Think before you open your mouth in court!

Jackie Vance
Jackie Vance

Unfortunately, in this litigious society, and especially as long-term care professionals, we are sometimes put in a position to open our mouths in court. If you worry about this, relax. You couldn't do any worse than these people.

The snippets below are from a book called "Disorder in the Court" and are things people actually said in court, word-for-word, taken down and published by court reporters.

So take these as a warning: Think before you open your mouth. (And pause twice as long to do so if you're an attorney!)

Attorney: Now doctor isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? 
Witness:  Did you actually pass the bar exam? 

*   *   *

Attorney: All right nurse.  The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he? 
Witness: He's 20, very close to your IQ.

*   *   *

Attorney: This is your employee ID? 
Witness: Yes.
Attorney: Were you present when your picture was taken? 
Witness: Are you kidding me?   

*   *   *

Attorney: So Mr. Wilson no longer works at your facility? 
Witness: Correct
Attorney: His contract was terminated? 
Witness: I guess you could say that.
Attorney: How was the employee contract terminated? 
Witness: By death. 
Attorney: And by whose death was it terminated? 
Witness: Your Honor, I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

*   *   *

Attorney: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people? 
Witness: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

*   *   *

Attorney: ALL of your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you attend? 
Witness: Oral. 

*   *   *

 Attorney: Do you recall the time that you examined the body? 
 Witness: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM. 
 Attorney: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time? 
 Witness: If not, he was by the time I finished. 

*   *   *

Attorney: Are you qualified to take a urine sample? 
Witness: Yes 
Attorney: OK. Hold on a second. (pause) Are you qualified to give a urine sample? 
Witness: Are you qualified to ask that question? 

*   *   *

Attorney: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? 
Witness: No. 
Attorney: Did you check for blood pressure? 
Witness: No. 
Attorney: Did you check for breathing? 
Witness: No. 
Attorney: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? 
Witness: No. 
Attorney: How can you be so sure, Doctor? 
Witness: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. 
Attorney: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? 
Witness: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law. 

At least he didn't say "practicing medicine" or "working as a nurse"! Whew! 

Just keeping it real (and funny),

Nurse Jackie 

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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