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Best request for court-appointed counsel from a defendant on bond

. “How do you get one of them pro

bono jokers?”

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.)”

“Pasty White.”

Second best juror questionnaire response to the box saying “Race (Required by Law.)”

Apparently, in

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.

Sticking out

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

prosecutor’s question.

“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?”

“We put

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

enjoy them.