Funny Things Overheard in Courtrooms

A courtroom is certainly a tense environment....

5866761_blogA courtroom is certainly a tense environment. Between the judge carefully analyzing every statement, teams of lawyers ready to pounce on anything said that is even slightly inaccurate or worth objecting over, and court reporters frantically typing to ensure every word uttered is recorded exactly right, the pressure is on for attorneys, witnesses, and others involved to make sure everything being stated is accurate and thoughtful.

However, no matter how much experience one may have in this type of setting, at the end of the day we are all simply human. Slips of the tongue can and do occur in the courtroom just as they do everywhere else. Sometimes the end result is embarrassing, silly, or just plain confusing, but no matter what, it sure is entertaining! Most of the examples below come from books and websites dedicated to funny statements recorded in courtrooms.

Common Sense Fails

One has to wonder—were these comments a simple error in speaking that was corrected swiftly thereafter, or did the lawyer truly think what he or she was saying made logical sense? You can be the judge with these amusing examples of common sense not being so terribly common after all:

Attorney: “I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.”

Witness: “That’s me.”

Attorney: “Were you present when that picture was taken?”


Attorney: “Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?”

Witness: “By death.”

Attorney: “And by whose death was it terminated?”


Attorney: “She had three children, right?”
Witness: “Yes.”
Attorney: “How many were boys?”
Witness: “None.”
Attorney: “Were there any girls?”


Attorney: “You say that the stairs went down to the basement?”
Witness: “Yes.”
Attorney: “And these stairs, did they go up also?”


Attorney: “Mr. Clark, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?”
Witness: “I went to Europe, sir.”

Attorney: “And did you take your new wife?”

Dealing With Doctors

The majority of medical doctors and attorneys are quite intelligent and well educated, but their respective graduate educational backgrounds could not be more different from one another. When a doctor has to take the stand, the end result can certainly be funny, especially if the lawyer in question does not have a very good grasp of basic medical practices or human body functions. Here are a few humorous examples of doctors or other witnesses trying to discuss medicine while being questioned:

Attorney: “Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
Witness: “All my autopsies are performed on dead people.”


Attorney: “This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?”
Witness: “Yes.”
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: “Mrs. Jones, do you believe you are emotionally stable?”
Witness: “I used to be.”
Attorney: “How many times have you committed suicide?”


Attorney: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
Witness: “No.”
Attorney: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
Witness: “No.”
Attorney: “Did you check for breathing?”
Witness: “No.”
Attorney: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
Witness: “No.”
Attorney: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
Witness: “Because his brain was sitting in a jar on my desk.”
Attorney: “But nevertheless could the patient have still been alive?”
Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.”


Not Just Lawyers

To be fair, it isn’t just the attorneys who have goofed up in this list. Many times, it is the witness who generate so many of these memorable quotes. Imagine how frustrating it must be for an attorney to put a witness on the stand, only to hear some of these gems fall out of his or her mouth! Here are a few noteworthy examples:

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: “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: “All your responses must be oral, okay? What school did you go to?”
Witness: “Oral.”


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.”





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