"I apologize, Your Honor, I've been watching too much Law and Order lately." Yes, believe it or not, I actually said that to a Judge yesterday, after I had improperly interrupted the other attorney during his argument!
Law and Order is a great show, but it inaccurately portrays the legal system in several respects. One is the way attorneys continually interrupt each other during arguments to the Judge, usually concerning the setting of bond for the defendant.
A more outrageous inaccuracy is the way prosecutors will meet with the defendants directly and engage in discussion of the case. No defense attorney in his or her right mind would ever allow this, even when the attorney is present also to run interference. It just doesn't happen that way. Typically an offer from the prosecutor is made to the defense attorney, who then discusses it IN PRIVATE with the client, and reports back to the prosecutor.
Today's quote comes from Garrison Keillor: "We're burdened by the need to be cool. When I was in college, I read Kafka and Camus and tried to write like them, in flat, non-American English, as if writing under the influence of a migraine, until it slowly dawned on me that I was missing the basic experiences that had formed them. Enduring high school is not the same as growing up Jewish in Prague or fighting in the French resistance."
Petition of the day
2 hours ago