VOIR DIRE - To Tell the Truth
I was trying an auto defense case in Houston and noticed that a gentleman on the second row was clearly a cajun. His name was Thibedeaux and he kept staring at me, trying to get a look.
When my turn came for Voir Dire - a latin/french phrase meaning to "speak the truth", I waited a while and then zeroed in on my cajun friend and said in French,
"Comment c'est va, chienne" which in Cajun means "How are you, friend?"
Thibedeaux became very excited and said, "C'est va bienne. Blah, blah blah in French." I had no idea what he said in French, but he went on for half a minute. I was done at C'est va bienne, but because my last name is Cajun and I grew up hearing my father and all of my relatives speaking French, I had just enough of an accent to fool him into believing we could have a conversation in French. I had to save face and when he finished, I said to him," Okay Mr. Thibedeaux, we have to stop talking in French orthis Court Reporter won't be able to take down what we are saying..."
It turns out, that when Voir Dire was over, he was struck by the Plaintiff because they had no idea what he said and no idea that I didn't know either. Thibedeaux tracked me down in a bathroom and asked me if I was related to Louis Dugas, Jr. I said I was his son and some thirty years earlier, he had been a juror on a murder case when my father was the District Attorney in Orange, Texas. That was why he was staring at me and so eager to talk to me.