Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tater Tufts

Went to a deposition last week in a very small southern town.  There was a 'square' in the middle of town, and the Plaintiff's attorney (let's call him Hava Smallpeter) had his office in a big old house just off 'the square'.  Never met him before.  He decided he would break the ice between us immediately with a story.  

Hava Smallpeter:  So, SBL, you ever heard of Debbie Defenselawyer?  (I had, as she is a very good lawyer who is at a firm very similar to mine.  She, as well, is blonde.  She is very bright. Attractive.  Mid-thirties.).  
SBL:  Yes, Hava, I sure have met DD, and hear she is a very capable lawyer.  
H Smallpeter:  That may be true, but she wasn't so bright when she deposed my client last year. 
SBL:  (mentally, I'm wondering why he cares about a deposition a year ago, and I am ready to get MY depo overwith so I can drive 2.5 hours back to my metropolis of a city)  Well, like I said, I've heard great things about her so...
H Smallpeter:  Good, I thought you'd be interested.  DD was takin this deposition of my client.  I had warned her that my client had a VERY southern accent, and that she may need me to interpret.  She was indignant to me, and told me that she would need no interpreter.  Well, the deposition continued, and she asked my client how he was injured.  He replied that he had an (inaudible) "torn tater tuft".  DD then replied to my client, 'excuse me, did you say 'torn tater tuft'?.  I laughed so hard. (chuckles annoyingly) He said 'torn rotator cuff', but she didn't understand.  How stupid is that?
SBL:  Well, I don't know, I wasn't there.  But, like I said, DD is very capable at what she does.  (Us SBL's have to stick together, you know... 'cause certainly no one sticks up FOR us.)

Smallpeter brings up the 'tater tuft' comment every chance he gets for the rest of the day -- as if 'tater tuft' is the THEME.  

So, I depose Smallpeter's client No. 1.  Takes me four freakin' hours.  I didn't eat lunch.  (I ALWAYS eat lunch...  I'm a skinny bee-otch, but you're NOT going to find me skipping ANY kind of meal if I can help it).  

Begin deposition of client No. 2.  

SBL:  So, do you have any relatives in Smallville County?  (this is a common question, so that we can keep all relatives off of the jury)
Client No.2:  yes, I have my mom, my dad, my great aunt, and some blacks scattered around...
SBL:  (Now, I realize Client No.2 is caucasian.  I also realize that I am somewhere VERY south, and VERY smalltown, and I am assuming that this fella has a relative that mated with an African-American somewhere down the line, and he doesn't even care to say these peoples' last names, 'cause he is acting so racist). 
SBL:  continue questioning, ignoring the situation...
SBL:  (begin to get angry that this fella has relatives in the county that only count as 'some blacks scattered around', and he doesn't even KNOW THEIR NAMES!!  They're his RELATIVES!  He should be ASHAMED)
SBL:  So, what are these relatives' last names?



Smallpeter:  (trying to stifle a laugh, and directing a comment to the court reporter)  Can we go off the record here, Sue?
SBL:  ??
Smallpeter:  Chuckle.  Chuckle.  Laugh out loud.  Did you just ask what their last names were?
SBL:  (I'm getting angrier now... why is the ATTORNEY making his client feel good about his own client's racism??)
SBL:  (it suddenly hits me... the guy's last name is 'black'.)  Crap.

Crap.  Crap.  Crap.  And it was ALL 'on the record'.

Smallpeter:  I mean, that was even better than "tater tufts".  

... and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how SBL became the NEW story for which Smallpeter 'breaks the ice'.  I called DD and told her what happened.  She did not appreciate Smallpeter one iota.  My story has to be worse than DD's, because Smallpeter can somehow make me look racist through it all, I'm sure.

I'm not the type to have many 'blonde moments'.  So, it kinda urks me that the court reporter tried to make me feel better by trying to tell me it was just a 'blonde moment'.  I am blaming it on my lack of lunch... 'cause I need some lunch ... 

Smallpeter will never let this one go.


Southern Lawyer NC said...

So true. Take a look at southern lawyer.blogspot.com. Chicks Did the Chicken Fried Mulletnis so funny.

K said...

I love it! I lived in the south for 18 years, and there have been times I wonder how I made it out of there and back (north). Dated a girl who like to catch crabs...had no idea she was referring to salt water crabs. Thought scuppernong was a contagious disease. "Shoooey" is a versatile southern word. Keep blogging!

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