Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Witnesses Are Annoying

Lawyers don’t really like witnesses – regular witnesses; hostile witnesses, anybody that speaks in court, besides the judge (and only when ruling in our favour). Our grandiose egos do not take kindly to anyone who tries to steal the limelight from us. Witnesses are generally horrible nightmares. They can’t get over the fact that people listen to them for the few minutes that they get to speak. We, on the other hand, are trained to expect people to listen to us and are paid for it.

The only thing worse than a witness, is a witness who is a client. Everyone knows that clients are people who are only good for the bills but assume that paying lawyers make them half as smart as lawyers.

Witnesses pretend, exaggerate, fumble, get threatened by the other lawyers and often ruin the good work of us hardworking lawyer by telling the ‘truth’ (yes, it is a dirty word!).

Unfortunately, despite our clear dislike for these people, the justice scale tilts on proof of facts, making witnesses generally indispensable. Usually, to mitigate this ‘unfortunate circumstances’, lawyers have pre-trial meetings with their witnesses. In law school, the technical word is ‘preparing the witness’ for the court. In real life, we simply teach the witness the nicest way to tell our truth. Sometimes, it works and the witness does the job and we are happy. Sometimes, it does not, yet we try anyway.

Right now, I am in court with Ghandi and Gloatter for trial. Our witness is in the box and after three pre-trial meetings; one would expect that she would not stumble and ‘umm’ or ‘ahh’ like she is acting now. Ghandi is trying some damage control but it’s not werking.

I want to throw something at her or her at something. Naturally, all my intents are safe in my mind, since she is a witness-client.

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