And Now You Will Hear From the Plaintiff Elizabeth Boquer...
Back around the late 1990s, a particular plaintiff attorney, Adam Miller, had a case where his client, the plaintiff, was injured in a car accident. Her name was Elizabeth Boquer and she worked in a bakery at Kroger. She was a French immigrant and had a high pitched accent when she spoke english.
Ms. Boquer had suffered an injury to her foot and had to wear a shoe boot. She also had broken some ribs and had an orthopedic vest that she wore as well.
This case was tried in the old Cotton Exchange Building back when the Harris County District Courts were spread all over downtown. During the evidence stage, Miller had introduced the shoe boot and the vest as demonstrative aids for the jury. When it came time for closing, these items were on his counsel table but were no cause for alarm. I could not have invented what I saw next.
Adam Miller had recently returned from a seminar in Jackson Hole with Gerry Spence, the famed eccentric trial attorney popularized during the OJ Simpson case. Adam took his advice to be dramatic literally because during his closing argument, he started fitting Elizabeth Boquer's vest around his suit. Luckily, she was a little hefty and it fit around him. Then, he put her shoe boot on. But what he did next was the most shocking. With his client's medical devices on Miller then stated:
"You will now hear from Elizabeth Boquer." I didn't know what to think. I had by that time tried 80 plus cases but I had never seen or heard of anyone letting their client speak during closing. I wasn't even sure if it was allowed under the Rules of Civil Procedure. But I didn't have to worry. Adam Miller merely started speaking in Elizabeth Boquer's "voice". He spoke in a falsetto and at first, I had to hold back laughter. At the time it was crazy and funny. Now, however, I see how he was merely trying to personalize the plaintiff. It didn't hurt him and it made for the funniest moment I ever had in trial.
My old friend Scott Herring was the adjuster on that case. Rest in Peace Scott.