Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Differences between lawyers and people.

On a trip from his home in the U.S. to a vacation spot in Canada, a friend was ticketed for speeding. The officer spelled his name wrong and checked "female" instead of "male." The friend wanted to know, as all ticketees do, if this meant a free pass. My initial question, as a lawyer, was "where did you get the ticket?"

Some jurisdictions, as you may know, have statutes delineating which errors are automatic dismissals, and my thought was not only of this, but if it happened in a jurisdiction where I know someone practicing law. As I awaited his response, I pulled up traffic statutes and caselaw from various jurisdictions along his travel route, as well as combing my memory for the name of that classmate that went back to Canada and that guy I knew in grad school who went to Vermont.

His non-lawyer answer? "On the highway."

Sometimes it pays to be very clear with the questions we ask, as not everyone thinks like a lawyer. Or thinks.
(Sorry, dude, it was too good not to use as a post).


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