September 23, 2014

May 1990 - Many of Us Have the Same Problem Tom

Jerome Aldrich of Angleton (and a Brazoria County assistant district attorney) sent this trial excerpt with the simple observation that it "shows that all prosecutor Tom Selleck (not related to the movie star of the same name) and the defense attorney, Lloyd Stansbury, wanted during jury voir dire was an UNBIASED jury."

Mr. Selleck: I certainly thank ya'll for your time and you've been very helpful to myself. Anybody that has any questions of me based on anything I've said? Okay. Thank you.

Ms. Grigsby: You're not going to use the back row?

Mr. Selleck: Well, I'm a laywer and if I talk to the back row it will take another 45 minutes.

Ms. Grigsby: You know what, I find you very attractive and I might be biased in a different sense. I'm afraid I might decide for you.

Mr. Selleck: That's a first for me I assure you, but thank you.

The Court: Counsel, you have exceeded your 45-minutes, if that helps you any.

Mr. Selleck: Thank you, Your Honor. The judge has given me my out. Thank you very much.

The Court: Mr. Stansbury.

Mr. Stansbury: Thank you, Your Honor.

Unidentified Juror: Let's see you top that.

Mr. Stansbury: I'm not even going to try.

September 22, 2014

July 1997 - Did They Really Say That?

From John T. McCully of Dallas, this excerpt from the examination of a police officer in a DWI case:

Q. At the time the defendant stepped out of the car ... did you have any idea that this may be a driving while intoxication investigation?

A. No. I thought it was just an accident.

Q. At what point did you make that determination that you may have a driving while intoxication investigation?

A. It took him, you know, a full minute to get his driver's license out of his wallet. And plus at the same time, I smelled a strong odor of alcoholic beverage.

Q. After you smelled the alcohol and the driver's license, what did you do then, officer?

September 19, 2014

April 2007 - A Little Out of Touch With Reality

This contribution is from Justice Bob McCoy of Fort Worth (Second istrict Court of Appeals), who suggests that a possible title might be “So There is a Texas A&M Law School After All.”

The following excerpts come from the deposition of an individual who is appealing his conviction for assault of a corrections officer.

A. I’m a state judge from Bryan/College Station.

Q. I didn’t realize you were a judge.… [D]o you wear your judge robes in prison?

A. No, sir, I don’t. I come here on leave out of the county. …

Q. Went to high school and college. Where did you go to college?

A. Bristo A&M [sic]. What they call Texas A&M University. …

Q. How did you become a judge?

A. I went to school, got licensed to be a — practice law.

Q. Was that over at Bristo A&M?

A. Yes it was. …

A. You still can go to school there and practice law and be a judge.

Q. [M]aybe you ought to write a letter to the State Bar and let them know it’s there.

A. I own the damn State Bar.

Q. You own the State Bar?

A. Yes, I do. …

Q. And are they one of the reasons you’re in jail because you just don’t do what the State Bar wants?

A. Yes, sir. I come here on leave undercover from — I mean, other than Bryan, College Station. …

Q. Are you sure you’re not just a little out of touch with reality?

A. No sir, I’m not. I completed high school and college.

September 18, 2014

March 2004 - Did She Really Say That?

This contribution is from Jerome S. Levy of Dallas. A small, uncertain, and nervous witness was being cross-examined. The lawyer thundered, “Have you ever been married?”

“Yes, sir, once,” said the witness in a low voice.

“Whom did you marry?”

“Well, a woman.”

The lawyer said angrily, “Of course you married a woman! Did you ever hear of anyone marrying a man?”

And the witness said meekly, “My sister did.”

September 17, 2014

October 1989 - Did I Really Hear That?

From Martha Failing of Houston (Martha Failing & Co.), a trilogy of "words that blossomed" in hearings before Judge Jim Scanlon (Probate Court No. 3 of Harris County):

"First, earnest lawyer speaking to witness in hearing to determine heirship:"

Q. Tell me, ma'am, how well did you know the late decedent?

Martha comment: How well did she know the early decedent? Or was there a later one?

***

"Second, intense lawyer summarizing the testimony elicited during a hearing, the point of which I never got."

...your Honor, that the decendent was hit and killed by the truck without just cause.

Martha comment: I would have objected that the testimony of the truck was not in evidence and besides, maybe the truck did have just cause, but I was just an innocent bystander.

***

"And third, grave lawyer with arm around the shoulders of the client, in beseeching voice:"

And your Honor, we respectfully request that this will be admitted to probate as a monument of title.

Martha ends with this note: "Lawyers never cease to amaze me: what we say as opposed to what we mean." How true!