Self Defense

gavel

My father was a lawyer for most of his life. Later on he became a judge for the state of Connecticut. He had a number of funny stories from his time in the courtroom that he loved to tell. But there was one he told every time we had a new guest at our family dinner table. My sisters and I probably heard the story two-dozen times at Christmas dinner over the years.

The story went like this:

A man is in court, accused of committing some minor crime. The issue could have been settled without going to trial, but the defendant insisted on having one. But best of all, he insists on acting as his own attorney.

So when the trial begins he’s sitting alone behind the defense table, armed with only a yellow notepad. Eventually his turn to call and question witnesses arrives. When the judge asks him if he’d like to call any witnesses, the guy says, “Yes, your honor… I’d like to call myself”

The judge freezes in place. He stares silently at the guy for a moment, deciding how to proceed. Then he exhales loudly and approves the request with a stern warning to keep it serious.

So the guy stands up and poses a question to the empty witness box. Then, he walks up to the box, sits down, and answers his own question. Then he returns to the attorney table.

This back-and-forth goes on for a few minutes with the man asking himself a series of questions. Then he asks another question and walks up to the witness box. He sits down and stares out at the empty defense attorney table. A moment later he says, “Could you repeat the question, please?”

The judge loses it. He starts slamming his gavel and then shouts, “That’s it!!”

Yes, it’s probably smart to have a real attorney defend you, but it’s also a lot less fun.

(photo courtesy of Zimmytws/Dreamstime.com)

Thomas Sullivan About Thomas Sullivan

Thomas Sullivan is the author of “So Much Time, So Little Change” (a collection of humor essays). He also writes short posts for the humor website HumorOutcasts.com . Please visit his author website at: www.thomassullivanhumor.com

Thomas Sullivan About Thomas Sullivan

Thomas Sullivan is the author of “So Much Time, So Little Change” (a collection of humor essays). He also writes short posts for the humor website HumorOutcasts.com . Please visit his author website at: www.thomassullivanhumor.com

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