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Snark FTW

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 19, 2009 in The 1L Life

My friend Delta the 2L is taking the Trial Practice course this semester, and asked me a few days ago to be a witness for a mock trial that was held earlier today. I enjoyed myself. Immensely :)

The fact pattern for the trial centers on a high school delinquent-turned-professional baseball player with a cocaine addiction, who bumps into me (an old friend and fellow delinquent) at a rock concert and asks me to procure some illicit substances on his behalf. He robs a jewelry store to pay the $16K expense I quote him for a half-kilo. The cops find the drugs in my car after I’m pulled for suspicion of DUI, so I offer details I know about the jewelry store heist in exchange for only getting straight probation on the DUI.

Since this is a mock trial for a class, the “witnesses” are either fellow Legal Eagles or the parents thereof. We were all given three basic directives: 1) be truthful in all your responses; 2) where the fact pattern is silent, feel free to improvise; and 3) be as uncooperative with opposing counsel as possible.  The lack of “uncooperative”-ness wasn’t terribly exciting though since most of the witnesses read straight from their fact pattern materials on the stand.

Not I… ;)

Since I was doing this for Delta the 2L — a person who’s helped guide me through law school thus far — I figured I’d have some fun with it for her benefit. That led to a handful of exchanges that were mildly amusing for the jury, mildly annoying for the defense counsel, or a combination of the two.

An example:

[From the fact pattern: I’ve been convicted of filing a false police report, included in the fact pattern to provide an opportunity for the defense to attack my credibility]

Defense Counsel: On January xx, you were convicted of filing a false police report, were you not?

Me: I can explain that. ::turns to the jury:: I was doing my Christmas shopping, see, and I had this lady friend. Gorgeous. And she had this kid. So I figured I’d buy her kid the last Tickle Me Elmo they had at Wal-Mart. And then this porcine-looking guy pushed me out of the way and grabbed the last one off the shelf. So I was mad and told the police he threatened to kill me. It was a mistake. But for her it was worth it.

::laughter::

And…

[From the fact pattern: I’ve previously been in prison and don’t want to go back]

Defense Counsel: You have an intense incentive to lie today don’t you?

Me: No sir. If I testify untruthfully I get sent back to prison.

Defense Counsel: And you don’t want to go back to prison, do you?

Me: Hell no I don’t want to go back. Last time I was in there were these 2 guys, Bubba and Pookie. Those guys were hungry, and I don’t mean for Big Macs.

::laughter::

And…

[From the fact pattern: I occasionally read the Sports section of the local newspaper]

Defense Counsel: Do you read the Courant sir?

Me: Every now and then I read the Sports section, yes sir.

Defense Counsel: So you read the news story about the robbery in which my client was identified? Could that have influenced your identifying him today?

Me: I don’t think they print robbery stories in the Sports section…

::laughter::

Part of me felt like an ass afterwards for subjecting the defense counsel to it, but technically it was my job. And it was fun :D

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