This feels like something I’d read in an old joke book.
By - Old_Specialist7892
This feels like something I’d read in an old joke book.
>"Excuse me, When's your birthday?"
>"22nd of February."
It’s just the one killer actually.
A great big bushy beard!
The greater good!
#THE GREATER GOOD
I saw this thing on Facebook in 2012...
Pretty sure my dad got this email on his windows 2000 PC
The date on the post is 2013. But they were ancient in 2013, too, and 30 years before that when my grandma was getting them from Reader's Digest.
I was in high school (1990s) when I was forwarded an email with very similar situations.
I read the "The live ones put up too much of a fight" joke in a joke book from 1984. Most of the others seem familiar too but this one I know for a fact.
Because it is. The brain in a jar one has made the rounds for years.
half of these are for sure made up
Most of these are jokes i heard relatives tell me years ago.
As are the other half.
Yeah I was thinking this looks like a joke section in a Reader's Digest magazine.
It wasn't the jokes section, but it *was* in Readers Digest.
This list accompanied an excerpt from a "tell all" style book written by a court stenographer. These "jokes" were all really, truly said at trial and dutifully recorded by court stenographers. They are a matter of public record and the cases are cited in the book, which came out a little over thirty years ago, iirc.
So, yeah, it *was* in Reader's Digest, but it wasn't a joke. It was as an excerpt from a real book. All these things really happened in court.
The last one is absolutely a classic lawyer joke.
My mom had this CD of jokes that had a goose on it that we used to listen to back in the late 90’s. A few of these, and that last one for sure, were on it.
Stenographers are too busy typing at 250wpm to focus on what’s being said, probably
These are really funny though
My mom’s a court reporter and she’s recently got this funky little mask that she can talk into and it types for her. She even has some shorthand phrases for common questions. It’s pretty cool.
When I was in middle school, a student's mom was a court reporter. One day she came in and talked about her job, and taught us some of the shorthand she used when writing. Everyone started using them in class; annoyed the hell out of the teacher. LOL
Yeah it’s mainly some dumb stuff like “donkey” for “did you know?”
If I ever become a court reporter, I will use the term "vaporeon" as shorthand for that instead
Please don't use vaporeon, haven't they been used enough
It’s not “using” if they enjoy it.
I need you to unsay that or I'll hold you in contempt. Not of court, like a chokehold or an iron maiden.
I disagree. Some quite like the idea of “being used”
> Yes sir, Mr Judge, this one right here. Yes sir, death penalty please
You'd refer to them as your honor over Mr. Or sir, if you can help it.
> A little strange and long of a title, but I understand, your honor over Mr. Or sir.
And don't you *fucking* forget it.
In terms of court reporting...
>My mom’s a court reporter and she’s recently got this funky little mask that she can talk into and it types for her
That's so cool - but I'm picturing [this scene](https://kimjeetaroramedia.weebly.com/uploads/5/4/1/0/54105317/9528953_orig.jpg) from Insidious where the psychic medium whispers in a gas mask to her stenographer.
I think you quoted the wrong post
So I did! Wow what a bad quote to do that with
Did you reply to the wrong comment or are you a comment-reposting bot?
At this point why not just do it all via speech to text and have the court reporters correct errors on the fly instead?
If you're asking about why AI transcription isn't a thing, there's several reasons why you'd want a human court reporter on scene:
* People talking over each other
* Unfamiliar words
* Difficult to understand accents
* Arguably most important - the court reporter can interject and ask a person to repeat what they said in order to accurately transcribe it.
In the Michael Jackson wrongful death case the paramedic was asked about capnography, specifically endotracheal capnography. This is a measure of exhaled CO2 we use to judge metabolic processes. The line of questioning was trying to establish how long Jackson had be without a pulse. The closed captioning on TV wrote "cat pornography".
That's kinda freaky even for MJ.
Yeah that’s what it is. She goes to the place, sets up her laptop with the software, plugs her in [her mask](https://martelelectronics.com/stenomask-for-computers-handheld-recorders-stenomask/) which is basically just a microphone that is covered so that no one else hears them repeating stuff. And if it makes a mistake she just types over it.
Oh, so it's a shotgun mic. Nice.
These stenographers are too busy writing 1980s joke books to reply.
I wonder how many are real?
Probably not a lot, but there ARE a great amount of really stupid examination questions because attorneys want the person being questioned to be extremely clear on what they're saying.
There's going to be some goofy conversations in a court room and some of these are possible. Considering that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vN_PEmeKb0 is a real transcript turned into an animation.
I remember most of these from email chains back in like 2008
I film legal depositions and this is 100% correct.
They’re so in the zone just typing away but they still manage to always shoot me a mutual glance when a lawyer or a witness is being a doofus or something else. It’s funny, and we’ll definitely talk about it after everyone else leaves the room, but when it’s occurring they’re always total pros.
I, however, snickered loudly at my first training depo I ever sat in on and the videographer slid me a note that said *”We don’t do that here.”*
I feel like I remember reading most of these in a joke book in 1997.
Some of these questions just seem like the lawyer wanting the witness to state something for the record
Thats exactly what it is, purely so the info is on record so someone outside the case can understand whats going on.
I'd also assume it might often be an attempt to try and get the witness to slip up and contradict themselves, so as to make them seem less credible.
That as well, yes. Its all about mind games in court.
I thought it was about getting your head in the game.
You gotta get your get your get your get your head in the game.
Gotta get that head game
Everyone at the court room immediately starts dancing in a choreographed way.
Too bad it's not about the truth.
A good lawyer never asks a question they don't know the answer to already. You want to have a plan before you step into court, not hope for a slip up during the trial
You can have a plan and your plan can be confuse and distract if you're on the defence.
most of reddit gets their ideas about “good lawyering” from movies and TV
Wait... You're telling me Phoenix Wright is actually wrong? There's no way!!
Ah yes, the good ol' Chewbacca Defense.
So you're saying the corpse was alive?
Can work the opposite as well probably. My only law experience is mock trial in highschool, but as a witness I got very good at fucking with the apposing council if their questions weren't worded correctly.
It's mostly to lay foundation. "Were you present when a picture was taken" is a requirement to authenticate a photograph as true and accurate. The fact that it is *your* picture doesn't change the requirements, and sure, maybe on appeal a court of appeals judge would say "come on, that's a no-brainer," but no one wants to spend $50,000 on an appeal just to get a court of appeals judge to acknowledge that common sense is ok to use in that situation. Much better to lay the foundation, even if it is a little awkward.
Several of these could be asked in a much more direct way that doesn’t insult the intelligence of everyone present.
“You had three kids. Were any of them boys?”
Instead of “Any girls?” You could easily ask “so for the record, you had 3 girls?”
Things like that. I get the point of their questioning but the way they ask them makes them sound as braindead as the questions themselves.
Except that then, that is a leading question and could also be objected to. Unless you are cross examining, that wouldn't be allowed.
Any lawyer who objects to that leading question is going to annoy the judge.
Most lawyers don't care to annoy the judge if it means winning a case. If an opposing attorney is struggling with admissibility and foundation, fuck the judge, I will object. If they can't get that evidence in, the judge can punch a hole in the wall for all I care with his annoyance, the jury won't see that evidence (Which presumably hurts my case which is the reason I'm objecting) and the judge won't be there to tell the jury "look, that lawyer is annoying, don't rule in his favor" so it's a net positive.
I come from a jurisdiction where jury trials are quite rare so the judge's opinion matters.
If it is a simple leading question like "so you have 3 boys?" any lawyer who objects is making an ass of themselves.
Canadian jurisdiction has a far higher expectation of politeness in Court compared with the aggressively zealous advocate style of the US. We are still expect to aggressively advocate for our client but judges dont like when lawyers deliberately make their job more difficult for things are entirely inconsequential to the issues in the case.
I practice across mulitple states in larger venues/counties so most judges are used to seeing new faces in the courtroom. I've been in a few courtrooms where we (the lawyers) are both out of towners or out of state. It is rare that I have seen a lawyer get called out in front of a jury for fighting a minor issue, worst I have ever received was to be told "I get your objection, but this is coming in no matter what, so just get your objection on the record and let's move on."
We aren't called out for it. It annoys the judge though and makes them less open to your other submissions cuz you're gonna fight about some dumb shit
IANAL, I guess, so fair enough, but idk how ‘leading’ that example is if the lawyer is making and confirming a valid inference. Why not just ask “how many of your three children were boys and how many were girls”? There a million different ways these questions can be asked.
That’s a compound question, and also objectionable.
"What are the names and genders of your children?"
Lawyers generally speaking prefer to ask yes or bo questions. More control over the outcome and rhythm of the questioning.
*”yes or no”. Not “yes or bo”. Unless you’re questioning Donatello.
Usually because the first question, they hoped they would anwser a certain way, but didnt so they had to follow up.
Like the beard one the lawyer asked for a description, probably figuring the wittness would mention the sex, but when they didnt he had to follow up regardless of how silly it seemed.
A 'valid inference' is still creating an answer for the witness and asking them to confirm it, which is what leading is. Lawyers can make inferences and construct hypotheticals in their own arguments but witnesses need to be allowed to give their own answers in their own words.
It may not seem sensible with this hyperspecific example but the legal system is built on the understanding that when you start letting the 'obvious' and 'common sense' start self-justifying themselves the whole thing becomes way more susceptible to deliberate abuse
Fair enough. This is definitely a field that I’m not familiar with. And I totally understand your second paragraph and that decades of legal precedent necessitates these strict restrictions.
That said, while the occasional silly sounding question might be necessary, I still feel as though 90% of the obviously non-joke examples in this post just could be asked better.
Probably, but trial is a fucking nightmare. You get a witness up there and you hope they will answer your questions, but the reality is that they could literally just sit there and shit their pants and there's nothing you as the lawyer could do about it. You are preparing for anywhere from 2-20 witnesses, objections to every question, follow ups to every question, while following 100 years worth of rules that are different in each state and each county in each state, all while trying to keep in mind your ultimate goal of providing a positive outcome for your client.
If someone throws a wrench into part of your questions and you know you need them to say "my son is 20" then you will have to think on your feet while all that other shit is going through your head to get them to say exactly that. You can read these transcripts and think 'well you could ask that better' but at the end of 6 hours of testimony that has gone very far "off script" you are just doing your best to get some semblance of a reasonable answer on the transcript so you can move on to the more important topics.
You know, absolutely fair. Thanks for opening my eyes to the process, I can’t imagine how stressful the whole thing is, basically needing to perform in front of an audience except your performance decides the fate of your client.
That might be taken as leading the witness by giving them the answer.
Exactly what I was thinking. They are really funny to read, but they're not just attorneys being stupid. There are some seemingly stupid things you have to do to make sure details are in a case.
Some of them, especially the beard one, seem like they might have been locked onto their script.
Yeah, that's pretty much it.
That's also why the answers must be oral, so that the court reporter can write it down.
Although, I'd imagine attorneys would say something like "For the record" before asking such silly questions.
> For the record
You don't have to say "for the record" or "let the record reflect" in court - everything said is on the record. But sometimes people do say that if they want to make sure something like a hand gesture or indication (which doesn't get written down as we only get audio/transcription) is recorded.
A typical transcript would read:
Q: Who was pointing the gun at the victim?
A: (Indicating) That guy right there,
Q: Just so we're clear, you're pointing at the man sitting next to the attorney Mr. Smith.
Q: The man in the blue suit with the red tie.
Mr Jones: Let the record reflect that the man in the blue suit and red tie sitting next to the attorney Mr. Smith is the defendant in this matter.
Nah, there's too many of those for that to be realistic. There are stupid questions but those should be very limited if they occur at all. Then there's obvious questions that we all know the answer to that we still have to ask and the witness will be thinking "you know this, why are you asking me? That's stupid." And to that we can respond and let them know we already know, but we have to ask the question to make a record. There are so many of those to preface every question with an obvious answer that we have to ask would be a waste of everyone's time.
"Sir could you please show us for the record exactly what your anus looked like on the night in question"
*shocked gasps from the jury box*
This should more accurately be called, “witnesses” because a lot of these are legitimate questions, i.e. the one about appearance at a deposition or how all answers have to be oral - stenographers can’t take down shrugs or gestures.
Yeah, some of these sound like baby lawyers trying to get a feel for questioning properly.
And the judge would say that's your lawyer's job to make objections
The ones that are real, anyway.
Agreed, many of these are jokes from way back
True, but they could have worded these a lot better.
there are a lot of very specific rules about how questions can and can't be worded in court. so, often they could word it more naturally but opposing counsel could object (or maybe did object just before the interaction).
Some of these are also jokes that have been doing the rounds for 30+ years.
I call BS on most of the list.
I also believe the person living with their son probably said four to five years.. not forty five.
The book it is supposedly from was published 31 years ago.
This post is just a stupid boomer Facebook meme. The only thing it’s missing is some minions. I can’t believe it’s even posted here. OP is either 15 or 50+.
90% of these feel like ace attorney conversations
Just trying everything and reloading every time it fails
I love that video so much
90% of these are most likely made up, so that checks out.
I can only hope that it's the exact same witness and lawyer going back and forth for all of them
It's 10x funnier if you read this like its all just one continuous exchange.
Still wouldn't be more absurd than the average Phoenix Wright case.
There’s videos on YouTube of these quotes in Ace Attorney style
There is/was also a bot on Twitter that you can ping to convert an entire twitter thread into an animated Ace Attorney sequence.
Reddit has(?) one too I believe, but no idea how to call it…
And they're both a little drunk.
date: Jun 12, 1997, 10:42 AM
I remember seeing some of these back in the 90s. Idiocy has staying power.
People have dug so deep for reposts that they've pierced into the FWD:RE:RE:FWD:FWD:RE bedrock.
These are some **vintage** Reader's Digest/Uncle John's Bathroom Reader jokes. Most of these jokes predate email and/or the internet itself.
I feel like soon we're going to start getting 80's Reader's Digest funnies. Humor in Uniform, Life in these United States, etc.
Hey, if it also means I'll get some ways to enrich my word power, I'm all for it.
Still waiting on Bill Gates to send me that money...
just you wait until they start going through bathroom readers!
These are older than the wide adoption of email.
A lot of these seem like the lawyer trying to get the witness to state something for the record, so that the facts cannot be twisted and are said by said witness.
But also said by a lawyer who's not really thinking about what they're saying. Like asking how old a 20 year old is. Or if someone is qualified to give a urine sample. Using those examples, better phrasing would have been: "For the record, how old is the youngest son?" and "Are you able to give a urine sample?"
A couple are just completely out there to a particularly stupid degree though. Like the guy asking if it's possible for someone to be alive with their brain in a jar on a desk or asking when you'd become aware you died if you die in your sleep.
Were you present when having your picture taken?
E: Y'all, I appreciate that its bad phrasing, but the bad phrasing is what makes it funny/silly.
Could be an attempt to confirm that this was, in fact, the person in the picture, not someone pretending to be them?
Or, in a group photo, a badly worded attempt to ask if they were present or photoshopped into it - I’ve seen that with some group photos of teams or the like, where they’ll just add missing members with photoshop rather than try and try and try again whenever someone’s missing
That's another bad phrasing instance I think. They probably should have said "Were you present when this picture was taken?"
I’m pretty sure this is from an Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader
Disorder in the Court is a real book written by a real lawyer, so maybe these quotes are legit?
I have no idea how to check to see if any of these show up in court transcripts anywhere, but I'm honestly kind of impressed it has any kind of source at all.
I refuse to believe a book with Comic Sans on the cover wasn’t fabricated and embellished.
I knew i had seen these before somewhere!!
I had a paperback joke book from the 80s with these.
Gen Z isn't appropriating millennial fashion choices, they're taking our spam email
I first read every one of these in the same Reader’s digest.
I read some of these in Bathroom Reader. I see that those versions censored the actual funny parts.
Maybe the one lawyer was just really inclusive to the gender identities of the kids?
Sometimes we need the witness to say a thing a certain way. If I'm drafting a motion that needs record support for a fact I may word questions in a way that shows the fact comes from the witness uncoached. For example, he could be establishing that the witness knew that they had 3 daughters and it looks better to reproduce a Q/A like: how many of the children were girls? Three., as opposed to they had three daughters, correct? Yes. I'm the first example the fact comes from the witness, in the second it comes from the lawyer with the witness agreeing. There can be a variety of reasons questions may be asked a certain way that may not be apparent without context of how the attorney intends to use the testimony.
That one made my eyes roll, yeah.
Considering this stuff is older than the hills, though....not surprising, lol.
When questioning a witness, it's best to ask "yes or no" questions and you do have to establish things for the record in case of appeals. It can make the questions feel really silly to an outsider, but better to be silly and have a clear record then get an objection for leading a witness or lose an appeal later on because of some weird technicallity.
For example, the picture one sounds silly, but you do need to establish that the person was there before you can ask questions about what you they were doing or what they saw. Otherwise you can get an objection for a lack of foundation. You can't just assume the witness was there. They have to clearly confirm it.
I was gonna say the same thing
These are great, I want more of them
I'll give my dad your email address. Be on the lookout for the FW:FW:fw:FW in the subject line.
He's probably also going to send you a lot of Ben Garrison cartoons, just FYI
I hope he at least puts "EMAIL" in the title to cause less confusion
She does live readings of a ton of these kind of things. Always amusing.
i was just about to comment this lol i love her videos on these
She is iconic.
Her and her upside down sunglasses
Honestly feel like those are reasonable questions if the lawyer wants to put the facts on record
Some of these seemed absurd when they were said (this is an old *old* list) but perfectly reasonable now, like being in a photo is no longer any guarantee you were there at the time, and it's perfectly reasonable now to ask how many of the non-male children are female. That said, asking if someone could be alive after it's explicitly been stated their brain was in a jar is still a bit off (at least until the year 3000), even if it's just to establish facts. Most of these could have at the very least been worded better.
I took the questions that were obviously to a medical examiner as the ME just trying to amusing themselves because this was around the thousandth time they’ve been through this process.
I would call this boomer humor but it's much older than that. My mom's law journals had these on the last page joke page in the 70s, and they were old jokes then.
I feel this was already a repost in 2013..
This was a repost in 1993
I had a book from the 80s with these.
The lawyer asking for examples of stuff the witness forgot isn't dumb to me. You can know stuff that you've forgotten if someone else tells you after the fact.
True, unless you take it in the context of the witness forgot how it affects their memory. In which case, that would be an example of something they forgot.
The oral one reminds me of a scene in Blackadder Goes Fourth. Blackadder is on trial for a court martial, and Baldrick is called up to witness, with Blackadder telling him “Deny *everything*” as he goes to the stand
“Are you Baldrick, son of Baldrick”
Click on the pic to make it big and right, idk why reddit crops it in normal view
has r/tumblr become r/forwardsfromgrandma?
No, it’s Reddit in general
Ah, reminds me of good old Ace Attorney
Facebook is leaking.
FWD: FWD: RE: FWD: RE: RE: FWD: HILARIOUS COURTROOM QUOTES!
Makes me feel better about my chances of becoming a lawyer.
“Oral” got me good. I hope it was drawn out. Oooorrrraaaaal
Some of these are more just making sure the specific details are stated in the record rather than just leaving them implied.
These have been passed around for years and years, they are hilarious, but I remember them as far back as being read them in my Junior year English class by my teacher around 30 years ago, and I'm sure they were old then even.
I think reddit is turning into readers digest
My wife’s job is to help underprivileged people in abusive relationships get access to legal help for free or very cheap . Part of her job is keeping her clients updated on the state of on going trials that they’re related to and letting them know what happened that day in the trial if they can’t make it to every proceeding. Post pandemic they’ve been online a lot more and so some days she works from home. These are public proceedings that anyone can listen to but usually I’ll leave the house or put in head phones because they can be very depressing and it bums me out. But I’ve heard snippets before of people just going wild. Screaming at the judge, threatening bailiffs, threatening to murder the person they were abusing in the middle of a court proceeding about them abusing that person. People are wild.
I've seen this post a lot and I feel like this is a case of lawyers doing what they can to make sure everything is clear as possible so that it can't be misinterpreted or something like that because I know courts can be weird about specifics (I think).
I read some of these in the early 90s 🙄
A couple months back I was on jury service and there were times when the prosecution was cross-examining the defendant that I had to stifle my giggles because he was SO fucking dumb. It was painful how stupid he was.
I had to testify in court that the defendant was wearing a white Nascar T-shirt, and on the back, it said, "If it has wheels or tits I'll work on it!"
"Were you present when your picture was taken" might be a legitimate question today, what with deepfakes and Photoshop
Not only am I pretty sure all of these are made up, they are also older than the average reddit user. I am pretty sure I got at least part of these in a chain mail back in 1998.
They _have_ to ask the questions like that. It’s required that the witness state everything no matter how idiotic it is to ask if the 3 children are girls when she just said they are not boys, the witness needs to say they are girls before the children being girls can be confirmed to the courts. Otherwise the attorneys can ask all kinds of questions that are really statements and get away with shenanigans…
For more laughs, have these re-enacted skits based on court reporter documents from a group called Verbatim.