Attorney: ‘Before you signed the death certi cate had you taken the man’s pulse?’ Coroner: ‘No.’ Attorney : ‘Did you listen for a heart beat?’
‘Did you check for breathing?’
‘So when you signed the death certi cate you had not taken any steps to make sure the man was dead, had you?’ Coroner: ‘Let me put it this way. The man’s brain was sitting in a jar on my desk, but for all I know he could be out there practicing law somewhere.’
A lawyer crossexamined the adversary’s main witness.
‘You claim to have stopped by Mrs Edwards’ house just after breakfast. Will you tell the jury what she said?’ ‘Objection, your honor,” shouted the other lawyer. There then followed a long argument between the lawyers as to whether the question was proper. Finally, after 45 minutes, the judge allowed it.
‘So,’ the rst lawyer continued, ‘Please answer the question. What did Mrs Edwards say when you went to her house after breakfast on December 3rd?’ ‘Nothing,’ said the witness. ‘No one was home.’