Nee Ner, Nee Ner, I know you are but what am I?
In what has become known as the "Rampart Corruption Scandal" involving four Los Angeles police officers working out of the Rampart division who were allegedly involved in a variety of illegal activity. Former officer, Rafael Perez, agreed to
turn state's evidence and testify against the four officers for a more lenient sentence in his cocaine theft conviction.
During the trial, the two prosecutors and four defense attorneys were often at odds with each other. On October 26, 2000, after the
prosecution declined to disclose their next witness until after lunch, tempers exploded in the courtroom with defense attorney Harland Braun labeling the two prosecutors as "pond scum" and a "moron."
Emerging from the courtroom, prosecutor Anne Ingalls encountered defense attorney Barry Levin and the following ensued:
By Attorney Ingalls: Your buddy is in there calling us "morons" and "pond scum!"
By Attorney Levin: Oh Yeah! Which one are you?
By the Court: You may call your next witness.
By Defendant's Attorney: Your Honor, at this time I would like to swat [opposing counsel] on the head with his client's deposition.
The Court: You mean read it?
Defendant's Attorney: No, Sir. I mean to swat him on the head with it. Pursuant to Rule 32, I may use the deposition "for any purpose" and that's the purpose I want to use it for.
The Court: Well, it does say that.
The Court: There being no objection, you may proceed.
Defendant's Attorney: Thank you, Judge.
Thereafter, Defendant's attorney swatted plaintiff's attorney on the head with the deposition.
By Plaintiff's Attorney (the victim): But Judge ...
The Court: Next witness.
Plaintiff's Attorney: ... We object.
The Court: Sustained. Next witness.
By Plaintiff's Attorney: What doctor treated you for the injuries you sustained while at work?
By Plaintiff: Dr. Johnson.
Plaintiff's Attorney: And what kind of physician is Dr. Johnson?
Plaintiff: Well, I'm not sure, but I do remember that you said he was a good plaintiff's doctor.
By the Court: Is there any reason why you couldn't serve as a juror in this case?
By a Potential Juror: I don't want to be away from my job that long.
The Court: Can't they do without you at work?
Potential Juror: Yes, but I don't want them to know that.
By Attorney: When he went -- had you gone -- and had she -- if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go -- gone also -- would he have brought you -- meaning you and she -- with him to the station?
By Opposing Counsel: Objection your Honor! That question ought to be taken out and shot.
By Defendant's Attorney: Tell me what you were like from age 17 to the present. What have your feelings been about having kids?
By Plaintiff: I wanted to pursue an education and then meet the perfect person and be married a couple years, save some money, buy a house, and start a family.
Defendant's Attorney: When did that change?
Plaintiff: Well --
By Plaintiff's Attorney: -- or did that change?
By Plaintiff: -- It didn't.
By Defendant's Attorney: I think we all realize that as we get older, we're not going to marry the perfect person.
By Plaintiff's Attorney: My wife did.
By Attorney: Have you ever heard of Sigmund Freud?
By Juror: Yes.
Attorney: What have you heard?
Juror: He's in Las Vegas.
By the Court: I think you're thinking of Siegfried & Roy, aren't you?
Juror: That's what I'm doing.
Attorney: This guy was a little older than that.
By Defendant: Judge, I want you to appoint me another lawyer.
By the Court: And why is that?
Defendant: Because the Public Defender isn't interested in my case.
The Court (addressing the public denfender): Do you have any comments on the defendant's motion?
By the Public Defender: I'm sorry, Your Honor. I wasn't listening.
By Attorney: Are you going to be generally discussing that issue?
By Witness: If asked a question about it, yes.
Attorney: Have you, in your mind, thought of a question that might be asked that you're
going to offer an opinion on? I'm not going to throw stones into the wind trying to guess what you're going to say.
By Attorney: This Myasthenia Gavis, does it affect your memory at all?
By Witness: Yes.
Attorney: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
Witness: I forget things.
Attorney: You forget things? Can you give us an example of something you've forgotten?
By Attorney: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
By Witness: He said, "Where am I Cheryl?"
Attorney: And why did that upset you?
Witness: My name is Kathy.
By Attorney: What gear were you in at the moment of impact?
By Witness: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
By Attorney: Can you describe the individual?
By Witness: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Attorney: Was this a male or a female?
By Attorney: And where was the location of the accident?
By Witness: Approximately milepost 499.
Attorney: And where is milepost 499?
Witness: Probably between milepost 498 and 500.
By Attorney: Sir, what is your IQ?
By Witness: Well, I think I can see pretty good.
By Attorney: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in Voodoo or the occult?
By Witness: We both do.
Witness: We do.
Attorney: You do?
Witness: Yes. Voodoo.
By Attorney: Officer, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
By Witness: Yes.
Attorney: Did the defendant say anything to you when she got out of her car?
Witness: Yes sir.
Attorney: What did she say to you?
Witness: She said, "What disco am I at?"
By Attorney: Did you blow your horn or anything?
By Witness: After the accident?
Attorney: Before the accident.
Witness: Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.
By Attorney: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
By Witness: Yes, I have been since early childhood.
By Attorney: What is your date of birth sir.
By Witness: July 17th.
Attorney: What year?
Witness: Every year.
By Attorney: And where did he give you those injections?
By Witness: In his office.
Attorney: And that's exactly correct. Indeed he did. What part of your --
Witness: -- I'm sorry.
Attorney: No, no, you're right. What part of your body did he inject?
By Attorney: Does Quicken have -- strike that. Did the Quicken program that you acquired have a capcity to generate a financial statement?
By Witness: Yes.
Attorney: Was Quicken a -- was the Quicken program that you -- when did you -- I'm sorry. Let me start over. When was the Quicken program first acquired?
Witness: January 1st of 1992.
Attorney: I don't know what I'd do if I weren't so articulate. It's been the key to my success so far.
By Attorney: Then there's a minus $85,000 plus interest. What did you believe that referenced when you signed it?
By Witness: Creative financing.
Attorney: But seriously folks!
By Attorney: Your foster son, Corey, who cooks for him?
By Witness: Oh, I do.
Attorney: How often do you cook for him?
Witness: We have probably one good meal a week.
Attorney: Well, no commentary on your cooking, but how many "bad" meals do you have?
By Attorney: But if the discount wasn't on the sales order form or the invoice or the monthly print-out where would it be?
By Witness: In Kansas -- along with Dorothy and Toto.
By Defendant's Attorney: And did the plaintiff tell you why she's feeling confident about going to trial in this case?
By Witness: She says God's on her side.
Defendant's Attorney: Any other reason other than that God's on her side?
Witness: She's telling the truth.
By Plaintiff's Attorney: -- And she's represented by me.
Defendant's Attorney: Oh, that's true -- I forgot that one. Well, that was self-evident.
By Attorney: So, you are unconscious, and they pulled you from the bucket. What happened then?
By Witness: Mr. Stewart gave me artifical insemination -- you know, mouth-to-mouth.
By Attorney: Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
By Witness: No -- I said he was shot in the lumbar region.
By Attorney: Are you married?
By Witness: No. I'm divorced.
Attorney: And what did your husband do before you divorced him?
Witness: A lot of things I didn't know about.
By Attorney: Doctor, as a result of your examination of the plaintiff, is the young lady pregnant?
By Witness: The young lady is pregnant -- but not as a result of my examination.
By Attorney: Remember all your responses must be oral. OK? Now, what school do you go to?
By Witness: Oral.
Attorney: How old are you?
By Attorney: Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?
By Witness: I refuse to answer that question.
Attorney: Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?
Witness: I refuse to answer that question.
Attorney: Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?
By Attorney: What is your name?
By Witness: [states name]
Attorney: And what is your marital status?
By Attorney: Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?
By Witness: Because he was argumentary and couldn't pronunciate his words.
By Attorney: Is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
By Witness: No -- this is how I usually dress when I go to work.
By Attorney: Any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?
By Witness: The victim lived.
By Attorney: What is the meaning of sperm being present?
By Witness: It indicates intercourse.
Attorney: Male sperm?
Witness: That's the only kind I know of.
By Attorney: Now -- You have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?
By Attorney: When was the last time you saw the deceased?
By Witness: At his funeral.
Attorney: Did he make any comments to you at that time?
The Court addressing a Jury: Now -- As we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds -- if you have any.
By Attorney: Doctor, how many autopsies have you peformed on dead people?
By Witness: All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.
By Attorney: Please state the nature of your relationship to the minor child.
By Witness: I'm his mother.
Attorney: And you have been so all of his life?
By Attorney: Now doctor -- Isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases, he just passes quietly away and doesn't know anything about it until the next morning?
By Attorney: And what happened then?
By Witness: He told me -- he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."
Attorney: Did he kill you?
By Attorney: Was it you or your brother that was killed in the war?
By Attorney: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
By Attorney: She had three children, right?
By Witness: Yes.
Attorney: How many were boys?
Attorney: Were there any girls?
By Attorney: Were you alone or by yourself?
By Attorney: I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture?
By Witness: That's me.
Attorney: Were you present when that picture was taken?
By Attorney: Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?
By Attorney: You say that the stairs went down to the basement?
By Witness: Yes.
Attorney: And these stairs -- did they go up also?
By Attorney: Now then -- How was your first marriage terminated?
By Witness: By death.
Attorney: And by whose death was it terminated?
By Attorney: Do you know how far pregnant you are now?
By Witness: I'll be three months on March 12th.
Attorney: Apparently then, the date of conception was around January 12th?
Attorney: What were you doing at that time?
By Attorney: Do you have any children or anything of that kind?
By Attorney: Was that the same nose you broke as a child?
By Attorney: Do you believe you are emotionally stable?
By Witness: I used to be.
Attorney: How many times have you committed suicide?
By Attorney: So -- You were gone until you returned?
By Attorney: You don't know what it was, and you didn't know what it looked like, but can you describe it?
By Attorney: Have you lived in this town all your life?
By Witness: Not yet.
By Attorney (having thought of an ill conceived question that he evidently decided not to ask): Your Honor -- I'd like to strike the next question.
By the Prosecutor: Did you kill the victim?
By the Defendant: No, I did not.
Prosecutor: Do you know what the penalties are for perjury?
Defendant: Yes, I do. And they're a hell of a lot better than the penalty for murder.
By the Court Clerk: Please repeat after me, "I swear by Almighty God ..."
By the Witness: I swear by Almighty God.
Clerk: That the evidence that I give ...
Witness: That's right.
Clerk: Repeat it.
Witness: Repeat it.
Clerk: No! Repeat what I said.
Witness: What you said when?
Clerk: That the evidence that I give ...
Witness: That the evidence that I give.
Clerk: Shall be the truth and ...
Witness: It will, and nothing but the truth!
Clerk: Please. Just repeat after me, "Shall be the truth and ..."
Witness: I'm not a scholar, you know.
Clerk: We can appreciate that. Just repeat after me, "Shall be the truth and ..."
Witness: Shall be the truth and.
Clerk: Say, "Nothing ..."
Witness: Okay. [Witness remains silent]
Clerk: No! Don't say nothing. Say, "Nothing but the truth ..."
Clerk: Can't you say, "Nothing but the truth ...?"
Clerk: Well? ... Do so.
Witness: You're confusing me.
Clerk: Just say, "Nothing but the truth ..."
Witness: Is that all?
Witness: Okay. I understand.
Clerk: Then say it.
Clerk: "Nothing but the truth ..."
Witness: But I do! That's just it.
Clerk: You must say, "Nothing but the truth ..."
Witness: I will say nothing but the truth!
Clerk: Please, just repeat these four words "Nothing," "But," "The" "Truth."
Witness: What? You mean, like, now?
Clerk: Yes! Now. Please. Just say those four words.
Witness: "Nothing. But. The. Truth"
Clerk: Thank you.
Witness: I'm just not a scholar you know.
By Attorney: Do you recall approximately the time that you examined that body at the hospital?
By Witness: It was in the evening. The autopsy started at about 5:30 P.M.
Attorney: And the person was dead at the time -- is that correct?
Witness: No, you idiot! -- He was sitting on the table wondering why I was performing an autopsy on him!
The following are actual statements placed on insurance forms where the car's driver attempted to summarize the details of their accident in the fewest words possible.
Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.
The other car collided with mine without giving any warning of its intentions.
I thought the window was down, but I found out it was up when I put my head through it.
A truck backed through my windshield and into my wife's face.
A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.
The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.
I pulled away from the side of the road, glaced at my mother-in-law, and headed over an embankment.
In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone poll.
I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.
I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.
The pedestrian had no idea which way to run, so I ran over him.
I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.
As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.
To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.
My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.
I told the police that I was not injured, but upon removing my hat, found that I had a fractured skull.
I saw a slow moving, sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car.
The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.
I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.
The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of its way when it struck the front of my car.
Justice is Truely Blind. After a transfer to
the criminal court, Judge Robert Hutson, of the Superior Court in Orange County, California, was invited to watch
presiding Judge David Carter blaze through some 100 felony cases in order to get the
feel of the criminal court's calendar and events. One day, after Judge Carter was called away from
the bench, Judge Hutson stepped in to call the days' criminal calendar. Asked how his first solo day
of criminal law went, Judge Hutson recalled having only one complaint. He had trouble reading Judge
Carter's large wall calendar, which hangs some 15 feet away from the bench. Judge Hutson was quoted
as having said:
By Judge Hutson: The court will instruct the court's staff to make those numbers larger and write clearer. They're fuzzy!
The Absentee Witness. In a criminal case, the defense counsel had just moved for continuance on the grounds that a defense witness was not present in court. The rest follows:
By the Court: Well why don't we call the list of witnesses and see who's here?
[The list of witnesses was called in open court and the supposedly "absent" witness answered "Present"]
By the Defense Attorney: Your Honor, I move for continuance on the grounds of surprise. He promised me he wouldn’t be here.
A Lack of Foundation. An attorney was defending a case on behalf of a modular home vendor. The Plaintiff,
a purchaser of a modular home, sold and set up by the vendor, had sued when his home
developed substantial cracks in its ceilings and walls. The Plaintiff was on the stand
and had just testified about the cracks his home had experienced, when the following
By Plaintiff's Attorney: Tell me sir -- Why do you think your home developed cracks in the ceilings and walls?"
By Defendant's Attorney: Objection your Honor! This witness has no expertise in this area, there is an obvious lack of foundation.
By Plaintiff: That's exactly the problem, your client tried to put this home on cinder block, which is a lack of foundation.
I want my MTV. A California attorney telephoned "Circuit City", a local electronics store, in search of a new television set.
He was told that he would receive a telephone call back regarding the availablity of the make and model of television he
was interested in purchasing. A few minutes after hanging up, the office receptionist informed him that "Circuit"
was on the line. The following conversation then transpired:
By Attorney: "Wow, that was fast! -- What did you find out about the TV I want?"
By Female Caller: "Excuse me?" the female voice replied.
Attorney: "The TV, what did you find out?" the attorney again queried.
Female Caller: "I'm sorry sir?"
Attorney: "Darn! -- I guess that's a pretty popular model. OK then, what about that larger model being advertised? Do you have any of those in stock?"
Female Caller: "We don't have any TV's here sir," the female voice firmly retorted.
Attorney: "What do you mean? Sure you do -- I was in there just the other day," the attorney responded.
Female Caller: "Sir, I'm telling you --" the female voice muttered, cut off in mid-sentance.
Attorney: "-- Look! Do you have the larger TV or not?" the angered attorney demanded.
Female Caller: "Sir! This is the Ninth "Circuit" Court of Appeals calling to inform you that oral arguments will not be required in your matter pending before us.