Why small town lawyers should never ask a witness a question if they aren't
prepared for the answer.
In a trial, a southern small town prosecuting attorney called his first
witness to the stand - a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and
asked, "Mrs. Jones, 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've been a big disappointment to
me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about
them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the
brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit
paper pusher. Yes, I know you." The lawyer was stunned.
Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs.
Jones, do you know the defense attorney?" She again replied, "Why yes, I do.
I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted,
and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with
anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to
mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. Yes, I know him."
The defense attorney almost died!
At this point, the judge brought the courtroom to silence, called both
counselors to the bench, and in a very quiet voice, said, "If either of you
bastards asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt."