December 19, 2014

May 2008 - Have I Been Courteous to You?

This contribution is from Christopher R. Johnston of El Paso (Firth, Johnston, Martinez), who writes that he was finishing up a deposition and took a break to make sure there were no further questions to be asked of the witness. He then came back on the record to ask the usual closing questions and got this exchange:

Q. We're back on the record. Mr. [Smith], have I been courteous to you?

A. No, absolutely not. Very Polite.

Q. Okay. [long pause] Have you understood all my questions?

A. Yes.

Q. Are there any answers that you have given me today that you might like to change?

A. No.

Christopher also pointed out that "opposing counsel very wisely did not conduct any redirect."

December 18, 2014

December 2002 - Did They Really Say That?

From John T. Flynn of Atlanta, Ga. (Smith, Currie & Hancock), this exchange between his client "and opposing counsel in a dispute where [his] client, as the developer of a series of multi-family residential units, had not responded to a letter from the defendants requesting payment for certain money they believed due."

Q. If you would look at Exhibit 12, please, for a second, did you receive this letter on or about February 21st?

A. I believe so, yes.

Q. Did you review it?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you respond to it?

A. No.

Q. Did you purposely not respond to it?

A. I did not respond to it.

Q. That was a conscious decision on your part?

A. I was conscious at the time.

Q. I don't mean whether you were awake. But did you consciously decide not to respond to it, or did you just forget?

A. No, I did not forget it.

December 17, 2014

February 2008 - The Motion For Continuance

This marvelous contribution is from Judge A. Lee Harris of Hill County Court at Law in Hillsboro, who writes that he found the following message awaiting him on the fax:

I. Comes now Phillip Robertson, Attorney for Defendant, who moves for a continuance and would show the Honorable Court the following: 1. Defendant will be present in court today. He
has a setting this morning at 9 a.m.

II. Unbeknownst to Counsel, Counsel’s wife procured two tickets to THE WORLD SERIES IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, FOR THE FIRST GAME OF THE WORLD SERIES. She
bought these for his son and him to go. Counsel nor his son has gone to the World Series in either’s life, as both are Texas Rangers fans.

III. Counsel and his son have traveled across the country to Spring Training in Arizona, to (all regular season games) Boston, to Philadelphia, to New York (both Yankee and Shea), to St.
Louis (new and old Busch stadium), to Chicago (Wrigley and Comerica), to Washington, and to Kansas City, all on baseball trips. But never to the WORLD SERIES. Counsel is 38 and his son is 11.

IV. Counsel begs the court to reset the case for a short time so we may dispose of the case without a trial. Counsel has received a recommendation from the Honorable County Attorney.
Respectfully submitted,

Phillip Robertson,
Attorney for Defendant

* * * * *

Motion for Continuance Conditionally Granted.

Defendant’s Counsel’s Motion for Continuance is granted on the condition that he purchase the 11-year-old son at least one jersey from each team and make every effort, including leaping over rails, to obtain a game ball.

Signed Oct. 24, 2007
Judge Lee Harris

December 16, 2014

December 1994 - Something Entirely Different

From William H. Ibbotson of Austin (assistant federal public defender), an excerpt from a civil deposition - which was preceded by the return of a subpoena duces tecum stating:

Served on residence of Patricia Denny ... at home address as stated by former employer. In driveway was a mid-80s Cadillac Seville. Sounds heard inside home but no one would answer door - after 20 minutes subpoena left in flower pot outside/beside front door about 7:56 a.m. (1-14-92.)

Then, in the resulting civil deposition of Patricia Denny, several mysteries are quickly explained.

Q. Ms. Denny, I believe you have had an opportunity to review what has been marked as Denny Exhibit Nos. one, two, and three. Would you briefly, for the record, state what those three documents are?

A. Okay. This is the deposition subpoena - it's number one - that was delivered to my rose bush.

Def. Attorney: Delivered to your rose bush?

A. To my rose bush. It states here that there was a Cadillac outside. That's true. It doesn't work. The only ones home were two cats.

December 15, 2014

September 1988 - Not That I Recall

From Marc Garber, one of my former law clerks who is now with Gibson, Dunn in Dallas. Marc explains that "the witness was asked the background events to the execution of a particular loan agreement" - resulting in this exchange.

Q. Do you recognize the document given to you by the court reporter marked defendant's exhibit 328?

A. Yes, I do. It's the 1984 agreement.

Q. Do you remember the circumstances surrounding its execution?

A. Yes, and it would be a pure recollection on my part.

Q. And, what is that recollection?

A. Uh, I do not recall.