Monday, September 25, 2006

No offense....

Why is it that people feel perfectly comfortable saying the most horrid things, so long as they follow it with "no offense," or "if I'm mistaken, I apologize?"

1) At the very end of a deposition last week, the other attorney asked to make a statement for the record, during which he stated that a document that had been produced appeared to have been "doctored." Turned out, he had the wrong document, and had he acted like a human being and asked about it without being accusatory, he would have resolved his question without the drama. Instead, he had to make a court record out of his mistaken assumption, only to follow with "if my recollection is incorrect, I apologize."

2) After I won a motion (also last week but in a different case), the other attorney decided to backstop his argument by seeking testimony from an expert - which is not only smart but should have been done before the evidentiary hearing. When the results of that test call my witness's credibility into question, he sends me a copy with a request to "call me." When I do, he proceeds to suggest that I was complicit in the witness's testimony about the timing of certain events, and that he wouldn't want to suggest that I had done anything improper. The hell he didn't! A) I wasn't complicit in the witness's testimony, because B) the witness offered what was a logical explanation - he had had open heart surgery. The Court recognized the explanation as a valid one for a time delay, and it ruled in my client's favor appropriately. But he didn't mean to "imply" that I had done anything wrong.... Yeah, right.

The next time someone says something like that and follows it with some nonsense that is supposed to negate the effect of what they just said, I'm going to have to have something to say. I don't know what it is yet, but I'm going to think of something good to come back with that should (hopefully) either shut them up (if they're just insensitive) or point them out as the sniping bullies they really are.

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