Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 19, 2007


We arrived at the point of the trial where we would introduce our "smoking gun"-- a tape recording of the other side's voice making some damaging admissions. As a bonus, the tape also included statements from a decedent greatly assisting our case. (Note: I already had the hearsay exceptions covered).

The other side's attorney practically pretzelized himself trying to keep the tape out of evidence. He vehemently argued that the tape was "inaudible," and hence a "waste" of the court's time. (He abandoned his hearsay objection.) The Court overruled that objection.

Reversing course, the attorney who just argued that the tape was "inaudible" now offered that he had transcribed it. He contended the transcript should be admitted instead of the tape. This reversal begged the question: "If the tape was inaudible, how did he manage to transcribe it?" The inconsistency floated over my adversary's head, as he bulldozed ahead with his "Plan B."

We of course want the Court to hear the telling tone of party's taped concessions/confessions for added drama. Since the trial recessed until March, we do not yet have the court's ruling whether the tape will be played.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I saw the following sign adorning a trial judge's bench:

"All parties must meet and confer prior to calendar call (except domestic violence)."

Probably a wise exception. Although domestic violence cases aren't the only ones where fisticuffs could break out among litigants.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wagon Wheelin' and Dealin'.

As I was waiting for my client's case to be called, the judge handled another matter. This is a direct quote of the court's comments to another attorney: "Counsel, this case is like dung on a wagon wheel. It keeps turning up."

Glad it wasn't my case.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Yesterday's seminar at the Doubletree Hotel (Irvine Spectrum) was fantastic.

The audience filled a double-sized room with some overflow. Here's the joke I used to set the stage for the real estate investor seminar:

A guy goes into a doctor's office because he is not feeling well. The doctor runs some tests.

After receiving the test results, the doctor tells the patient, "I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is you have a combination of SARS, Avian Flu and West Nile Virus."

The patient reasonably responds, "Wow that sounds really bad. What's the good news?"

"The good news is that we have a special diet for you: pizza, pancakes and tortillas."

The patient questions, "Pizza, pancakes and tortillas? What's that going to do?"

Doctor: "Absolutely nothing. It's the only diet we can slide under the door."

The joke slayed. The audience stayed.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Light of the World.

As I am preparing for the real estate investor seminar set for this weekend, I haven't posted for a little while. I thought I would give you New Testament scholar Dr. Ben Witherington III's light-bulb jokes, in case you missed them from his excellent site,

"How many Presbyterians does it take to change alight bulb? None. God has pre-ordained when the lights will be on andwhen they will be off.

"How many Catholics does it take to change alight bulb? None. They always use candles.

"How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?? Ten. One to actually change the bulb, and nine to sayhow much better they liked the old one.

"How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?? 'We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a lightbulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that a light bulbworks for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship to your light bulb andpresent it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence through Jesus Christ.'

"How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb???? CHANGE ????????????"