When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Have you seen tales on TV involving a lawyer who is just trying to browbeat the witness into just saying "Yes" or "No" to a question that can't be answered with either answer?
Not only have I seen it, but I was the witness being questioned by a nasty little bus pard in Houston, Texas - but that will have to wait for another time.
Farmer Joe was in an accident with a semi-truck. Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company responsible for the accident to court. In court, the trucking company's lawyer was questioning Farmer Joe. "Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, "I'm fine"?"
Farmer Joe responded, "Well I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the...." "I didn't ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted. "Just answer the question. Did you not say at the scene of the accident, you were fine?"
Joe said, "Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer, and I was driving down the road . . . "
The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is suing my client. It's plainly a case of a frivolous lawsuit and my client wants that forcefully known to Farmer Joe. Please tell him to simply answer the question."
By this time, the judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe's answer and said, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."
Joe thanked the judge and proceeded. "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown in one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other".
I was hurting real bad and just couldn't move. However, I could hear old Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans and I tried my durndest to crawl outta the ditch. Shortly after the accident a highway patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning real loud, so he went over to her first. After he looked at her he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.
Then the patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, 'Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?'''
The judge awarded Joe his judgement, plus double damages, and ordered the plaintiffs to pay court costs and Joe's lawyers fee.
After the lawyer In my case asked the judge to declare me a hostile witness (by then I was Very hostile), I told the judge that Yes and No were both incorrect and he let me answer the way I needed to.
In my situation, me being me, I embarrassed the lawyer and the representatives of the plaintiff - but justice was done, just like for Joe!