Awkward's Humour and Sillies

Courtroom Bloopers

Mary Louise Gilman, the venerable editor of the National Shorthand Reporter has collected many of the more hilarious courtroom bloopers in two books - Humor in the Court (1977) and More Humor in the Court, published a few months ago. From Mrs. Gilman's two volumes, here are some transquips, all recorded by America's keepers of the word:

Q.What is your brother-in-law's name?
Q.What's his first name?
A.I can't remember.
Q.He's been your brother-in-law for years, and you can't remember his first name?
A.No. I tell you I'm too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and pointing to Mr. Borofkin.) Nathan, for God's sake, tell them your first name!
Q.Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?
A.By death.
Q.And by whose death was it terminated?
Q.Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
A.No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.
Q.What is your name?
A. Ernestine McDowell.
Q.And what is your marital status?
Q.How did you happen to go to Dr. Cherney?
A.Well, a gal down the road had had several of her children by Dr. Cherney, and said he was really good.
Q.Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?
A.I will be three months November 8th.
Q.Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?
Q.What were you and your husband doing at that time?
Q.Mrs. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?
A.I should be.
Q.How many times have you committed suicide?
A.Four times.
Q.Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A.All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.
Q.Were you aquainted with the deceased?
A.Yes, sir.
Q.Before or after he died?
Q.What happened then?
A.He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."
Q.Did he kill you?
Q.Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A.No. This is how I dress when I go to work.
Q.When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?
MR. BROOKS:Objection!! That question should be taken out and shot.
Q.And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral.
 What school do you go to?
Q.How old are you?
Q:Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?
A:He didn't offer me nothing; he just said I could have the furniture.
Q:So, after the anaesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?
A:I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.
Q:It was covered?
A:Yes, bandaged.
Q:Then, later on... what did you see?
A:I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head.
Q:Could you see him from where you were standing?
A:I could see his head.
Q:And where was his head?
A:Just above his shoulders.
Q:any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?
A:The victim lived.
Q:Are you sexually active?
A:No, I just lie there.
Q:Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
A:Yes, I have been since early childhood.
Q:The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn't it. You too were shot in the fracas?
A:No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval.
Q:What is the meaning of sperm being present?
A:It indicates intercourse.
Q:Male sperm?
A.That is the only kind I know.
Q:(Showing man picture.) That's you?
A:Yes, sir.
Q:And you were present when the picture was taken, right?
Q:Was that the same nose you broke as a child?
A:I have only one, you know.


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Last updated 24/11/2000 at 18:58