These are from a book called Disorder in the Court. They are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters - who had the difficulty of keeping a straight face while these exchanges were actually taking place.
- Q: What is your date of birth?
- A: July fifteenth.
- Q: What year?
- A: Every year.
- Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
- A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
- Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
- A: Yes.
- Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
- A: I forget.
- Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?
- Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?
- A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
- Q: How long has he lived with you?
- A: Forty-five years.
- Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
- A: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
- Q: And why did that upset you?
- A: My name is Susan.
- Q. Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the occult?
- A: We both do.
- Q: Voodoo?
- A: We do.
- Q: You do?
- A: Yes, voodoo.
- Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
- Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?
- Q: Mrs. Jamison, were you present when your picture was taken?
- Q: So the date of conception of the baby was August 8th?
- A: Yes.
- Q: And what were you doing at that time?
- Q: She had three children, right?
- A: Yes.
- Q: How many were boys?
- A: None.
- Q: Were there any girls?
- Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
- A: By death.
- Q: And by whose death was it terminated?
- Q: Can you describe the individual?
- A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
- Q: Was this individual a male, or a female?
- Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice,which I sent to your attorney?
- A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
- Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
- A: All of them, all my autopsies are usually performed on deadpeople.
- Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
- A: Oral.
- Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
- A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
- Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
- A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.
- Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample.
- Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
- A: No.
- Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
- A: No.
- Q: Did you check for breathing?
- A: No.
- Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
- A: No.
- Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
- A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
- Q: But could the patient have still been alive, never the less?
- A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
In 1994, a New Mexico jury awarded $ 2.9 million U.S. in damages to 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who suffered third-degree burns to her legs,groin and buttocks after spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. This case inspired an annual award - The "Stella" Award - for the most frivolous lawsuit in the U.S. The ones listed below are clear candidates. All these cases are verging on the outright ridiculous and yet (in the good old USA) with the right attorney you could win anything!
- January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amok inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little !#*$ was Ms. Robertson's son.
- June 1998: A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbour ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car, when he was trying to steal his neighbour's hubcaps.
- October 1998: A Terrence Dickson of Bristol Pennsylvania was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. Mr. Dickson sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars.
- October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbour's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in it's owner's fenced-in yard, as was Mr. Williams. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.
- May 2000: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
- December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighbouring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.
- And just so you know that cooler heads do occasionally prevail: Kenmore Inc., the makers of Dorothy Johnson's microwave, were found not liable for the death of Mrs. Johnson's poodle after she gave it a bath and attempted to dry it by putting the poor creature in her microwave for, "just a few minutes, on low," The case was quickly dismissed.
A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down Main Street. "But, officer," the man began, "I can explain"
"Just be quiet," snapped the officer. "I'm going to let you cool your heels in jail until the Chief gets back. So don't say another word!"
"But, officer, I just wanted to say ..."
"Hey - I said to keep quiet! You're going to jail!"
A few hours later the officer looked in on his prisoner and said, "Lucky for you that the Chief's at his daughter's wedding. He'll be in a good mood when he gets back."
"Don't count on it," answered the fellow in the cell. "I'm the groom!"
A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from LA to NY. The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde,who's tired,just wants to take a nap, politely declines and rolls over to the window to get some sleep.
The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun. He explains, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vice versa. "Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500.00." This catches the blonde's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game. The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer. Okay says the lawyer, your turn. She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?"
The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references, no answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the net and the library of congress, no answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and co-workers, to no avail. After an hour,he wakes the blonde, and hands her $500.00.
The blonde says, "Thank you," and turns back to get some more sleep. The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, "Well, what's the answer?"
Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep. And you thought blondes were dumb!