Friday, September 3, 2010

The lawyer / witness disconnect

Continuing the Venn diagram analysis of our profession, (see yesterday's), here's one of my own invention:


  1. Our entreaties often do fall on deaf ears. I had the mother of a juvenile felon-in-the-making come to court wearing a t-shirt that said "Do I Look Like I Care?"

    And you tell them "don't 'think out loud' from the witness stand," but of course they do. The example that I use during trial prep is the very simple question, "What time did the accident occur?" And the witness says "Well, let me think...I had a 9:00 appointment to see the doctor, and I was running a few minutes late and had called his office to let them know...." Now you've tipped off the lawyer that perhaps you weren't feeling well, perhaps you were in a hurry, perhaps you were on medication, perhaps you were on the phone, perhaps when you said "doctor" you meant "psychiatrist"....So much better if you simply respond, "Let me think for a moment counsel....It was five minutes before nine."

  2. This diagram is actually more clever than the first. I tried to reproduce (steal) it for use on my site but there appears to be a problem with the size. Or maybe the problem is just with me. But it is reassuring to hear that prosecutors have the same problems as defense attorneys. Thanks for the chuckle.

  3. Thanks Jamison. I think I'm going to do one that represents the prosecutor / defense lawyer negotiations. You should do one from the defense perspective, we can steal each other's. :)


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