A jury trial: “the grand bulwark of our liberties.” Cross-examination: “the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.” I remember these quotes (from Blackstone and Wigmore, respectively) uttered grandly during Evidence or some such class in law school.

Just guessing these maxims aren’t entirely reflective of everyone’s experience. A particularly discouraging example, after the jump….

Black Box

We did a trial.
Six days of defense testimony,
Five expert witnesses.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars of well-spent client’s money
(I think I hit 400 that month).
We crushed that two-bit country plaintiff’s lawyer.

We lost.

After the eight-figure verdict,
Someone stood in the hallway and asked the jury why.
The forewoman, all platinum blonde and bossy and unemployed, said
Your star witness claimed he was a family man!
But I saw him! He wasn’t wearing his wedding ring!
How can I believe a man who doesn’t wear his goddamned wedding ring!

The poor fucker had eczema, that’s why!
But I guess the joke’s on us,
or maybe more like our client.
Appeals don’t come cheap.


Qui Tam, a weekly column of poetry about the legal profession, is penned by an arrogant T1 law graduate, former Biglaw associate, and current in-house lawyer. You can reach Qui Tam by email: quitammer@hotmail.com.


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