American Law Court Anecdotes and other Trivia


Lantern Swinger
These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
__________________________________________________ __________________

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your
memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of
something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said
to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!


ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person
dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the
next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-one-year-old,
how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was
WITNESS: Is this a trick question?


ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was
August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Uh.... I was getting laid!

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Are you sh****n' me? Your Honor, I think I
need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning
pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you
performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead
people. Would you like to rephrase that?

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What
school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why
I was doing an autopsy on him!

-- And the best for last: ---

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy,
did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was
alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been
alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been
alive and practicing law

And lets not forget:

Darwin Natural Selection awards.

Eighth Place In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in
two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide
sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

Seventh Place A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker (who 'totally
zoned when he ran') accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on his
daily run.

Sixth Place While at the beach, Daniel Jones (21) dug an 8 foot hole
for protection from the wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at
the bottom when the sides collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand.
People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying to get him out
but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment
almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Fifth Place Santiago Alvarado (24) was killed as he fell through the
ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burgling. Death was caused when the
long flashlight he had placed in his mouth to keep his hands free,
rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

Fourth Place Sylvester Briddell Jr. (26) was killed as he won a bet
with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four
bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.

Third Place After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked
at the front door, a man walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on
robbing the store. The shop was full of customers and a uniformed
officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the officer, the
would-be robber announced a hold-up, and fired a few wild shots from a
target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and
several customers also drew their guns and fired. The robber was
pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators
located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The subsequent
autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified rounds from
7 different weapons. No one else was hurt.

HONOURABLE MENTION Paul Stiller (47) and his wife Bonnie were bored
just driving around at 2 A.M. so they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to
toss out the window to see what would happen. Apparently, they
failed to notice the window was closed.

RUNNER UP Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when
one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from a local
bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated
and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM.
Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one
had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking,
volunteered and pointed out that a coil of linesman's cable, lay near by.
They secured one end around Bingham's leg and then tied the other to the
bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore
his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the
icy water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. Bingham's foot was
never located.

AND THE WINNER IS... Zoo keeper Friedrich Riesfeldt (Paderborn,
Germany) fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of animal laxative and
more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up
pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich
(46) was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when
the relieved beast unloaded. The sheer force of the elephant's
unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground where he
struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200
pounds of dung on top of him.
It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves..... 'Sh!t


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