The last page: What’s the word?

The Dude

Q. Okay. Let me go ahead and do something with you I do with a lot of folks who make estimates like that. I’m going to time out 10 seconds on my watch. And you can tell me if you think that’s a good estimate or if it’s a lot more than that or whatever.

A. I might tell you now: I have no idea how long that was. Okay?

Q. Okay. And the reason I ask is this —

A. This thing you’re doing here is —

Q. Well, it’s more important than you think, apparently.

A. It’s not very scientific, dude.

*****

Q. Have you ever run a marathon?

A. Yeah, quite a few.

Q. Have you done Houston?

A. Yeah. My best time was in Houston.

Q. What was that?

A. 2:59, dude.

Alan Turboff, RPR

Houston, Texas

 

People to know

Q. You say in the email to Mr. Smith, “I have erased this from my hard drive. With the help of Mr. Daniels, I will erase it from my personal hard drive.” Right?

A. That’s what I wrote.

Q. Who is Mr. Daniels?

A. He’s a man from Tennessee who makes Tennessee whiskey.

Q. Other than Jack, do you know any other Mr. Daniels?

A. He is the only Mr. Daniels I know.

Q. In this email, I want to be clear that Mr. Daniels is Jack Daniels; correct?

A. It is.

Q. And that your personal hard drive resides in the space above your neck?

A. It does.

Q. When you say, “I’ve erased this from my hard drive,” do you recall what you were talking about?

A. I don’t recall what I was talking about, and I think that might have to do with Mr. Daniels.

MR. JONES: For the record, I would like to note that this email was sent at 3:37 p.m., Tuesday afternoon.

Camille Macomber, RPR

Walpole, Mass.

 

Will they ever learn?

Q. Make sure that I finish my question before you start giving your answer so that it makes it easy on our court reporter. Make sure you give an audible answer instead of nodding your head or shaking your head —

A. Okay.

Q. — from side to side, all right?

A. (Nods head affirmatively.)

Marcia Arberman, RPR

Lilburn, Ga.

 

One way to make a door

Q. Okay. Number four you said was installed in the winter of 2004. Can you describe that door for me?

A. It’s a six-foot wide door. It’s two swinging doors.

Q. Okay. What did they have to do, cut a hole in the building and put it in or what?

A. I hit a patch of ice with the snowplow and made a hole; I drove my tractor through it.

Merissa Racine, RDR

Cheyenne, Wyo.

 

What can be said

Q. Tell me what was said between you.

A. I just asked him how he was, and he said he was doing okay, and, you know, I was kind of, you know, kind of relieved, you know, that he’s alive and — and that he — you know, just thankful that he was alive. I just — you know, I was praising God the whole time.

Q. And he was able to speak with you, correct?

A. Uh-huh.

Dana Mann-Chipkin

Yuma, Ariz.

 

Before my time

Q. And I gather, from your testimony, you signed the agreements at the warehouse?

MR. SMITH: Objection. Compound.

MR. JONES: Okay.

MR. SMITH: I objected a little early.

MR. JONES: Premature objection, Your Honor.

MR. SMITH: Exactly.

THE COURT: Well, we don’t want that, do we?

MR. JONES: Not if I can help it.

Dianne Coughlin, RDR, CRR, CMRS

Sacramento, Calif.

 

No introduction needed

MR. SMITH: We’re here on a notice of deposition, which is dated Feb. 20, 2014, and the deposition is occurring at the offices of Peter E. Quinny, who is counsel to Ms. Lord, and the only other individual present aside from Ms. Lord and Mr. Quinny is myself.

Donna L. Linton, RMR

Ashburn, Va.

 

Wedded bliss

A. Because I was cleaning. Because we were going to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Some friends were coming to the house, and I was cleaning; that why I don’t forget it.

Q. So you were having friends over to celebrate your wedding anniversary?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that something that you always do?

A. Almost always. It’s been 35 years —

Q. Congratulations.

A. — carrying this cross.

Lisa Selby-Brood, RPR

St. Petersburg, Fla.

 

Location unknown

Q. This person, Mary, do you remember her last name?

A. I don’t right offhand.

Q. Does she still work there?

A. No, she’s dead now.

Q. That would be absolutely no.

Christine Phipps, RPR

West Palm Beach, Fla.

 

The small print

Q. The $5 million check, who was that made payable to?

A. It was made payable to the clients and ABC Law Firm.

Q. So they literally typed 22 names plus ABC Law Firm on there?

A. Yes.

Q. Did it look like one of those Wheel of Fortune checks?

A. No. They’re used to it. They didn’t have any problem with it.

Elsa Jorgensen

Birmingham, Mich.

 

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to JCR Editor Jacqueline Schmidt at jschmidt@ncra.org.

 

The last page: Truth, justice, and the pursuit of a laugh

Take this job and love it
Q. After high school did you do any vocational or college?
A. I went to college six months to be a court reporter and then decided — I saw all the work that had to be done and decided no, that wasn’t for me.
Q. He loves it.
Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas

More precisely
Q. Could you explain my confusion in calling this a serology test?
THE COURT: You want him to explain your confusion?
Q. (By Mr. Attorney) More precisely is this a test of blood or is this a test of urine?
A. Urine.
Rosemarie A. Sawyer-Corsino, RPR
El Dorado, Kan.

Living a fantasy
Q. What were you thinking about going in the house shooting Mexicans named Poppy? Was that real, or was that a fantasy?
A. That’s two questions. Which one do you want me to answer?
Q. The first one first; and then the second one, sir.
Rita Davis Young, RPR
Pontotoc, Miss.

What’s the root of that?
Q. What office do you work out of?
A. My office is located in Rootstown, Ohio.
Q. How do you spell Rootstown?
A. R-O-O-T-S-T-O-W-N.
MR. SMITH: It’s where they do root cause analysis.
MS. JONES: Okay, that’s clearly exact.
THE WITNESS: Never thought of it that way.
MR. WILSON: Better than root canals.
MR. SMITH: It’s down in Panama.
Laurie Collins, RPR
Brooklyn, N.Y.

When not to tell the truth
Q. Who asked you to miss a trip with your wife, Mr. Wilson? That’s terrible.
A. Seems like that’s how the schedule worked out.
Q. Not at my behest. At your behest?
A. I’m not blaming anybody.
Q. Oh, okay. I just want to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding. Because no one said anything to me about a trip with your wife. I think you should have taken the trip with your wife.
A. Well, that’s fine. I’m kind of enjoying having the house to myself.
Q. There you go.
MR. RADICH: You’re supposed to say that off the record.
Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas

Update your status
Q. All right. When I last saw you, you had just separated from your wife. Are you still separated, or are you divorced now?
A. The divorce went through on 11/12/13.
Q. All right. Are you currently engaged to anyone else?
A. No.
Q. All right.
A. I started to say, “Hell, no,” but anyway, I won’t do that.
Q. Well, I was just checking. You never know.
Loretta Armstrong, RDR, CRR, CCP
Hope Mills, N.C.

Hedging
A. It is — it is a purposely blurry statement because I can only say, with reasonable degree of medical probability, that his condition might worsen to the point that in the future, he will need to have that level previously surgerized fuse. In other words, I, as an experienced orthopedic surgeon, know that there is a probable probability that he might in the future need it. I am not saying that he will need it. It is a gift that I give to both parties that I am attempting to serve to the best of my ability, to let both parties know that there is a chance. And that is all my intent. Beyond that, at the time of my June 2, 2010, report, I could not say.
Q. So there’s a chance, but you cannot and do not quantify the percentage?
A. Exactly. It is — in every medical-legal examination, there is one point in which medicine goes east and law goes west. And as the song from the 1960s said: When we meet again, we’ll see who is the best.
Q. I’m not familiar with that song.
A. It was called “Big John.”
Q. I don’t know why I’m writing that down.
(Discussion off the record.)
THE WITNESS: I apologize. It was not “Big John.” The name of the song is “Ringo,” R-I-N-G-O, 1960, 1961.
Dominique Isabeau
Daly City, Calif.

All about perspective
Q. If we looked at the far right column that says net pay, do you have any reason to challenge the amounts that are listed for these various pay periods?
A. I’ll be honest, I’m uncertain because what’s in the left column still isn’t what I can recall going home with.
Q. And I’m sorry, when you say the left column.
A. I mean, sorry, the far right.
Q. Okay.
A. I’m looking at it out of my left eye.
Ksenija-Margaret Zeltkalns, RPR
Topeka Kan.

Find the pun
Q. From his recollection he believes he was actually bedridden for all intents and purposes for about a year after that injury. Does that seem accurate concerning your records?
A. Significantly limited. I wouldn’t say bedridden, but he had a badly fractured left leg and a badly fracture right heel so he didn’t have a leg to stand on. So he was limited in weight bearing for a year.
Sandy Chadwick, RMR
New Milford, Conn.

Living in the legal gray areas
Q. If there wasn’t a meeting, then would you agree you didn’t attend it?
A. If there was no meeting, then I may not have been there.
Jenny C. Ebner, RPR
Springfield, Ohio

Freak-out syndrome
Q. You went there one time. Did they tell you what was causing the numbness? Was it pregnancy related?
A. They said maybe it was because — because at that time it was cold, so they said maybe I went from — my apartment was hot and then outside it was cold, so maybe that caused it.
Q. Caused your nerves to freak out?
Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas

 

The last page: What the witness says

WHO’S TO BLAME?

Q. How has it changed?

A. Well, you could do that at one time, and then along comes the Internet, and the whole world can buy off the Internet. I used to go five, six days a week going all over the country, to Wyoming, to – I’ve been to New York to buy cars – all over. And the Internet comes along, and all the customers I was selling to go on the Inter­net, unlicensed, unbonded, and all that

stuff, and they got a business card that tells them, in Guatemala, they can buy cars.

Q. We have Al Gore to thank for that, right?

MR. SMITH: Especially Al Gore.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas
 

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE

Q. Have you gone by any other names?

A. Yes.

Q. What are those?

A. I haven’t gone by names, but other people have referred to me as other names.

Q. Nicknames?

A. Yes.

Q. What are some of your nicknames?

A. Well, a friend of mine calls me Road Kill.

Q. Okay.

A. He said he has seen road kill that looked better than me.

MR. SMITH: And that’s your friend, right?

THE WITNESS: My good friend, right.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas
 

GULP

Q. Were you in the Harris County jail waiting to go to trial?

A. I was in Harris County jail, yeah, the whole time.

Q. Did you have to do any additional time?

A. No, sir.

Q. Okay. And you said tampering with evi­dence. What was it that they accused you of tampering with?

A. I had some marijuana, and I ate it.

Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas
 

NO QUESTION ABOUT IT

THE COURT: Mr. Rhodes, do you have any final questions before we move on to the next case?

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. I just want to say for the record that your court reporter is a fox.

THE COURT: Mr. Rhodes, that is not a question.

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. There’s no question about it. She’s a fox.

THE COURT: Mr. Rhodes, you have three kids and no job. Trust me, you can’t afford her.

Nichole Thut, RPR
Sacramento, Calif.
 

DON’T GO BREAKING HIS HEART

Q. Okay. Would you say that the research indicates whether or not — and your experience with young children indicates whether or not — a child of the age about three, three and a half, is capable of out­right lying like you could see in an adult?

A. I don’t think three-year-olds, they don’t outright lie. I mean, if they do, they do it poorly. You know, who took the cookie, and it’s like the monster did it. I mean, they don’t — they are not sophisticated liars at all.

Q. Okay. What about the capability of distin­guishing truth from fantasy; reality of what occurred from something they saw on TV?

A. Well, this is when kids start to believe — you know, they believe in Santa Claus and things that aren’t real, but —

THE COURT: What?

THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honor. I’m sorry to break your heart.

MS. ANDREWS: Do you need a recess, Judge?

THE COURT: The Court’s in recess.

(Laughter.)

Vicki Hartmetz, RPR, CMRS, CLVS, CRI
Centennial, Colo.
 

AM I HERE?

Q. Now, go to Exhibit V.

A. (The witness complies.)

Q. Tell me when you’re at that exhibit.

Are you there?

A. Am I —

Q. At Exhibit V, is it opened in the book in front of you?

A. Yes. Am I here?

Q. Yes. Are you — Frank. These are simple questions. They’re not confusing.

A. Okay.

Q. Do you have the book open to Exhibit V?

A. Yes. Whoops.

Melissa Odens, RPR
Armour, S.D.
 

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Q. What did you do for the company in 1998?

A. I started as a butter man (phonetic), and then I put the barricades and check every­thing, all the barricades.

THE REPORTER: Started as a what?

THE INTERPRETER: Barricades.

A. The — those barricades that put you —separate one place or another.

MS. JONES: But you said something. He started out as a…

THE REPORTER: “Butter man”? That’s what —

THE INTERPRETER: “Butter man” is what he said.

MR. WITNESS: Bottom man. I’m working —

THE REPORTER: “Bottom”?

MR. WITNESS: — my union as a water man —

THE INTERPRETER: A water man.

MR. WITNESS: — sewer.

THE INTERPRETER: Water man.

MS. JONES: In Spanish. (Mr. Ross speaking in Spanish with the witness.)

THE INTERPRETER: He put the – the – the – all the pipes of water.

MR. ROSS: “Bottom”? Bottom man.

MR. WITNESS: Bottom man.

MR. ROSS: Not “butter,” but “bottom.”

THE INTERPRETER: Bottom man.

MR. ROSS: B-o-t-t-o-m.

THE INTERPRETER: Yeah.

MS. SMITH: I can’t wait to see this transcript.

MS. JONES: We’re testing your skills.

MS. SMITH: That’s right. I’m sorry they don’t have that section in the Texas Bar Journal for funny deposition transcripts.

Melanie Smith
Longview, Texas
 

REALITY TV

Q. Do you understand that this deposition today and your testimony is just the same as if you were sitting in a court of law in front of the judge?

A. I assume so, yeah. Never been to court either, so…

Q. All right. I’m sure in today’s world with all the court stuff on TV, you’ve seen some liveaction court proceedings, haven’t you?

A. Judge Judy.

Q. Well, I guess that’s still real.

Doreen Sutton, RPR
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Foe paws

I came back to reporting after a 17-year hiatus, and one of the tools I never forgot was an article by Shirley King, RPR, and Judy Everman, RPR, CMRS, that was published in the Florida Court Reporters Association newsletter back in 2002. I’ve copied it; I’ve carried it around; I’ve given it to students. Bottom line: It’s not looking stupid in print. There are a lot of words that look alike or sound alike, and we as reporters have to know the difference. That being said, the following is a little collection of mine, written in much the same format and hopefully the same spirit as the original. Need­less to say, this is far from complete. I’m sure you have a list of your own, but here are a few of mine. I hope they help you.

FoePawsProspective means possible, poten­tially. Think of a prospector. This comes to mind from a transcript I looked at (not my own) with the words “perspective juror” peppered throughout the entire voir dire. (A major boo-boo.) Perspective is how you look at things.

Disperse means to scatter or to spread out, as in to disperse troops or to disperse a crowd. Disburse means to pay out money. Think disbursements.

To allude to something means to sug­gest or hint. To elude means to escape or get out of sight, as in to elude one’s captors.

Your right or privilege to do something is your prerogative. It’s not perogative, but a lot of people will say it that way.

On that happy note, to repeat my prede­cessors, irregardless is not a word! Neither is supposably. They’re shoot­ing for supposedly, although “suppos­able” is in the dictionary. Go figure.

If you are prostrate, you are lying flat, as in prostrating oneself before God. The prostate is a part of the male anatomy. (For God’s sake, don’t jumble that one up!)

A tenant is someone who rents from you. A tenet is a principle or belief, as in we follow the tenets of Christianity. Don’t put an extra “N” in there.

Rescind means to annul, cancel or re­voke, and it often comes out sounding like resend, but they’re clearly not the same thing. Watch that one.

A carat refers to the size of precious stones, as in diamonds. Karat refers to the weight of gold, although you may find some older dictionaries list karat as a variant of carat, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. A caret is this: (^), the little symbol over the number 6 on your keyboard, maybe because it looks like the carrot that we eat! (Isn’t this a blast?)

Your soul is your inner being, as in poor damned souls. Sole can mean sin­gular, as in sole survivor, or it can mean the sole of your shoes, or it can mean a certain type of fish.

Incense (accent on the second syllable) means to inflame to violent anger, as in I was incensed. However, incense (ac­cent on the first syllable) is the stuff that you burn that makes your room smell nice.

A longhorn is a type of steer with – you guessed it – long horns! A greenhorn is a novice, someone who doesn’t know much about a certain subject. It probably originated in Texas, referring to somebody who didn’t know what a long­horn was!

Here’s an oldie but goodie. Kind of old fashioned, both of them. You may never hear them, but being a court re­porter, I suspect you will at some point in your life. I remember I asked some one about this one a long time ago, and she gave me the incorrect one. To beseech means to beg or to plead. I beseech thee, do not kill me. (I told you it was old fashioned!) To besiege means to lay siege to (see, it’s in the word) or surround with armed forces.

And finally, my favorite, which comes with its own story.

Irrelevant means immaterial, doesn’t apply. It’s used a lot in objections. Irreverent means disrespectful, espe­cially in a religious sense. Irrevalent means nothing at all! Just a deponent who watched too many reruns of Perry Mason or something and really thought he knew what he was talking about. Al­most every other question, he responded, “That’s irrevalent. I don’t have to answer that.” (Did I mention he was pro se?) Af­ter the deposition the attorney walked out scratching his head and said to me, “What was he saying?” (And yes, it went some­ into the transcript like that, followed by a ‘sic’ each time. Hey, I wasn’t about to look like the idiot.)

Like I said, I’m sure every reporter could come up with a list of these. I strongly recommend you keep a good dictionary handy of synonyms, antonyms, homo­nyms, homophones, or any other type of phones you can think of. Just familiariz­ing yourself with these words can make a huge difference in the type of work you put out and can save you a little embar­rassment.

Till next time, keep practicing!

 

Lisa Selby-Brood, RPR, is a freelance court reporter in Palm Harbor, Fla. She can be reached at lspiggy@tampabay.rr.com and through NCRA’s Virtual Mentors Program.

The last page

TRUTH OR DARE

Q. You can do that at trial. This is a deposi­tion. I just want the facts. I want to under­stand this. That’s all I’m trying to do here.

A. I wish you were under oath, that you were just asking for the facts, because your nose would be growing.

Q. Like Pinocchio?

A. Exactly.

Q. Well, a good thing I’m not under oath, then.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas
 

THAT EXPLAINS IT

Q. Let me just ask you this, ma’am. Had your husband been drinking or doing any drugs or anything like that before the accident?

A. No. We are Christians. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke. We don’t do anything.

Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas
 

NO STANDARD

Q. Do you know what the standard of care is in Missouri?

A. I have no definition of the standard of care in Missouri.

MR. JONES: I object to the form of the question. It’s argumentative. There is no standard in Missouri.

Barbara Prindle, RPR
Brunswick, Ga.
 

UNKNOWN

A. He told me that the defendant showed up at his apartment a week ago with an unknown man.

Q. Did you ask him the identity of the unknown male?

A. Unknown.

Q. He did not know who the male was?

A. Unknown.

Q. So that means he did not know?

A. That’s correct. Unknown male.

Q. I just had to clarify that.

Linda Breech, RPR
Santa Clarita, Calif.
 

SAY AGAIN?

It would all be determined at the time and what the circumstances were, what the weather was, you know, what the condi­tions were. I mean, it wouldn’t seem too logical to me to go take somebody back outside after they just fell down to the area where they just fell down to see where they just fell down to see because they just might fall down again.

Denise Thomas, RPR, CRR
Salt Lake City, Utah
 

WHAT I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN

THE COURT: All right. What month — since my last name starts with A I know I always have to get my plates in January, but what month is L? When do you?

THE DEFENDANT: June.

THE COURT: June? What’s the law? Do you have until the end of June?

MR. PARK: Pardon me?

THE COURT: Do you have until the end of June?

MR. PARK: Yeah, I believe so.

THE COURT: This was a June 4 ticket?

THE DEFENDANT: July 4.

THE COURT: He says on or before — on or about 6/4.

THE DEFENDANT: Oh. Well then not guilty.

(Laughter.)

THE COURT: Well, let me look at this police re­port (indicating). His police report says July 4, but he wrote his ticket for June 4, so.

THE DEFENDANT: So?

THE COURT: It’s, you know, the State can move to amend the ticket to reflect the appropri­ate date.

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, I’m not denying it.

THE COURT: Yeah.

THE DEFENDANT: That was just a joke.

THE COURT: All right.

Melissa Odens, RPR
Armour, S.D.
 

TEETH OR NO TEETH?

MR. JONES: Your Honor, I’m sorry. I can’t hear a word here. It’s just mumbling.

THE WITNESS: Can you hear me now?

MR. JONES: Your volume is fine. It’s just your words are running together. Maybe it’s just me.

THE WITNESS: Do you need me to take my teeth out?

MR. THOMAS: I don’t know if that would help.

THE WITNESS: It would.

MR. PETRANO: I don’t – I’m not going to ask that, Your Honor.

Karen Ambroziak, RPR
Blythewood, S.C.
 

WATCH WHO YOU’RE CALLING BABE

Q. Well, my wife is a lot smarter than I am. She’s got a Ph.D. in math, Ph.D. in statistics. If I have a statistics question, I lean over and say, “Hey, Babe, you know, can you help me out?” I’m slow; I’m just a lawyer. She tells me that when you’re doing an analysis to try and determine something’s been impacted, in order for to it to be statistically relevant, you have to compare it to some sort of baseline. Is she leading me astray, my wife?

MR. SMITH: Objection, form.

A. I’m quite confident your wife would never lead you astray. I’m sitting here wondering how she reacts when you say, “Hey, babe.”

Q. She reacts positive.

A. When you say, “Hey, babe”?

Q. When I say, “Hey, babe” to somebody else, that may be another story. I’m very careful about that.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas
 

DETAILS, DETAILS

Q. From the time that you felt the bump until the time that you looked, did that happen almost instantaneously?

A. Yes.

Q. And this bump you described is something that alerted your attention to you looking 360 degrees to try to see where the bump came from?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. But we know you did not see a car after you felt the bump; correct?

A. Correct.

Q. All right. So you make a right-hand turn onto Main Street and pull over?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you describe the damage for me, please?

A. The front fender was damaged, cracked. The headlight assembly was shoved in or pulled in. The front passenger’s side bumper was shoved in between the tire and the frame.

Q. Okay. Anything else that you remember?

A. And there was a bumper in between the fender and the tire.

Q. A bumper that was not yours?

A. Yes.

Leanne Fitzgerald
St. Augustine, Fla.

The Last Page: Nothing to laugh at

KEEP IT UP

Q. And when you say “we renewed the contact,” you still ride bikes with Mr. Jones but can’t keep up with him as far as exercising?

A. Yes.

Q. OK. These bike rides —

MR. BROWN: I think he objects to that.

Elsa Jorgensen
Birmingham, Mich.

WATCH YOUR WORDS

Q. Doctor, wouldn’t you agree with me that only an idiot would walk into a doctor’s office and, after being told that there was a videotape that the doctor had reviewed, that that person would then put on, as you described it, such a show? Wouldn’t only an idiot do that?

A. Well, you make a very good point about your client, sir.

Dana L. Young, RMR
Tulsa, Okla.

WHAT A LINE!

Q. Okay. Why don’t you describe for me, sir, what you recall from the moment you put your feet in that pail of water.

A. She got out a tool of which I have — my lawyer and I have a copy of, which I was familiar with, and she then started using this particular tool to work on the bottom of my feet. As I sat in the chair and watched her for a moment, I noticed the customer right next to me, Lakita, which was a very attractive, middle-aged black woman, which caught my eye immediately. I then started a conversation, at which time both my pedicurist and Lakita’s pedicurist were, I would imagine, thrilled at what they was hearing me say to Lakita, and I had all three women smiling and happy over what I was saying. That’s it.

Q. Do you have any specific recollection as you sit here today of anything that you had said that you regarded at the time as particularly thrilling for these folks?

A. Yeah. I have certain lines that I use on women that I meet that I like and one of them is to snap your fingers, and when I ask a woman will she snap her fingers, naturally, she gets curious and asks me, “Why do you want me to snap my fingers?” And I then reply, “So you can snap me out of this trance you’ve got me in.” And that, you know, brings about a certain response from an individual woman, along with a couple of other lines that I’ve been using for years that always have the same effect on a woman.

Mary Lorentz, RPR
Milwaukee, Wis.

THAT’S LOGIC FOR YOU

Q. I don’t find it there now. I’ve misplaced my copy of it. Here it is. It’s always the last place you look for it. You know why?

A. Why is that?

Q. Because when you find it, you quit looking.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas

JUST CAN’T QUIT

Q. Do you have a Facebook page?

A. I actually deleted it.

Q. Is that possible?

A. Yes.

Q. It’s like quitting the gym.

Renee M. Bencich, RPR
Galt, Calif.

EARTH-SHATTERING PAIN

Q. All right. Within the first 30 days after the accident, how would you describe the pain in your neck as far as the intensity of the pain? If we were to use a zero to 10 scale where zero is no pain and 10 is the worst you can imagine, what was your neck pain like in the first 30 days?

A. It was at a 10 on the Richter scale.

Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas

YOU DON’T SAY?

Q. So you don’t remember, but you don’t deny that you could have said that?

A. I can’t say I’m saying I said it and I can’t say I’m not saying I didn’t say it.

Donna S. Cascio, RMR, CMRS
Somerset, Pa.

DEFINITION, PLEASE

Q. How close were you to Mr. Glesner?

A. He is a brother-in-law.

Q. Forgive me. Geographically, in feet?

A. Oh.

Santo “Joe” Aurelio, RDR
Arlington, Mass.

OH, THE IMPLICATIONS

MS. JONES: My investigator introduced himself, and halfway through his sentence, the witness went off on a crazy tirade about how he was a civil servant, he has the right not to be shot, not to be shoved, he has certain inalienable rights. He sounded like a lawyer when he was talking. It was crazy. He went crazy, literally.

THE COURT: He’s crazy because he sounds like a lawyer? Is that what you said?

Kimberly Bennett, RMR, CRR
Roseville, Calif.

STATING THE OBVIOUS

Q. Let me ask you a few things about your family life if I could. You’re married to your wife, correct?

A. Most people are.

Q. Obviously.

Barbara Prindle, RPR
Brunswick, Ga.

ON THE RECORD

Q. This Mr. Claus, do you have a good address for Mr. Claus?

COURT REPORTER: The North Pole.

MR. BERTINI: You just couldn’t resist, could you?

COURT REPORTER: Nope.

MR. BERTINI: I thought court reporters weren’t supposed to talk during a depo.

COURT REPORTER: They’re not.

Lorraine Brazil, RMR, CRR, CBC
Missouri City, Texas

STATISTICS AT WORK

Q. One patient starts off at 89 percent, right? The first day she has an 89 percent chance of disease-free survival?

A. All the patients have an 89 percent at the day of diagnosis.

Q. Understood, but each one has the same chance, correct?

A. Not really because some of them — the whole crowd has an 89 percent and what happens to them, all we can do is see what happens to the whole group of a hundred patients.

Q. And you don’t know who the fortunate 89 are?

A. I wouldn’t be here. I’d be polishing my Nobel Prize.

Diane Amoresano DiTizii, RMR, CRR
Montville, N.J.

STEP ONE

Q. If you would, look at page 45 of your report. Hold your finger there and then find page 14.

A. 45 and 14.

MR. SMITH: Are you trying to teach him origami?

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to NCRA Publications Manager Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.

The last page: All in a day’s work

WHY ME?

A 21-year-old deponent had this exchange. During her answer, she looked around the room at each of us. She said it as she ended up looking at me.

A. But there are different levels for each — Wayne State is really diverse. We have a lot of — no offense to nobody — but older people.

Q. Like how old is old?

MR. DOE: I’m glad she pointed at the court reporter and not me.

Elsa Jorgensen
Birmingham, Mich.

TMI

Q. Do you update your Facebook?

A. From time to time. I’m not consistent with it. I’m not one of the people who tells you I’m going to the bathroom every five minutes and everything.

MR. JONES: Thank God for that, sir.

MR. SMITH: I agree.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas

WHEN YOU ASSUME …

Q. What other kind of surgeries?

A. I had a breast implant.

Q. Augmentation?

A. Augmentation.

Q. When was that?

A. That was seven years ago.

Q. Just one?

A. Both.

Q. That’s not what I meant, but —

A. Oh, just one time. Sorry.

Q. I assumed you got both. (Laughter).

Leo Mankiewicz, RMR, CRR
Phoenix, Ariz.

SILLY QUESTIONS

Q. Let me ask you a few things about your family life if I could. You’re married to your wife, correct?

A. Most people are.

Q. Obviously.

Barbara Prindle, RPR
Brunswick, Ga.

AGREED

Q. But you were married?

A. We were married

Q. Okay.

A. It’s a complicated thing.

Q. Yeah, it always is.

Yvonne Fenner, RPR
Sacramento, Calif.

MOBILE HOME MOVING

Q. And that would happen if somebody decided to pick up their home and go elsewhere?

A. And they can do that.

Q. That is within their rights.

A. Okay.

Q. They would have to be real strong, though, to pick it up and carry it, wouldn’t they?

A. Well, they would have to hire a contractor.  I mean, you’re talking physical? No, I never took it that way.

Q. I know that.

A. Okay. I’m sorry.

Q. I was just playing with you.

Renee L. Stacy, RPR, CRR
Salt Lake City, Utah

FIRST, TAKE ALL THE LAWYERS …

Q. Was it a lawyer or a person?

A. It was a person.

Susan L. Beard, RPR
Beaumont, Texas

VERIFY EVERYTHING

Q. You’re wearing a shirt with a logo on it, and that says, “SSYC Preschool.” What’s that?

A. It’s Second Street Youth Center. It’s a preschool, and it has an aftercare program.

Q. Where is Second Street located?

A. In Plainfield.

Q. Is it on Second Street?

A. Yes. South Second Street.

Denese Cortellino
North Arlington, N.J.

SPELLING BEE

Q. Did you attend college?

A. I went to The Salon Professional Academy for a short time and didn’t finish.

Q. The what professional academy?

A. The Salon Professional Academy.

Q. How do you spell that?

A. S-a-l-o-n, Professional, P-r-o-f-f-e-s-i-o-n-a- l-l-y, Academy, A-c-a-d-e-m-y.

Amy Doman, RPR, CRR
Carmel, Ind.

THAT’S THE TRUTH

Q. Did he tell you that he crosses — he tries to cross when there are no trains coming?

A. No, he didn’t mention that.

Q. It’s part of your job to follow up on statements, is it not?

A. Well, frankly, I would try to cross when there were no trains coming, too.

Q. Good idea.

THE COURT: The Court takes judicial notice of that.

Wendy Shultz
Minneapolis, Minn.

DOUBLE THE TROUBLE

Q. How old are your grandchildren?

A. Granddaughter, five. I have twin boys, two.

Q. Twin grandsons?

A. Yes.

Q. Age two?

A. Yes, both of them.

Michele L. Fontaine, RPR
Leicester, Mass.

LONG-WINDED

(After a three-page answer by a neuropsychologist):

Q: I’m sure there’s some periods in there. I’ll let the court reporter choose them.

Cassy Russell, RPR, CRR, CCP
Tulsa, Okla.

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to NCRA Publications Manager Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.

The Last Page: Who’s laughing now?

TWINKLE TOES

Q. And you used to be a dancer. When you say “a dancer,” what do you mean by that?

A. Not a stripper.

Q. That’s not what I meant. In fact, that wasn’t even what I was thinking. I’m wondering whether it was, like, you know, ballet or what.

Elsa Jorgensen, Birmingham, Mich.

YES OR NO

Q. Your attorney and I will try to pay attention, and if you say “Uh-huh” or “huh-uh,” we may go, “You’ve got to say yes or no.” Don’t let that shake you, because I bet you will say “uh-huh” once or twice today.

A. Uh-huh.

Q. Smart aleck.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR, The Colony, Texas

DOES THAT COUNT

Defense attorney: Yes, ma’am, have you served in the military?

Female potential juror: No, I’ve never served in the military, but I’ve done a few military guys.

Lisa B. Johnston, RMR, CRR, CCP, CBC, Palm Bay, Fla.

HE MEANS, ALL RISE

The Court: Do you have him in foster care?

Witness: He actually is in a group home. He needs some counseling. I think his mom passed away right in front of him, and he was in the car with her, and so there are lots of issues that probably have never been addressed at all.

Mr. Smith: That’s all I have.

The Court: Step down. Thanks.

(The witness was excused.)

The Court: Based on the evidence that I’ve read, there’s probable cause to believe that this child is deprived. Temporary custody is with the Department. If the mother applies for an attorney, I’ll consider that.

Mr. Smith: Judge, if she applies for an attorney, we’re going to have a problem.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Q. How long did you work there?

A. A year.

Q. It didn’t work out. Okay.

A. I went to California.

Q. Much better idea. What did you do in California in 1967?

A. Nothing.

Q. Like most people in California in 1967.

Elsa Jorgensen, Birmingham, Mich.

LISTEN TO THE ANSWER

Q. You made that check out directly to the insurance company, didn’t you?

A. Yes.

Q. And, of course, you receive your cancelled checks back from your bank every month?

A. No.

Q. Do you receive a photostatic copy of your cancelled checks back every month?

A. No.

Q. Did you save the check?

A. I don’t receive them. So, no, I didn’t save it.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

HOW DO YOU SPELL THAT?

Q. Is it a jolting type of bump?

A. No, it’s just — it’s not really like a — you hit a pothole or something like that. It’s just — it doesn’t dip you down or anything. It’s just going over it. Just dumt-dumt.

Q. Dunt-dunt?

A. Dumt-dumt. I’m sorry.

Q. That’s all right. I don’t know how she’s going to spell that but —. All right.

The reporter: That’s a new one.

Mr. Smith: Yeah, and I have no suggestion for you.

The reporter: Thanks.

Diana D. Sabo, Tinley Park, Ill.

MARK OF SHAME

Q. By the way, you said you went to Universal Studios — or the Harry Potter World, is that it?

A. Yeah.

Q. Did you buy any souvenirs?

A. Yeah.

Q. What did you get?

A. Don’t judge me.

Q. I won’t.

A. I bought a wand.

Ms. Smith: Oh, my god.

Mr. Miller: I don’t even know what that is so I can’t judge you. A wand?

A. Yeah. You have to. Like, you’re there.

Ms. Smith: You don’t know that magicians have wands, Bill?

Mr. Moran: I am out of the loop on this.

By Mr. Miller:

Q. Okay. So you bought a magic wand at the Harry Potter place?

A. Yeah.

Mr. Jones: Objection, I think that mischaracterizes the testimony that the wand was a “magic” wand.

Michelle M. Paoletti, RPR, CRR, Tinley Park, Ill.

DAMN SOUND-ALIKES

State’s Attorney: The State has exorcismed — I mean exercised their last strike.

The Court: Congratulations to you all, the State has determined you are not possessed.

Jessica Paulsen, Pierre, S.D.

 

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.

The last page: Oh the drama!

THE FORGOTTEN HOBBY

Q. And what are your hobbies aside from riding and shooting?

A. That’s really it. Guns, motorcycles. That’s really it. Hanging out with my friends, going out with my friends.

Q. And now you’ve got your wife?

A. I’ve got my wife, yes. I have to include her, make sure she’s in there.

MR. MILLER: That’s a hobby.

Alan Turboff, RPR, Houston, Texas

NO STANDARDS

Q. Do you know what the standard of care is in Missouri?

A. I have no definition of the standard of care in Missouri.

Mr. Jones: I object to the form of the question. It’s argumentative. There is no standard in Missouri.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

QUESTIONS YOU DON’T ASK

Q. You’re not 160 now.

A. I’m like 150-something.

Q. You are?

A. Yes. I know. I’m glad you think it’s hard to believe.

Elsa Jorgensen, Birmingham, Mich.

WISDOM OF EXPERIENCE

Q. How many employees do you currently have?

A. One.

Q. You?

A. Just me. I can’t call my wife an employee because I’ll get killed, but she assists me at times.

Q. You’ve already demonstrated wisdom to me this morning.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR, The Colony, Texas

WHICH CAME FIRST?

MR. JONES: I understand that, your Honor. I just think, with all due respect to the Court, I think the Court is putting the egg before the hen. You have to get, with regard to Dr. Green’s affirmation in the motion, you have to get, with regard to his dispute of Dr. Smith’s testimony, from absorption to metabolism. Then you have to get to the effect. And the point is he doesn’t have the egg.

THE COURT: I don’t know what you’re referring to. You’ve lost me in the —

MR. JONES: I’m sorry, your Honor. It’s —

THE COURT: In the metaphor here.

MR. JONES: I get a little too cute for myself.

THE COURT: You know, who is the hen again?

MR. JONES: In other words —

THE WITNESS: I had eggs for breakfast.

MR. JONES: I get a little too cute for myself, I’ll admit that.

Aaron Alweis, RPR, CRR, Binghamton, N.Y.

DARN SOUNDALIKES

Q. You have to answer audibly. I’m sorry.

A. I have to answer oddly?

Q. Audibly.

A. Oh, audibly?

Q. I hope you don’t answer oddly.

Laurie Collins, RPR, Brooklyn, N.Y.

INAUSPICIOUS ENDINGS

Q. About how long were you married in ‘71?

A. I guess about two and a half years.

Q. And how did that marriage end?

A. Roughly.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

QUIT CLOWNING AROUND

Q. Do you know how far back you were from the car when you were stopped?

A. No, sir. Just the normal, you know, being in line.

Q. But you never talked to her after the accident?

A. I did, yes.

Q. Okay.

A. Seemed like she was a clown or something.

Q. Was she dressed like a clown?

A. No. That was her business. Seemed like she gave me her card.

Q. She didn’t have like 50 people in her car?

A. No.

Barbara Rosado, RPR, Phoenix, Ariz.

JUST MAKING SURE

Q. Do you remember what date that fall was?

A. October 25, at 8 p.m.

Q. And what year?

A. 2010.

Q. 8 p.m. in the morning or 8 p.m. at night?

A. Night.

Q. Of course. 8 p.m. That was a great question.

Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, Salt Lake City, Nev.

CRAZY QUESTIONS

Q. Do you agree that Mr. X said to you the words that he says of himself; in other words, you say you don’t agree that you said what he says you replied, but you accept that he asked you the questions?

A. Sorry, your Honor?

Colleen Stacey, New South Wales, Australia

 

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.