From Judge Judy to Law And Order, few things compete with our endearing fascination with courtroom drama. It encompasses everything from tension to characters, from raw emotions to unmistakable bravado.
Luckily for all the legal drama fans, both on screen and in real life, there’s a whole destination to feast on titled “Overheard Courthouse.” As you suspect, it follows the trend of other similar accounts like “Overheard LA”, “Overheard London” or “Overheard Amazon” by sharing the too-good-not-to-share conversations that people have (let’s assume accidentally) eavesdropped on .
“Overheard Courthouse” welcomes submissions and transcripts from courtrooms across the world and shares the most entertaining ones for its 98.6k followers to see. Below are some of the best ones, so scroll down and upvote your favorite ones!
A courtroom is certainly a tense environment. Think of all the pressure that accumulates in that room: from the judge carefully analyzing every statement and teams of lawyers ready to pounce on anything said that is even slightly inaccurate or worth objecting over, and court reporters frantically typing to ensure every word uttered is recorded exactly right. No wonder many entertaining conversations worthy of courtroom drama happen right here.
According to Joanne Willey, the founder of Cook & Wiley: Court Reporters for the Virginia Legal Community, no matter how much experience one may have in this type of setting, at the end of the day, we are all simply human.
“Slips of the tongue can and do occur in the courtroom just as they do everywhere else. Sometimes the end result is embarrassing, silly, or just plain confusing, but no matter what, it sure is entertaining! Most of the examples below come from books and websites dedicated to funny statements recorded in courtrooms, ”she argues.
In the courtroom, where common sense and rationality take the center stage, you’d be surprised how frequent common sense fails are. Willey says that “One has to wonder — were these comments a simple error in speaking that was corrected swiftly thereafter or did the lawyer truly think what he or she was saying made logical sense?”
So she shared an example:
“Attorney: ‘I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.’
Witness: ‘That’s me.’
Attorney: ‘Were you present when that picture was taken?’ ”
But Willey says it’s not just attorneys that get goofed up in the courtrooms. Many times, it is the witnesses who generate so many of these memorable quotes, she argues. “Imagine how frustrating it must be for an attorney to put a witness on the stand, only to hear some of these gems fall out of his or her mouth!” Here is one such example:
“Attorney: ‘How old is your son, the one living with you?’
Witness: ‘Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can not remember which.’
Attorney: ‘How long has he lived with you?’
Witness: ‘Forty-five years.’ ”
If your newly found fascination with funny things people said in courtrooms is bigger than this post, you may want to check this page that shares such quotes taken from the book Disorder in the American Courts. According to the page, these are “things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.”