What the Judge really means
WHAT JUDGES SAY TO LAWYERS AND WHAT THEY
REALLY MEAN. . .
"This is a fairly obscure area of law.":
"I have no clue what you're talking about."
"I think the court understands the gist of your argument":
"Shut up and sit down before you screw up the few good points you're trying to make here."
"I'll be taking this matter under advisement.":
"I'm going to work some poor law clerk like a galley slave to research everything there is to find about this, and then decide it by a coin flip."
"Counsel, isn't the real question here whether your insurance client has a duty to extend coverage?":
"Since you're working by the hour for some rapacious insurance company, even if I hand you your head on a platter everybody still gets paid."
"Counsel, let me see if I can't rephrase your argument to make it a little clearer.":
"since it's obvious you couldn't find your butt with both hands, let alone explain what you're trying to say, I'm going to take pity on your poor client, help him out here and hope he has the good sense to choose somebody else next time he needs legal help."
"I've read all the briefs. Unless you have something new to add, I think I've got a pretty good handle on the issues.":
"I've got a tee time in 30 minutes, and if you force me to stay here and listen to you drone on, I'm going to make you pay for it."
"I think now might be a good time to take a short break.":
"I'm trying desperately to keep from falling asleep, pitching forward into the file folder and having to get staples removed from my forehead."
"Counsel, I think you've adequately covered that issue.":
"You've beaten that dead horse into oblivion."
"I just want to make sure that your client understands the rights he's waiving here.":
"I want to make sure that if some bleeding heart on the appeals court decides to let this scumbag out of prison, I don't get blamed for it."
"I believe this is a question better determined by the jury.":
"Let's see if you can get 12 people to buy this load of crap."
"Counsel, could you address the jurisdiction issue first?":
"Please show me how I can unload this turkey on some other judge."
"Although there is authority on both sides of the issue, the better-reasoned line of cases seems to say . . ..":
"I disagree with the leading 42 cases on this point, but my clerk was able to find a 1946 Puerto Rico case that can be twisted into what I think the law ought to be."
"This reminds me of an amusing story from when I was in private practice.":
"I'm going to bore you to tears with an old joke from the early '50s, and you're going to feign amusement because the fate of your case hangs in the balance."
"Counsel, one more outburst like that and I'm going to hold you in contempt!":
"Nothing would amuse me more than to leave you in a cold cell all weekend with a large guy named Bubba who knows all the words to "Getting to Know You."
"I haven't made up my mind one way or the other on this issue.":
"You're gonna lose big time."