Why lawyers should never ask a witness a question if
they aren't prepared for the answer:
In a trial, a Southern small town prosecuting attorney
called his first witness to the stand a grandmotherly,
elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones,
do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes I do know you, Mr. Williams.
I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly,
you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat
on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them
behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you
haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to
anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he
pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know
the defense attorney?"
She again replied, "Why yes, I do. I've known Mr.
Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted,
and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal
relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the
worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on
his wife with three different women. Yes, I know him."
The defense attorney almost died. The judge asked both
counselors to approach the bench, and in a very quiet voice,
said, "If either of you bastards asks her if she knows me,
you'll be jailed for contempt.
"....the harder the conflict,
the more glorious the triumph."
Thomas Paine Dec 1776