Reporter Humor

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?


ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?


ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.


LAWYER: Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man–

WITNESS: Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.


ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.


ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?


ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan!


ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.


ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.


ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.

ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?

WITNESS: Forty-five years.


ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?


ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS: I forget..

ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?


ATTORNEY: Now, Doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?


ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death..

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Take a guess.


ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?

WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.


ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?



Humor in the Court

Courtesy of The Freeman Institute

Facts, Fiction, and Foolishness 

Here are some excerpts from two books entitled Humor in the Court and More Humor in the Court. The books are collections of courtroom bloopers that were compiled by the National Court Reporters Association.  We very happily share this great material.

Q. What is your brother-in-law’s name?
A. Borofkin.

Q. What is his first name?
A. I can’t remember.

Q. He’s been your brother-in-law for years, and you can’t remember his first name?
A. No. I tell you I’m too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and pointing to Mr. Borofkin.) Nathan, for Pete’s sake, tell them your first name!!


Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?
A. I refuse to answer that question.

Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?
A. I refuse to answer that question.

Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?
A. No.


Q. Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
A. No. I said he was shot in the lumbar region.


Q. What is your name?
A. Ernestine McDowell.

Q. And what is your marital status?
A. Fair.

Q. Are you married?
A. No, I’m divorced.

Q. And what did your husband do before you divorced him?
A. A lot of things I didn’t know about.


Q. And who is this person you are speaking of?
A. My ex-widow said it.


Q. Mrs. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?
A. I should be.

Q. How many times have you committed suicide?
A. Four times.


Q. Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A. All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.


Q. Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
A. No.

Q. What was he doing with the dog’s ears?
A. Picking them up in the air.

Q. Where was the dog at this time?
A. Attached to the ears.


Q. Did you tell your lawyer your husband had offered you indignities?
A. He didn’t offer me nothing; he just said I could have the furniture.


Q. The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn’t it? You too were shot in the fracas?
A. No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel.


Q  I am going to go over the same things I did with Mr. Smith, just mainly because I bill by the hour.


THE ATTORNEY:  You’ve got to wait for me to finish.  I know my questions are pretty simple and straightforward, but the court reporter is going to stab you in the face if you don’t wait a couple of seconds.

THE COURT REPORTER:  It’s happened before.

THE ATTORNEY:  I’ve seen it.


You say you’re on the computer.  Are you a Facebook person?
Not much.
Are you on that?
I’m on Facebook, yes.
But you’re not addicted to it like the kids?
No.  Actually, I usually look up my daughter’s to see what she is doing.
MR. SMITH:  Me too.
And she’s 28.
I think they have a name for that.  It’s called stalking your kids on Facebook.
Well, it took her about four years before she’d let me be her friend.


MR. JOHNSON:  Make sure you wait until he’s finished, and that’s as a courtesy to the court reporter.  Okay?  You guys are talking over each other a little bit.
MR. SCOTT:  Or that sharp pain in your leg you will feel will probably be from the reporter.  She wears — yeah, she’s got the special court reporter shoes on.  Usually they’re steel-tipped too.


MR. KESSEL:  Make sure you let her finish the question.
THE WITNESS:  Oh, I’m sorry.
MR. KESSEL:  Or Lindsey will take her wrath out on all of us.


Q  What is your wife’s name?
Her real name or what I would like to call her?
I think given that this is a PG-13 show, that we will just go with her real name.


Where did you meet?
At a bowling alley.
Romance strikes again.


MR. SMITH:  As good as our court reporter is, our nods of the head and waving of the hands as we normally use in typical conversation don’t transcribe too well in the record, unless you do something obscene, and then it’s quite clear.


Q I know that you’re responding because you want to be cooperative. You do have to wait until the end of my question so that poor Brande here can get a question and an answer. We’re only here to serve Brande.
A Yes, sir.

Q Are you currently on any medication, over-the-counter or prescription, for your neck or chest?
A Mostly just over-the-counter. I take usually Back & Body, bareback and body [Bayer Back & Body] or Tylenol.

Q Did your injuries cause you to miss work as a nurse?
A I missed one day, and then I couldn’t work on the floor after it happened for about a month. I was a sitter, so I had to sit with people who were confused.
Q Like you’re doing today?
A Yeah, pretty much.

Q. And as part of the gastric bypass surgery, did they make an incision in that area?
A. Above it, way above that area. They made the incision from here to here. Some of it was removed with the tummy tuck, so you can’t see the full extent. They took out some of that scarring, it was a little lower, and then they put the belly button back in.
Q. You’ve got to have something to play with.

Q Do you understand that you have to answer my question with an oral response versus an uh-uh or a shoulder slug [shrug]?

Q. Apparently you have a goal of getting enough queers [years] into the military to receive benefits; would that be a fair statement?

Q The question was you’re not certified as a law enforcement officer; is that correct?
A Object to form.
MR. JONES: You don’t get to object to form.

Q. How long can you ride in a car before you have to stop and get up and stretch?
A. About 45 minutes, and that’s pushing it, but generally I’ll take my trauma doll [tramadol]and my pain patches and wear those, and I also bring my TENS unit.

Q You have to say yes or no for the court reporter.
A Yes.
Q She is very nice, but she can turn on you at a moment’s notice.

Q And do you have any ongoing discomfort in your shoulder girlies [girdles]?

Q What exactly is that? Is it a shed?
A It’s a mobile chicken coop.
Q What’s kept in there?
A Chickens, when they’re there. Right now they’re in my freezer.
Q Sometimes attorneys ask bad questions, and the court reporters keep track of funny things attorneys say. That will have to go in there. Of course there’s chickens; it’s a chicken coop.

Q. After you realized you were not dead, you got back in your car and pulled over to the side of the road?
A Yes.

Q And how are temporary lockups done in the barracks?
A We wait for the inmate to come out to what we call the salad fork [sally port].

THE COURT: Thank you very much, sir. You may be executed [excused].

Q Your dad during this video sounds like he has a little bit of experience in the construction trades; is that correct?
A No, that is not correct.
Q So if he just sounds like it, he’s just making good conversation on the video, correct?
MR. SMITH: Wait a minute. What he sounds like to you has nothing to do with anything.
MR. JONES: Just use your Oprah objection.
MR. SMITH: Objection, Oprah. Go ahead, answer it if you can.

Q How long have you been married?
A It seems like really long.
Q Sure.
A It was September 2003.

Q You were alone in your vehicle at the time?
A Yes, personwise. I had my four dogs in the back. But peoplewise I was by myself.
THE COURT REPORTER: Off the record.
Submitted by our dog lover Barb Ulrich, RPR.

Q If I understand what you’re saying, the only numbness you ever experienced in that area was in your hand and primarily in the thumb and the first index finger?
A Correct.
MR. JONES: I would like to note for the record that my client doesn’t have a second index finger.

A And you can ask me from now until we get so hungry we start cannibalizing each other, and that’s all I’m going to tell you.
Q Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
A So keep on going, keep on, keep on asking me. Let’s keep it going here.
Q Leaving taste aside, I think I am going to make a better meal than Bill, though. He is a little bit slimmer than me.
A Well, I don’t know, you look like you’ve got more fat on you than he does.
Q I do. But thanks for noticing.

Q If you could wait until I finish my question before you give your answer so we are not talking over each other, that will make the transcript much cheaper [cleaner].

Q What do you do for a living?
A I’m a night stalker [stocker] at Copps.

A Well, I remember, but I don’t recollect.

Q By elevated bite you’re referring to the orthotic that adds height to some of the teat [teeth] toward the back of your mouth?
A Yes. Basically it elevates my entire bite, which creates a visible space between my lower teat [teeth] and my top teat [teeth].

Q Can a gunshot blast to the face, upper body, and head be a competent cause for headaches?

Q What was the reason that you were having the prescription from the doctor for Zoloft?
A I was depressed from the September 11th tourist [terrorist] attacks.

MR. SMITH: I think I’m almost done, if you’d just give me a minute here to make certain.
MR. JONES: Do you want us to step out so you can talk to yourself? Sorry.
MR. SMITH: Actually, why don’t we take about a 10 to 15-minute break.

A I have a lot of patients that are in the factory, and they don’t have any breaks. The only break is, you know, dinner or a 10-minute break for a smack [snack] and that’s about it.

Q So you’re not saying that the foul odor caused the muscle spasms?

Q Could you state your name for the Lord [record], please.

Q How would you describe the floor that you fell on that caused your injury?
A It was a naughty [knotty] pine floor.

Q Have you ever heard of black ice?
A Yes. But isn’t that normally at night?

A I’m not selling it; it’s for sale.

Q Exhibit 45 shows that your current salary, which is paid biweekly, is $1,615.38?
A Yes. $42,000 a year.
Q Do you get any year-end bonuses or anything like that?
A Sorry to laugh. One year we got offered free counseling by Larry’s pastor. No, none to speak of.

Q You’ve highlighted in Jell-O [yellow] and put tabs on a number of the depositions; is that correct?

MR. SMITH: Mr. Jones, would you like a break?
MR. JONES: No, I’m fine.
MR. SMITH: I am just concerned about your temper.
MR. JONES: My temper is fine. In fact, I am just starting to warm up.
MR. SMITH: That’s what concerns me.
MR. JONES: Stick around.

Q How often do you exercise?
A I get up at 5:00, and I do about an hour of prayer and medication [meditation] first.

Q How do you distinguish between verbal contracts and written contracts?
A The written are written, and the verbal are oral.

Q As of the date of the accident you say you were pain free?
A Ironically, the morning of the accident I completed my physical therapy.

Q So what did she say about how much she was working or what she was doing for money?
A She said she was suing [sewing] intermittently.

THE COURT REPORTER: Just make sure you let him finish the question. I know it’s tough, but it helps me out a lot. Thanks.
THE WITNESS: Yeah. Well, I will give you a run for your money, too, on your little type-o-thing there.
THE COURT REPORTER: That’s all right. I’m ready.
THE WITNESS: Get geared into high gear.
[Court Reporter’s note to self: Oh, brother!!!!]

MR. JONES: Why don’t you put a cork in it.
MR. SMITH: No, I am not going to put a cork in anything, Counselor.
MR. JONES: Why don’t you put two corks in it.
MR. SMITH: It’s asked and answered.

Q So on the basis of that, how can you say that you did not know that he had — strike that. I move to strike my own question as argumentative.

A He told me to get a hold of the ADA, Americans Against Disabilities Act [Americans with Disabilities Act].