March 1998 - The Energizer Bunny
From Marion J. Borchers
of New Braunfels, this excerpt from a pleading filed in a bankruptcy court in the Southern District of California. In the case, "the ex-husband of the debtor opposed the sale of land in Comal County, Texas and appealed an adverse ruling, lost three motions to stay, and then filed an ex parte motion for clarification" - which drew this response from Jeffrey Isaacs of San Diego, Calif. (Procupio, Cory, etc.):
Response and Opposition to Ex Parte Application for Clarification of Court's Order Regarding Sale of Texas Real Property and Request for Sanctions Under Rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
Like the Energizer bunny, defendants just keep going and going and going ...
January 2005 - Did They Really Say That?
From Joe. G. Roady
of Houston (Hirsh & Westheimer) this contribution "in a Juror Information Form" used in Judge Robert Frost's 116th District Court in Dallas:
In the block for information concerning the 'Highest Level of Education,' one prospective juror wrote 5'6".
November 2002 - Did They Really Say That?
From District Judge Joe M. Leonard
of Greenville (196th Judicial District of Texas), this entry in an Affidavit of a bonding company.
5. It is my desire to surrender the defendant/principal to the custody of the Sheriff of Hunt County, Texas, for the following reasons: Has not obeyed terms of Bail Bond contract. Reason to believe defendant will flea
June 2003 - I Can Now
From Joseph Jacobson
, Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4 — April 1986.
Q. Isn’t it a fact that you have been running around with another woman?
A. Yes, it is, but you can’t prove it!
July 2003 - Did They Really Say That?
This contribution from Ileana M. Blanco
(Bracewell & Giuliani):
Q. Let's talk about McNish for a moment. You said he was a beast. He weighed about 300 pounds, didn't he?
The Court: I don't think I heard anybody say anybody was a beast.
The Witness: I didn't say anybody was a beast.
Q. I thought he said five 10 and a beast. Maybe I misunderstood.
A. Obese. I didn't say he was a beast.
The Court: Okay.
Q. Maybe my accent is -- fat. McNish was fat?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And like 300 pounds, 300-pound gentleman, somewhere in that ballpark area?
A. I'm not absolutely certain. He's certainly very overweight
June 1989 - Did I Really Say That?
From a telephone hearing conducted by one of the bankruptcy judges in Dallas: the judge has been advised that 12 attorneys are ready for him on the conference call.
The Court: Okay. Thank you. I'm going to give the decision on the motion. I'm going to go through it all and make findings and conclusions of law and give an opinion ... if any of you can't hear me, let me know.
September 2005 - “Transquips”
From Lynn Brooks
of DeSoto, who is a certified shorthand reporter:
Q. You must have been hurt in some event. What type of injury did you get?
A. Finger mashed.
Q. Nothing you lost time from work from?
Q. I’m sorry?
A. Got a burn here. I didn’t lose any time. It’s frozen.
Q. People were a lot tougher. That’s a two-year disability injury these days.
Mr. Jones: I’ll object to my own sidebar and continue.
May 1992 - An Unprepared Witness
From Thomas M. Harlan
of Alvin, this excerpt from a deposition he took in a child custody case:
Q. Are you asking me to believe this undying mother's love will spring forth ...
A. Mr. Harlan, I don't want you to believe anything I say. That's not what I'm here for. I'm Christopher's mother, and I'll be Christopher's mother whether you or anyone likes it or not. I can give Christopher love and affection that other people cannot.
Q. Have you ever cursed in front of Christopher?
A. I've probably said "____" or something; but other than that, no, I do not swear. I make it a point not to swear around any kids that I'm around.
Q. And you've never said anything but "____"?
A. I mean, I've never said - I probably have, but nothing that Christopher would even - as he got older, no, I didn't. When he was a baby, maybe I have; but when he started talking, no.
December 2001 - Did They Really Say That?
From Judge Ralph H. Walton, Jr.,
of Granbury, 355th Judicial District), this excerpt “from the direct examination by the prosecutor in a recent driving-while-intoxicated case in [his] court in which the elderly, hard-of-hearing ‘Uncle Billy’ was called to testify.”
Q. Do you know Mr. Rinard?
Q. Rinard. He’s your neighbor.
A. Oh, yes.
Q. You might know him as Elias.
A. No, sir, he seems like a real respectable man.
Q. Not a liar, but Elias. Do you know his first name?
A. No, I don’t.
Q. You just know him as Mr. Rinard?
A. Actually, I know him as Mr. Bradshaw’s brother-in-law.
Q. Fair enough.
June 1994 - Doing Pro Se
From a pro se pleading recently filed with Judge Eileen O'Neal
of Houston (190th District Court), the "friendliest introduction" that she's ever received:
Now comes Plaintiff Ronald Dwayne Whitfield, and says to the honorable judge of this court, "Hello."
Judge O'Neill adds that she did not yield to the temptation to draft the following response:
Hello, Motion denied.
July 2004 - The Winner: Most Confusing Document Title
Paul J. Van Osselaer
of Austin (Van Osselaer, Cronin & Buchanan) and Robert Slovak of Dallas (Gardere Wynne Sewell) — who are opposing counsel in a case on my docket — jointly submitted the following:
“Paul Van Osselaer of Austin … was hoping that the alternative relief would be granted just to figure out what is going on.
He submitted this entry as a potential winner as the most confusing document title, deleting the actual names of the parties to protect the guilty. It’s from a filing in the U.S. District Court in San Antonio:
“DEFENDANT’S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF’S REPLY TO DEFENDANT’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, APPLICATION FOR HEARING.”
February 1989 - Did I Really Hear That?
From Mary Strand
, a staff attorney for the Tyler Court of Appeals, this testimony from a hearing on temporary child conservatorship - by witness who had "obviously not been testifying as expected":
Q. Let me ask you this: Have you been frank
in your answers?
A. No, I've been telling the truth.
May 1994 - Did She Really Say That?
From Suzanne Saenz
of Houston (Suzanne is a legal assistant with Ronald W. Ryan), this excerpt from the plaintiff's deposition in a medical malpractice case.
Q. Mr. Williams, are you on any medication today?
A. Yeah. No. Just a little old pain pill; but I'm not - I know what I'm doing ...
Q. What kid of pain pill is that?
A. Let's see. What did I Tell you the name of it was, a while ago?
Def. Attny: I think you said Vicodin.
A. Vicodin. That's what it is, and it doesn't really hurt my memory.
July 1987 - Do You Swear to Tell the Truth...
Judge: (To young witness) Do you know what would happen to you if you told a lie?
Witness: Yes, I would go to hell.
Judge: Is that all?
Witness: Isn't that enough?
July 1997 - Did They Really Say That?
From John E. Haught
of Beaumont (Mehaffy & Weber), this excerpt from the deposition of a supposed eyewitness to an automobile accident who was a close friend of the plaintiff's family.
A. It's nothing out of the ordinary that I didn't, you know, go by and see Ms. Smith and Jim, you know, because, you know, I've always helped Jim out, you know - and, of course, - Ms. Smith having this Alzheimer's disease and all, you know, I always wanted to visit with her as often as possible.
Q. You say Ms. Smith has Alzheimers?
A. That's what I understand.
Q. Is she lucid?
A. No, sir. She's smart as s whip.
October 1985 - Are You Ready?
Q. Am I talking loud enough to where you can hear all of my questions distinctly and clearly?
A. Yes, sir. I don't know how good I can talk, I left my teeth at home, in a glass of water.
Q. Well, gum it out good and loud.
May 1993 - Did I Really Ask That?
From Judge David Cleveland
of Palo Pinto (29th District Court), this testimony from the trial of will contest involving two wills left by Walter Howeth:
Q. When did you last see Walter?
A. At the funeral.
Q. Did he make any comment to you at that time
A. No, sir.
Judge Cleveland adds: "I have wondered who might have been most relieved that the answer was no: the jury, opposing parties, mortician, or the doctor who signed the death certificate."
February 2001 - Industrial Strength Stupid Questions
From Stephen B. Schulte
of Kerrville (Keith, Weber & Mosty), "the worst deposition questions" he has ever heard:
Q. And finally, if we can, Mr. Manne, the - that last sentence goes on to say, you know, after you're saying that it's the position we have taken - and, by the way, let me just ask you about that. When you say "we," is that just the general "we," because you're saying it - I assume that it was both "we" being Susman Godfrey and Mr. Hussey? Do you recall there being any distinction? That is, was that something that you had ever said, or was it something just that Mr. Hussey had said, and you're using "we" in the - in the royal sense ....
January 2004 - Did She Really Ask That?
From Robert A. Bragalone
of Dallas (Cooper & Scully), this excerpt from a deposition he recently attended.
Q. And where are - how are you calculating that? How old do you believe Damien was when he was born? We'll start there.
Mr. Bragalone: Object to form. That's one of those for Judge Buchmeyer.
Ms. Vaughan: Let me rephrase that.
A. From the discharge -
Q. (By Ms. Vaughan) That one would have definitely been misleading. Let me rephrase that.