn and you step out onto your front porch. You
see the sun coming up. From what direction is it rising?
A. I think it is coming up in the North.
Judge Moseley adds: “The jury broke up laughing, but the witness never seemed to understand what she’d said to make them laugh.”
June 2001 - The Competency Hearing
Mark D. Wilson
of Houston sent me a section from a book written by the father of one
of his good friends. The book, "A Dollar a Mile, Fifty Cents a Gate," by
James G. Taylor, M.D., contains this marvelous (!!) excerpt "detailing
some testimony at a competency hearing."
Judge Jack Pierce asked me to come over to the courthouse one day to
evaluate the mental status of a man waiting in his office. Though I
can't recall the man's name or the relevance of his presence before the
judge, I do remember his response to a line of questioning I'd been
trained to use in such situations.
I questioned him succinctly.
"Is anyone after you?"
"Are you afraid enough to feel the need of killing a person?"
"Do you hear voices?"
"Do you hear things you are unable to see?"
I paused and asked him quietly, "What do you think they are?"
," he answered.
My evaluation for the judge was just as concise. "Judge, in my opinion, this man is normal, and smarter than I am."
January 2002 - Did They Really Ask That?
From Senior State District Judge A. D. Azios
Houston, this incident which took place while he was trying a felony
case as a visiting judge in Montgomery County. The questions are by
Assistant District Attorney Mike Seiler.
Q. Mrs. …, will you please identify yourself to the jury?
A. My name is Mrs. …; I am the complainant’s mother.
Q. Have you been her mother all her life?
February 1994 - The Criminal Stuff
From Ron Goranson
of Dallas (Milner, Goranson, etc.), this trial excerpt from the
cross-examination of an IRS undercover agent by Dallas lawyer G. Thomas
Q. Now, will you agree with me that there are certainly areas where the tax laws are complex?
Q. Okay. And technical?
Okay. Would you agree with me that there are areas where the tax laws
don't necessarily comport with what a person's common sense might tell
A. Congress wrote the tax laws
The Court: Ours is not to reason why.
Mr. Rhodus: Very good. Thank you. But - let's not send this transcript to Washington. Okay?