Miss Communication

Our newest installment of monthly feature…

Miss Communication

Oftentimes, miscommunications occur in court, permanently inscribed by court reporters. Culling through a list of such transcribed mistakes, malapropisms and malformations, we came across the gem below, which doubtless furthers the vitriol between the legal and medical professions.

It is (purportedly) a recreation of an actual court transcript where a defense attorney was trying to have the County Medical Examiner testify to the effect that it was possible that the body on his autopsy table was not yet dead.  We join our questioning already in progress…

Attorney:  “Doctor, did you in fact check the pulse of the victim?”

Doctor:  “In fact, no.”

Attorney:  “Did you check his heartbeat?”

Doctor:  “No.”

Attorney:  “Well then, did you check for any blood pressure at all?”

Doctor:  “No.”

Attorney:  “Well, Doctor, if you did not do any of these things, how can you be so sure the victim was dead when you began the autopsy?”

Doctor:  “Because when I began his autopsy, his brain was in a jar on my desk.”

Attorney (persistently):  “Even so, is it not possible that the victim could technically still have been alive?”

Doctor:  “Originally, I wouldn’t have thought so, but upon further observation, yes, he could still be alive and practicing law somewhere!”

(We presume at this point the Doctor may have been treated as a hostile witness.)

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