The one thing I enjoy watching on television is a good thriller, ending with the criminal trial where the skills of the two legal attorneys are shown to the judge and jury. The prosecution hope to receive a guilty verdict and the defence hope to be able to prove that their client is innocent of course, but it doesn’t always work out this way as this week’s little story will show.
In a small town in America, the prosecution attorney was about to conduct his first truly major case, a murder trial. As his first witness was called to the stand to give her evidence he decided to tell the court that he had known the witness all his life, but that shouldn’t make any difference to her evidence. He approached the witness, an elderly lady in her eighties, smiled and said, “Now Mrs Adams apart from in this court today, do you know me? She responded,
“Why, yes I do know you Mr Williams, I’ve known you since you were a young boy and frankly you have been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot, when you haven’t the brains to realize that you will never amount to anything more than a two bit paper pusher. Yes I certainly know you!” The lawyer was stunned by this outburst and promptly sat down. The judge looked down on him for a moment and then asked, “Have you any more questions for this witness?” The lawyer got to his feet pointed across the courtroom and asked,
“Now Mrs Adams, do you know the defence attorney at all? She smiled and replied, “Why, yes I do, I’ve known Mr Bradley since he was a youngster when I used to baby sit him for his parents and he too has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted and has a drink problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice must be one of the shoddiest in the entire United States. Yes, I certainly know him!”
At this point, the whole courtroom burst into laughter, the judge banged his gavel down hard and shouted, “Silence in court,” then he announced, “This court is adjourned for 15 minutes and I will see both attorneys in my chambers immediately.” When they arrived, the judge glared at the prosecution lawyer and said, “You have turned my courtroom into a complete farce and I won’t allow it to continue.” Then he said in a very quiet low voice, “And if either of you dares to ask this witness if she knows me, I will jail you both for contempt of court.”
“We only become strong after we have acknowledged our own weaknesses.”