SUBJECT: DISORDER in COURT

Or How not to Cross-examine a Witness

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : What is your date of birth?
Witness : July fifteenth.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : What year?
Witness : Every year.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
Witness : Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
Witness : Yes.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : And in what ways does it affect your memory?
Witness : I forget.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : How old is your son, the one living with you?.
Witness : Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which....
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : How long has he lived with you?.
Witness : Forty-five years..

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Are you sexually active?
Witness : No, I just lie there.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
Witness : He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : And why did that upset you?
Witness : My name is Susan.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Were you present when your picture was taken?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
Witness : Yes.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : And what were you doing at that time?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : She had three children, right?
Witness : Yes.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : How many were boys?
Witness : None.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Were there any girls?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : How was your first marriage terminated?
Witness : By death.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : And by whose death was it terminated?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Can you describe the individual?
Witness : He was about medium height and had a beard.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Was this a male, or a female?

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
Witness : No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
Witness : All my autopsies are performed on dead people...

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
Witness : Oral.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
Witness : The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
Witness : No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
Witness : No.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Did you check for blood pressure?
Witness : No.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : Did you check for breathing?
Witness : No.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
Witness : No.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : How can you be so sure, Doctor?
Witness : Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Ragged Trousered Lawyer : But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

Witness : Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere


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