» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 36 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 6, 2012

Ungrateful dead shock the court

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Death is a topic that inevitably comes up in court. We cannot hide from it. We just have to take it as we find it. Today’s column will feature four items of sworn testimony where death played a role.

Here is an excerpt from a deposition taken many years ago. While I’m inclined to think it speaks for itself, so to speak, I’ve always recommended reading it out loud:

Q: “Who else?”

A: “A man named Clyde Dodd.”

Q: “Dodd?”

A: “Yeah. He’s dead.”

Q: “Dead?”

A: “Very dead.”

Mr. Clapp: “He died? Dodd?”

A: “Clyde died.”

Mr. Clapp: “In degrees of death, he’s at the extreme?”

Here is another deposition excerpt that dates back many years ago. I think I got this from Judge Jerry Buchmeyer of Dallas, who got it from Kevin Jordan of Orange, Texas, who was involved in the case:

Q: “You said that you had stress-related problems at work?”

A: “Yes, it was working to death. You get an atomic chemical facility and they put big mind control on you, and you can’t do nothing but work, work, work till you’re dead. You just work and work and work and work and work. There’s no life. You can’t get out of it. There’s no air to breathe. Then you get hurt. I got hit with a pipe on my head, cracked my skull, tore the top of my head off. In 1976.”

Q: “Did you see doctors about that?”

A: “No. I just died. I’m dead, see? I’m dead. I’m a ghost, and I returned. I’ve already had my funeral. God won’t let me into heaven because I’m not good enough yet. So I’ve got to stay here on Earth, but I am dead.”

Q: “You’re dead as we sit here today?”

A: “I’m dead.”

And then there is the following, classic testimony, from a deposition that I actually once had a copy of. I regret that I cannot remember the jurisdiction or style of the case:

Q: “Do you recognize the person in Plaintiff’s Exhibit 8?”

A: “Yes … it is Mr. Edgington.”

Q: “Do you recall the time that you examined the body of Mr. Edgington at the Rose Chapel?”

A: “It was in the evening. That autopsy started about 8:30 p.m.”

Q: “And Mr. Edgington was dead at that time, is that correct?”

A: “No, you dumb #*%@! He was sitting there on the table, wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!”

And last, but not least, is the following from a deposition in which Tom Overbey of Little Rock was involved many a year ago, although he was not the one asking the questions:

A: “He told me he was seeking a major insurance policy to protect against a catastrophe or an untimely death to himself, and he wanted to have the funds available to perpetuate the company.”

Q: “Did he want the company to pass to his children?”

A: “No, he wanted me to have it.”

Q: “And when did he tell you that?”

A: “He told me that numerous times.”

Q: “Prior to his death?”

Let us hope the answer to that last question was “Yes.” And now, let’s move on to 2012. Happy New Year!

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0