As a young lawyer, I would get very frustrated when a witness would not answer the question. It was not unusual for me to continue to ask the question until the opposing lawyer would stand with the objection, “asked and answered”.
(Warning: you are going to think that I am getting paid by the word. I just really enjoy this topic! Feel free to wander)
That’s usually where I would make another rookie mistake. I would look to the judge for help in making the witness fully answer the question the way I wanted it answered. I can still hear the judge’s response, “Move on Mr. Bieber”.
Since those days, I have been taught a lot about juries as well as voters because asking and answering plays a big role in law and politics. This even goes back to my days of being involved while working in the middle of political campaigns. So, what do I think that I have learned? Well besides “not enough”… here’s my 2 cents worth.
As to juries, I have learned that they get it. For those who attack the jury system and want to go to a more controlled environment of forced arbitrations… they don’t give enough credit to those sitting on a jury.
I now believe that juries get it when a witness constantly dodges an answer. I’ve also seen them greatly discount defense experts who are professional witnesses for the defense versus the testimony of treating doctors. Plus, it’s better for me to let the jury be bothered or angry at a witness, rather than me trying to beat up on that witness. Since the jury has the ultimate final say in the case… they will take care of it.
(Just to break my rambling up, I thought I’d better throw in a random pic o’)
I’ve also learned that people don’t necessarily answer what they truly believe. When a waiter walks up and ask, How is everything?”, many people say it was fine. Never mind the fact that they were just complaining about the taste of the food or the terrible service. We just don’t want to get into it.
When a prospective juror is point blank asked, “Can you be fair in this case?”, rarely will a person answer that they cannot be fair. In fact, we really have a hard time admitting that we can’t be fair. Instead, the juror might answer that this might not be the case for them because of some reason. Or, they might admit that something is going on in their lives that makes it difficult to fully sit through the case and be attentive. That might come out with some kind of response to someone being sued or whether there are too many lawsuits.
We all carry some form of bias or prejudice. Just sometimes, it’s hard to admit it.
That brings me to the political process and voting. When Eric Cantor was running for his re-election nomination against a same-party opponent, his pollsters advised that he was leading by approximately 34 point (National Journal), leading up to election day. Then, he was crushed for the nomination, by 10 points.
Now why were the polling numbers so wrong? Well, the article does give some possible explanations. I think that people are tired of pollsters. Plus, they might just give a wrong answer… just because.
That leads me to the final poll thought. Jim Gaines (Reuters) has discussed in this attachment, a recent poll that shows that one in four Americans wants their state to secede from the U.S. That’s what people truly said. That they want their state to be independent and leave the U.S. Do you believe that they really mean it? Once again, I think that they are answering in the affirmative… just because. Asking might bring an answer; just not the real answer.
And for our pic o’ day, here’s a cow asking: