One Hand Clapping

Opinion: 'Yo, Yo, Yo, White Boy' And Other Courtroom Comedy

The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Norm Pattis

It's Thanksgiving week as I write this, and who wants to work? Better to pull some anecdotes from memory, and entertain.

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"Mr. Pattis, are you all right?"

The judge looked concerned. She was sitting no more than six feet from me. I thought I was fine, actually. After all, I was cross-examining a witness, the thing I most enjoy about being a lawyer. The witness was warm butter to my knife.

I looked up.

"Are you all right?"

My hand was on my chest, beneath my suit jacket. She was assuming I was suffering chest pain.

"If I had a heart, a fact not in evidence," I said, "it would be on the left side of my chest. My hand is on the right side."

My adversary sniggered, but I could not tell whether she was amused by my wit, or disappointed that the gods weren't preparing to whisk me to the next world.

"You see judge, I am wearing suspenders today. I don't often do so. The strap keeps sliding off my shoulder."

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