Thursday, October 6, 2011

Flashback to my last trial, part 1

I meant to post this ages ago, a moment from my previous trial. As you will know, if you have read more than two posts here, I rely on humor to get me through the day. And life. When I'm up against a defense attorney with a good sense of humor, well, it can be a lot of fun.

[Insert usual disclaimers about the seriousness of felony trials and not disrespecting the system and rights of those involved etc etc.]

I have mentioned Ray Espersen before (see previous link). I've tried more cases against him than any other attorney and have high respect for him as a trial lawyer and a human bean. Probably the funniest man in the courthouse, given his quick wit and astoundingly accurate (if exaggerated) impersonations.

So, set the scene: we're in voir dire, picking the jury. Trying to gauge the panelists' opinions on various topics and hoping, just a little, to get them to like us, trust us. I have already had my turn and employed my sense of humor liberally. Quite possibly at the expense of Mr. Espersen.

He's half way through, when he raises, casually and without emphasis, the subject of sex (the trial was an aggravated assault, not a whiff of sexual activity anywhere).

Espersen: "So this, here, is like a sexual act. We're feeling each other out, getting to know secrets about one another."
Pryor (smirking, attempting to steal the limelight): "I need to object to Mr. Espersen's introduction of sex into the case. To anything to do with Mr. Espersen and sex."
Espersen (a short pause and a sly smile): "Of course you do. You're English."

If it hadn't been a felony trial, I might have applauded.

Touche, mon ami.

I managed some theatrics of my own in the trial itself to get my own back (and make a valid evidentiary point) but that moment was his.

Until we meet again, my friend.


  1. "..high respect for him as a trial lawyer and a human bean..

    I think you chose the wrong "being", old bean :)


  2. I know what I said, and I stand by it. ;)

  3. This just in: Texas prosecutor believes that defense attorneys are a form of vegetable. :)

    Both of your anecdotes are fun. Your blog sometimes does the impossible - makes me think that trials might be more fun than what I do (criminal appeals). :)


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