The Things Lawyers say

A recent courtroom drama in the midst of an ongoing inquest reports what one lawyer as having this exchange with a famous Thai Pathologist

” Razak puts it to Pornthip that Teoh strangled himself. He says that the other four doctors had found no such evidence of strangulation.”
~ I guess only lawyers can conclude someone can strangle himself to death (or render himself unconscious then throw himself out of the window).

“Razak: From Level 14 – 99 feet above ground – he was unconscious, so his body would be heavier.
Pornthip: No difference. Scientifically how could there be weight-loss according to consciousness?”
~ exactly. I guess physics is not part of legal training.

“Razak also asks if she has experience jumping off a building as she has testified that the body was found further from the building than in the usual case of suicide by jumping.”
~ no I don’t think Dr. Pornthip would be in the courtroom today if she had experience jumping off a building

“Razak notes that she is not qualified as a forensic expert in Malaysia as the university from which she graduated is not recognised in Malaysia. Pornthip replies that the university is one of the top five in Asia – some in the public gallery applaud.”
~ Mahidol University is ranked amongst the top 50 Universities in the Asia according to this site – none of the Malaysian Universities are in the top 50.

“Glaringly, the lawyer quizzed Pornthip on why she said Teoh was dead when he fell off Level 14, (where the MACC office is located in Plaza Masalam) but alive when he hit the landing on Level 5.
“I accept that he was alive. I never said that he was dead,” said Pornthip who has offered her services on a pro bono basis.
Visibly amused, the coroner stepped in to clarify that issue was whether Teoh was conscious or otherwise, not if he was dead or alive. This was to no avail as Abdul Razak remained bewildered.”
~ It must be difficult for the brain-dead to distinguish between unconscious and dead.

“Pornthip: I’m questioning whether you are a lawyer.”
~ touché.

And to make your day, here are some other real courtroom lawyer gaffs:

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Lawyer: “Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?”

Lawyer: “Now, doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn’t know anything about it until the next morning?”

Lawyer: “And what did he do then?”
Witness: “He came home, and next morning he was dead.”
Lawyer: “So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?”

Lawyer: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
Witness: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Lawyer: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
Witness: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

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

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About LWJ

A doctor in Hospital Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru (HSAJB).