Cartoons and Stories of Students and Lawyers

For this month, I am combining those often repeated howlers that students write  on tests and say in class with a selection of actual back-and-forths between trial lawyers and witnesses. I wed these student stories/cartoons with courtroom exchanges to show that both children and professionals err and miscommunicate creating humor as they do. Enjoy!















The following excerpts are from Charles Sevilla, Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History (1999). These exchanges between lawyers and witnesses have been taken from court documents.

q: : what was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
a: : he said, “where am i, doris?”
q: : and why did that upset you?
a: : my name is susan.


q: : And where was the location of the accident?
a: : Approximately milepost 499.
q: : And where is milepost 499?
a: : Probably between milepost 498 and 500.


q: : Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
a: : Yes.
q: : Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?
a: : Yes, sir.
q: : What did she say?
a: : What disco am I at?


q: : Do you know how far pregnant you are now?
a: : I’ll be three months on November 8.
q: : Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?
a: : Yes.
q: : What were you doing at that time?


q: : Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
a: : The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
q: : And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
a: : No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.
q: : Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
a: : No.
q: : Did you check for blood pressure?
a: : No.
q: : Did you check for breathing?
a: : No.
q: : So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
a: : No.
q: : How can you be so sure, Doctor?
a: : Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
q: : But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
a: : It is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere.


A carpenter was giving evidence about an accident he had witnessed.
q: : How far away he was from the accident.
a: : The carpenter replied, “Twenty-seven feet, six and one-half inches.”
q: : What? How come you are so sure of that distance?
a: : Well, I knew sooner or later some idiot would ask me. So I measured it!


q: : I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.
a: : That’s me.
q: : Were you present when that picture was taken?


Q: How old is your son-the one living with you.
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
Q: How long has he lived with you?
A: Forty-five years.


Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.



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5 responses to “Cartoons and Stories of Students and Lawyers

  1. Laura H. Chapman

    Wonderful. My first year of teaching ART. I asked a class of first graders what they thought ART was. A hand shot up. “I know, I know, That’s my uncle ART.”

  2. Pingback: Funny on Sunday: When a teacher wants to know if there any questions… | From experience to meaning...

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