Do you guys all remember that lecture in moot court or trial advocacy or whatever it is at your institution of higher learning – the one where we were all told repeatedly how important it is to listen to your client (and to the witness on the stand)? I remember it, and now I have seen the most hilarious illustration of this concept that I must share with you right now.
I was in the elevator, just minding my own business, stuffing my face full of protein bar so as to not pass out in my afternoon class when suddenly….
Woman 1: Hey, how is your husband??
Woman 2: Not doing well, not great at all, it’s really bad…
Woman 1: Oh, that’s so good to hear.
Woman 2: The best I can say is that he’s not dead yet.
Woman 1: Ah, that’s wonderful!
After this, the woman left the elevator and the three of us still in it, with the first woman, exchanged glances of something between horror and trying-really-hard-not-to-laugh. If I wasn’t so busy stuffing a protein bar into my face I would have embarrassed us both by cracking up.
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you: If you ask a witness a question, please always listen to the answer… or risk an epic, epic courtroom (or social) fail.