jury duty (3)

Don’t worry . This will be the last of the jury duty posts for now . Enough’s enough , after all .flying pig

I want to write about one of the best trials , in a way , that I’ve seen .  An Iranian -American husband sent his wife back to Iran for a month to visit her family . During that time he sent her a quit-claim deed for her to sign . He had written the “sign this” note in Farsi . He instructed her to hurry-up and return the thing  . She spoke no English . She did as she’d been told , and when she got back to the states he had thrown out all of her stuff  and he was living in the house with another woman .

But first , before any more of that , I’d like to mention my wonderment that so many of the jurors on my recent jury duty had never been called for jury duty before . I mean , with me a year or two might go by without a jury summons . But , I’ve been on several juries over the years . Ain’t that happening with ever-body ?  I guess not .

I was on jury duty with the city of Burbank several years ago , although I didn’t live in Burbank . They were experimenting with a new ( at the time ) call- in system . Instead of showing up at the courthouse each of the ten days , waiting in the jury room and wondering if you’d be called for a panel , the idea was to call in each morning . If they needed you they’d tell you to come in .art man statue

But a juror  had to put in ten days minimum of service . I thought the call -in was great , at first . I was substitute-teaching that year , so I put in my call to the court , never knowing if I’d have to go in to court that day , and I also  waited for the sub-desk to call with work for the day . Three weeks of calling- in passed and I’d done only two days of jury service . This call-in stuff might go on forever , I thought . It became a real hassle for me . It was awkward to accept a teaching job for the day only to possibly have to call the sub-office a little later to say I wouldn’t be showing up after all . That wouldn’t help my prospects for future jobs.

After about four weeks , having completed three days of service so far , I requested a hardship release from the jury service . Oh, they let me off , but they weren’t nice about it .

By the way , Los Angeles now has a call-in system  too , but it lasts one week . If they don’t need you during that week , then you’re done .

So , back to the Iranians . The spurned wife  was suing for half of their property . She had herself a good lawyer . His lawyer — not so much.guillotine

Defense attorney , interviewing his client :

” What do you do for a living ? ”

Him: ” I park cars .”

Attorney : ” How much money do you have in the bank ? ”

Him : ” Two hundred and fifty dollars . ”

Cross-examination by her attorney :

” Did you make a large cash withdrawal on ( here he makes a point of looking at his notes ) April 13 ?”

Him: ” Yes .”

Her attorney : ” How much did you withdraw ? ”

Him: ” Eighty thousand dollars . ”

” What kind of car do you drive ? ”

Him: ” Porsche .”

Her attorney : ” What year ? ”  That year’s , he admitted . At this point he’s beginning to squirm , just a little .

” How did you pay for your Porsche  ? “blog stuff garden house 046

” Cash . ”

” How much did your house cost ? ” He related a price . I don’t remember the cost . L.A. prices .

” How did you pay for that ?”

By this time he’s squirming a lot more . ” Cash .”

Her attorney : ” You’re not telling the court that you’re a poor man , are you ? ”

Him: ” I guess not .”     And that was the beginning . He had witnesses that lied on the stand . Her lawyer easily and quickly caught them in the lie . One after another . One guy claimed to have overheard the wife talking to her friend a month before she went to Iran about her intention to sign the quit-claim deed .

Her lawyer , to the witness : ” How many languages do you speak ? ”

” English . ”

” Any other languages ? ”

” No.Just English . ”

” She doesn’t speak English , so how could you have overheard the conversation ? ”

Lying Witness : ” I guess  couldn’t have  .”

Her Attorney : ” Why did you tell us you did ? ”

Lying Witness , pointing at the husband : ” Because he paid me twenty-five dollars ! ”

One witness after another was caught in a lie and brought to that same moment of truth : ” He paid me twenty-five dollars ! ”  One after another . It was like an episode of Perry Mason . Things like that don’t happen in real life . But , in this trial , they did .

I was thinking two things : 1. His lawyer should have advised him better .  2. Twenty-five dollars ? Really ? You get what you pay for .

One guy said he witnessed the wife signing a quit-claim deed . He was sitting in his car at the time , and claimed to have seen the signing from there . Her lawyer had measured all of the distances and mentioned all of the corners from the parking lot to the office , and asked the  poor liar how it would be possible to have seen around those corners ,  through those doors , for such a long distance , watching from his car , but still be able to  see the documents , etc .

Lying Witness : ” I guess that would be impossible .”

Her Attorney : ” Why did you tell the court that if  , as you say , it would be impossible ? ”

Yeah . Absolutely . He pointed to the husband : ” Because he paid me twenty-five dollars .”  I looked over at his lousy lawyer once again . Shouldn’t  you have told the man that in this country he would actually have to present some kind of a case ?

I mean , it was one after another : $25 ; $25 ; $25 . The jury had their hands over their faces , trying to hide  uncontrollable smiles , trying not to laugh out loud .

I couldn’t help thinking about  the final scenes of  Perry Mason , when the guilty person  finally blurts a dramatic confession  out in court . But , things like that don’t really happen in court , do they ?

Oh , did I mention that the wife won her case .cello man player

2 Comments

Filed under humor

2 responses to “jury duty (3)

  1. Also make you wonder what kind of people would agree to lie under oath for $25.

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