From the people who brought you “hotchpot”…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 16, 2010 in The 2L Life

…we now have “woodshedding” :roll:

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not terribly impressed with some of the word choices attorneys use in various fields like ZombieLaw. But I didn’t expected that I’d have to consult Google reading through the rules of TYLA’s National Trial Competition that I’ll be competing in for NCCU Law next semester :beatup:

Now I’m familiar with the noun form of a woodshed, a shed where (you guessed it!) folks store wood. I’m even familiar with the phrase of taking someone “to the woodshed” or “behind the woodshed” — in both cases, it’s generally used when you’re berating or criticizing someone discreetly outside public view (since woodsheds are typically far from houses in case of fires).

I didn’t realize that there was a verb form of woodshed… or that its verb form actually has nothing at all to do with its meaning in a trial practice context. Apparently the normal meaning of “to woodshed” is to practice a musical instrument.

So what do lawyers mean when they use “woodshed”? Are we talking about musical instruments? Yelling at witnesses in pre-trial meetings? Storing firewood in the corner conference room?

Of course not, that would be too simple :P

Keith Lee of An Associate’s Mind offered me this definition via Twitter, which was basically a less-vulgar edition of the same thing a few other trial attorneys sent to me:

“woodshedding” = prepping witness to testify, with the intent to carefully skirt ethical issues of suggesting testimony, etc.

I don’t even want to know how some presumably-bright attorney decided one day that a completely new and totally unused definition for “woodshed” would be an appropriate colloquialism for witness preparation… :crack:

But I still love the law :D

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