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Humor in the courtroom

Jim Porter

Here are some legal laughs and courtroom bloopers, compiled by court reporters across the country, and put into a book called Disorder in the Court. The court reporters call them “transquips.”

***

Q: Do you recall approximately the time that you examined the body of Mr. Edgington at the Rose Chapel?

A: It was in the evening. The autopsy started about 8:30 p.m.

Q: And Mr. Edgington was dead at that time, is that correct?

A: No, he was sitting there on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

***

Q: Miss Ball, do you know whether in fact James put his seat belt on, or are you just surmising he didn’t?

A: I know he didn’t put his seat belt on.

Q: What is your personal observation of that?

A: Because when we were driving down the street James was mooning people through the back window.

Q: Kind of hard to moon people with a seat belt on?

A: That’s right.

***

Q: Are you restricted some what by having your third finger shot off?

A: Yeah a little.

Q: What could you do before the accident that you can’t do now?

A: Wear a ring on it.

***

Mr. Ostenson: Could you go back and find a place in the record where I first asked the witness about Samaritan Health Service’s intentions with regard to trying to keep Mayo out of Scottsdale?

The court reporter: Question: “Did Mr. Teng say that he had agreed with Mayo that Mayo would not building a tertiary-care hospital in the Scottsdale area?

Answer: “No. I think I would have remembered that.”

Question: Did Mr. Teng say that he had discussed SHS’s desire not to have the Mayo Clinic build a tertiary-care hospital in the Scottsdale area?

Q: So what Mr. Teng said was, “Hold the Mayo?”

***

A: It was a tight chest, having a hard time catching air.

Q: And did this come on suddenly?

A: Yeah. It was the first time I experienced it.

Q: Where were you when it came on?

A: In bed.

Q: Sleeping, or were you –

A: You really want to know?

Q: I just want to know if it was activity induced?

A: I was having sex.

Q: I think we could say it was activity induced. And had you had a cigarette any time around this time?

A: No, of course I was not smoking during sex. My wife asked me once, “Do you smoke after sex?”

I said, “I’ve never looked down there to see.”

***

Q: Did you blow your horn or anything?

A: After the accident?

Q: Before the accident.

A: Sure, I played for 10 years. I went to school for it and everything.

***

The court: To the charge of driving while intoxicated, how do you plead?

The defendant: Drunk

***

Q: Trooper, was the defendant obviously drunk when you arrested her?

Defense Counsel: Objection, your Honor. It calls for a conclusion.

The Court: Sustained.

Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant were your red and blue lights flashing?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: What did she say?

A: “What disco am I at.”

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon, with offices in Truckee and Reno. He is also a mediator.


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