Sunday, March 20, 2011


                              Mister Ed.png

Jason Linkins sent me over to to read this segment taken from a deposition.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- What is a photocopier?
That seems like such a simple question.
But last year, a lawyer in a public-records case being heard by the Ohio Supreme Court had a hard time getting a $64,000-a-year Cuyahoga County worker to say whether the county recorder's office had a photocopier.
The effort consumes nearly 10 pages of a court transcript.
The overall case is about whether deeds and other records at the county recorder's office -- records that were collected and are maintained with your taxes -- should be readily available at reasonable cost. …
David Marburger, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of title companies. Another attorney, Matthew Cavanagh, represents the county and raises objections.
Marburger: During your tenure in the computer department at the Recorder's office, has the Recorder's office had photocopying machines?
Cavanagh: Objection.
Marburger: Any photocopying machine?
Patterson: When you say "photocopying machine," what do you mean?
Marburger: Let me be -- let me make sure I understand your question. You don't have an understanding of what a photocopying machine is?
Patterson: No. I want to make sure that I answer your question correctly.
Cavanagh: Dave, I'll object to the tone of the question. You make it sound like it's unbelievable to you that he wouldn't know what the definition of a photocopy machine is.
Marburger: I didn't ask him to define it. I asked him if he had any.
Patterson: When you say "photocopying machine," what do you mean?
Marburger: Let me be clear. The term "photocopying machine" is so ambiguous that you can't picture in your mind what a photocopying machine is in an office setting?
Patterson: I just want to make sure I answer your question correctly.
Marburger: Well, we'll find out. If you can say yes or no, I can do follow-ups, but it seems -- if you really don't know in an office setting what a photocopying machine is, I'd like the Ohio Supreme Court to hear you say so. …
Marburger: I don't care what kind of technology it uses. Has your offices -- we don't have technocrats on the Ohio Supreme Court. We've got people like me, general guys --
Cavanagh: Objection.
Marburger: -- or gals. I'm not really very interested in what the technology element of it is. I want to know -- ….
Patterson: I'm sorry. I didn't know what that meant. I understand that there are photocopying machines, and there are different types of them just like --
Marburger: Are there any in the Recorder's office?
Patterson: -- there are different cars. Some of them run under gas power, some of them under electric power, and I'm asking if you could help me out by explaining what you mean by "photocopying machines" --
Marburger: That's a great point.
Patterson: -- instead of trying to make me feel stupid.
Marburger: If you feel stupid, it's not because I'm making you feel that way.
Cavanagh: Objection. …
Marburger: This isn't a patent case. There's no statute that defines -- where I'm asking him to define technology for me. I'm asking -- I want to find out from a layperson's perspective, not an engineer's perspective, not a technician's perspective, but from -- I have an idea.
Marburger: How about this: Have you ever heard the term "photocopier" or "photocopy" used in the Recorder's office by anybody?
Patterson: Photocopy? I'm sure in the time I've been there someone has used the term. ..
Marburger: Xerox. Is the machine made by the Xerox Company? Is that why it's called Xerox?
Patterson: No.
Marburger: So Xerox, in the parlance that you've described, the language that you've described, is being used generically as opposed to describing a particular brand; is that right?
Patterson: All of my life I've just known people to say Xerox. It's not commonplace to use the terminology that you're using.
Marburger: You mean it's more -- people say Xerox instead of photocopy?
Patterson: If you're referring to a type of machine where you place a piece of paper on the top and press a button and out comes copies of it, they usually refer to it as a Xerox.
Marburger: Have you ever heard it referred to as photocopying?
Patterson: Not with my generation, no.
Our legal system at work.

Our legal system at work. And this is an important legal case by the by. It has to do with properly substantiation for the chain of title. That is what title companies do.

I assume the problem has to do with county recording offices charging twenty bucks a page for public information, but I am too lazy to look into this right now.  As you all might be aware there are real problems documenting the chain of titles for real estate right now do to the mortgage fiasco.

The court time wasted, the legal billing hours wasted with this type of witness examination are astronomical.

The attorney could have had his/her staff procure the make and models of the machines available to the Registrar of Titles or the County Register prior to the examination of the worker.

But you must admit that the witness was being less than cooperative and opposing counsel was a jerk!

Quinn thinks that the time has come for everyone to shut the fuck up. hahahah


cmaukonen said...

OY....My first reaction to this is. "What the hell does this guy think this is ? The Watergate hearing s ?"

My second reaction is. {shakes head in disbelief}

Alan said...

As someone on a comment thread elsewhere, reacting to this very same piece, said in a few short sentences, people who act like this on the stand tend to lose credibility with the jurors fairly rapidly.

I can't imagine being a juror and listening to something like this transpire without thinking this guy has to be one of the shadiest characters anywhere.


Alan, the witness is an idiot, a higher scaled paid government idiot, and counsel will use that, for sure.

But counsel still should have had at his disposal the make model and manufacturer of ever damn machine in the recorders office. hahahahah

C, I can see that you and alan had the same reaction; against the stupid witness. me too. hahahahah

Alan said...

That would in fact have been a proper step, and do we know that wasn't somewhere down the road? This was undoubtedly the biggest headline-generator - though it does make me wonder what followed.

Do rearguard actions like this ever bear fruit? Can this clown be doing anything other than delaying the inevitable?


Alan the answer is: you never know for sure.

This transcript tells me that the attorney representing the state/recorder's office prepped the recorder to do this; to act like this;to respond like this. Sometimes you shake up the trial attorney.

The trial attorney really was too clever for that.