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Members of the Microsoft "Most Valuable Professionals" were trading funny law stories. The author of this one gave me permission to reproduce his story (without mentioning his name and the law firm for which he works). If you wish to spread it, please refer your friends to this URL:
http://www.risingdove.com/fancythat/verifying_the_witness.asp

Verifying the Witnesses

       Long as we're trading funny law stories (this one is true):
       One of our attorneys was in court on a probate matter. Wealthy old guy marries some young chick, then he dies and all of the sudden a will turns up leaving the whole estate to her. His kids (who are older than the widow) challenge the will; we represent the kids.

       When you challenge a will in court you first go through the formality of verifying the witnesses. Strictly routine, ask them a couple of questions and move along to the meat of the case. First witness to the will was the hispanic gardener:

Q: So you saw "Mr. Smith" sign the will?
A: No, sir.
Q: Oh.... O.K., well can you read for us the first paragraph on page 1 there?
A: No, sir, I don't read English very well.
Q: [puzzled]: Well, if you didn't see him sign it and you can't read it, why did you sign it as a witness?
A: [points at widow] She brought it to me and said if I didn't sign it she'd have me deported.
 
       Our attorney, a bit stunned by this, looks at the judge. The judge, fighting back a wry smile, nods knowingly, picks up his gavel and says "I think we're done here. The will is invalidated, plaintiff's motion is granted. [GAVEL BANGS]"
 
       Easiest litigation win we've ever had.   J

March 2, 2001   by Anonymous Law Firm Employee

 
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