pseudostoops

now clogging the internet elsewhere

16 May 2006

I object! Witness is being ornery!

In my pretrial class today we questioned mock adverse witnesses. Adverse witnesses are esentially people who don't like your or your client (or who are not "on your side,") but whose testimony you think will support your case- kind of like cross examination, except you chose to have these people take the stand. It was a valuable class. I learned, for example, that if I can at all avoid it, I will NEVER CALL AND ADVERSE WITNESS. EVER. Our helpful "pretrial" textbook has examples of sample "adverse witness questioning" that look something like this: Attorney: You are a police officer. Adverse Witness: Yes Att: You have been trained in the proper use of a firearm. AW: Yes Att: The police department conducts retrainings on proper use of a firearm twice a year, is that correct? AW: Yes Att: So you were retrained in the proper use of a firearm no more than six months before the incident, is that correct? AW: Yes. Att: So, when you said in your April 18 deposition that you had not been trained in the proper use of a firearm for "at least a couple of years," you were lying? AW: Yes Then the gallery spontaneously breaks into applause, the judge decides that the case is over now thanks to the devastating testimony obtained by the amazingly skilled questioning, and Perry Mason stands up and takes a bow. Or not. Questioning for me went something like this: Pseudostoops: You were driving home when the incident occured, correct? Adverse witness: What do you mean "driving home?" I was in my car, but I wasn't, like, fixated on getting home as quicky as possible or anything. And there wasn't any incident. PS: Okay..... You were driving immediately before you sustained the injury you allege in your complaint. AW: Complaint? I just know that I got shot! Your client shot me! You bet I got complaints! PS: Well, okay, but when you first encountered my client, you were driving in a car, correct? AW: I was just driving home, minding my own business, when your client starts driving like a freaking psycho, swerving, and swearing at me, and calling me a dirty Polack, and then he kicks me in the groin and shoots me for no reason and I didn't hear him say police or nothing and now I can't work and my seven children and me are living out on the street. PS: A simple "yes or no," will suffice here, sir. Opposing counsel: Objection! Counsel is badgering the witness! Judge: Sustained. Right! Lesson learned! Friendly witnesses only from here on out!

6 Comments:

At 5/16/2006 07:50:00 PM, Anonymous samantha said...

can i just tell you that i get an upset tummy when i watch debates or hard-core lawyer dramas? i can't take the tension!!! and the arguing! and the yelling!

okay. i need some immodium now. . . .

 
At 5/16/2006 09:10:00 PM, Blogger Blonde Justice said...

You know what I got to do that I learned in law school which was totally awesome? I impeached with a learned treatise. That rocked.

I walked around the office singing, "I impeached with a learned treatise, I impeached with a learned treatise..."

(You'll be surprised how rarely you really get to use the stuff you learned in law school.)

 
At 5/17/2006 03:29:00 PM, Blogger pseudostoops said...

You got to impeach someone with a learned treatise? I'm jealous. I just like saying "learned treatise." Actually, I think someone in the clinic tried to do that this year for one of our clients and the judge laughed.

Samantha- no immodium for me, but I get nervous and all wired before arguing anything and talk about a million miles per hour. Judges LOVE that.

 
At 5/17/2006 07:41:00 PM, Anonymous samantha said...

okay, next you're going to tell me you're my grandma or something. sheesh.

 
At 5/17/2006 08:45:00 PM, Anonymous samantha said...

can i just say you crack my shit up. man oh man.

and where does one purchase jelly sandles in 2006? i did not know they were allowed to be mass-produced, for fear of tight-rolling and banana clips trailing right behind. . . .

and for anyone wondering where the hell the OTHER half of these conversations are, please visit my blog to be 'in the know' because right now, we sound like we're bipolar.

 
At 5/17/2006 09:37:00 PM, Blogger Johanna said...

LOL. That makes my 6th graders look easy :) Hard to do :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home