SIDE | BAR
Best request for court-appointed counsel from a defendant on bond
. “How do you get one of them pro
Second best request for court-appointed counsel from a defendant on bond
. After doffing his beret, a
jaunty young man said to me, “Please don’t be fooled by this air of bourgeois respectability – I’m dead broke.”
Best pronouncement from a probationer asking to have his probation revoked.
“Probation is like a triple-
decker stress sandwich.”
Best plea from an obviously downbeat fellow.
“Guilty, as usual.”
Best response from a defendant upon being ordered to have no communication with his former lover.
“I’m a desperate man with a raging love!” (Incidentally, he did not violate the order, but court staff referred
to the statement for years thereafter, remembering it for both its form and substance.)
Best juror questionnaire response to the box saying “Race (Required by Law.)”
Second best juror questionnaire response to the box saying “Race (Required by Law.)”
an overabundance of caution in complying with the law, “25% Hispanic, 50% American Indian, 25% Irish.”
All of this was neatly handwritten in a box about ½-inch
Best juror questionnaire response to the box
requesting religious preference.
“NOYB.” Sitting two
folks over from him was a self-proclaimed Pagan. I still
wonder if they discussed theology at breaks.
Best response from a young prosecutor on a
losing streak, upon hearing defense counsel state
vehemently that he wanted a trial setting, because
there was absolutely no evidence of guilt.
his hand to shake with the defense attorney, and never
missing a beat, responded, “Then, that will be my case.”
Best misfiring testimony from a defendant in jury
trial, looking up at me, after fumbling a response to a
“I just ________ed myself, didn’t
Best example of a potential juror’s confusion at
when responding to the prosecutor’s question, “…
and, if I
prove the defendant is guilty by proof
beyond a reasonable doubt, what do you do?”
him on probation.”
I hope my submitting this article gets me off probation
around this office, but you never know with these folks.
I could go on and on; that’s only a portion of the notes
in the baggie. There are scribblings noting eye-opening
language on t-shirts worn to court, jurors’ variety of
occupations, unusual names of individuals, and a host
of situations that I dare not include in a family column.
There’s a lot more to judging than signing orders and
making rulings, especially when you throw people into
the mix. The job’s a lot more agreeable when you can