Ignorant Testimony Insults My Intelligence

I believe in honor.  It’s honorable… and the Honorable one sitting in front of the courtroom sees it that way too.  Sometimes, that’s the person who’ll decide whether you win your case.

Therefore, in the interests of honor and your future legal undertakings, I’d like to offer some advice that might be useful to you or your witnesses as you partake in the glorious art of litigation:

1- If you’re asked a question, the correct answer is not “YES! uh… wait a minute let me think about that.”  You should know immediately whether you spend four hours per day submerged in a fish tank with your pet Goldy.  Your hesitation sounds sillier than your act of communion with that poor little goldfish.

2- The defendant is not schizophrenic.  The defendant also does not suffer from any of the other psychiatric conditions you’re listing.  You majored in statistics; you should know the odds of your diagnostic pronouncements being seen as credible.  Hint: it starts with a zero.

3- Do not accuse the defendant of committing a crime that occurred seventeen years ago unless you just learned that information today.  The police wanted that information seventeen years ago and now they probably want you just as much for not giving it to them.

4- When the judge starts laughing at you, you should stop talking.

5- When the judge falls asleep, that’s the time to inform everyone of all those pesky incriminating details.

6- You should know BEFOREHAND whether you’re a credible witness.  If you’re describing someone’s character and can’t produce any information from the past ten years, you look like an idiot.  On second thought, you ARE an idiot.

7- Your lawyer is your friend.  (Did you ever think you’d read that sentence?)  Do not lie to your lawyer.  If your lawyer doesn’t know the weaknesses in your case, no attempt can be made to ever-so-ethically brush them under the rug.  Telling your lawyer also helps when your opposition brings up those pesky little details; all that smooth courtroom talk has to be prepared in advance.

8- Don’t be squirrely.   Only authentic squirrels can do that without looking guilty.  Sometimes.

Not guilty of stealing acorns?  I think not.  (Photo credit: NHN_2009)

Not guilty of stealing acorns? I think not. (Photo credit: NHN_2009)

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