Wednesday, April 13, 2011

By Reader Request -- "Deferred Adjudification"

Okay, so I'm nothing if not responsive to Reader Requests.

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail suggesting that I do a post on how many different ways people mispronounce "Deferred Adjudication" in court.  I've heard it mispronounced a couple of times over the years, with the most common way, obviously, being "Deferred Adjudification".

As a side note, if you want to mess with a seasoned prosecutor or defense attorney's head, wait until they just finished a bench conference with the judge, walk up to them, and say, "Um, I can't believe you just pronounced that deferred adjudification."  They will deny it, get very embarrassed, and then spend the next fifteen minutes wondering whether or not they really did that in front of a judge.

Trust me, I did it to Denise Nichols once when she was my Three in Judge Davies' court.

But I digress.

There are obviously numerous terms in our system that get blundered by (usually) Defendants, but also by police officers, witnesses, lawyers and judges.

My personal favorite was in a misdemeanor DWI trial, opposing counsel repeatedly spoke of the "Horizontal Glaze Nostalgius" test.  (For you non-lawyer folks, it's the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and it is a staple of any DWI case.  Lawyer humor.)

So, fire away with your favorite mispronunciations here if you've got some.  They are usually pretty funny.

Since we are on the topic, though, I have to confess that it wasn't until 2008 (when I was a District Court chief) that David Cunningham was kind enough to point out to me that the phrase was "for all intents and purposes" and not "for all intensive purposes" as I had been saying for the previous 36 years of my life.

37 comments:

Just Sayin' said...

Defense Counsel: Did the individual who had sexual intercourse with you against your will use any form of protection?

Witness: He didn't need none he was real strong all by himself.

Defense Counsel: No ma'am I meant did the individual use any means to protect you from disease or pregnancy during this incident?

Witness: He was in a hurry and didn't care nothing about that and I didn't have any "condominiums" my own self.

Just Sayin'

Thomas Hobbes said...

Release on reconnaissance, which seems to mean that you have to look for your own release method or that we'll just see you when you get here.

Anonymous said...

Non-Legal but every lawyer uses one and this applies to all people:

When you send someone a cell phone written message which is the correct way to describe the act? I Text-ed them? I Text them? Seems like it should be treated like "deer". I text her after he text me??

How many have heard another say the purchased something when they "bought-ed" the thing?

Anonymous said...

There is already a long list of such mispronunciations on the TDCAA forum at:

http://tdcaa.infopop.net/4/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=347098965&f=157098965&m=5953067317&r=5953067317#5953067317

Anonymous said...

I think more humerous than words that are mispronounced or used out of context are the abbreviations I see. For example, I was prosecuting a DWI case. The offense report said the officer observed "SOAB" on the driver. He could not figure out what SOAB stood for. He eventually guessed that it stood for "son of a bitch.

Thomas Hobbes said...

Anon 10:05 . . .

Texted (v) is the correct way to refer to an act of texting that occurred in the past.

I can text it, he can text it,
She can text it, we can text it,
They can text it, you can text it!
Oh, let’s text it!
Can you text it, baby?

(A brief shout-out to The Monitors)

Bought, on the other hand, already is in the past tense and needs no suffix to make it so (see purchase/purchased v. buy/bought).

And, by the way, everybody who's anybody knows that the past tense of deer is venison.

Anonymous said...

At Magistrate's Court, you will often hear defendants plead, "No contents," or "No conscience". I also liked the typo (I hope) in an offense report where the officer knew the defendant, "by name and by sign as John Doe."

Alex Bunin said...

Cunningham is a fund of information ... or is that fount of knowledge?

Anonymous said...

Offense report stated that the defendant gave a "raised-chest-up statement" aka "res gestae". But he could have raised his chest up when he said it.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

All good examples. Outside of the legal mispronunciations, we should also give a salute to all officers who wrote in their offense reports that they had spoken with "ADA Vic Wiener".

Anonymous said...

My fave is when officers note in their reports that someone got hit in the "growin" area...

Anonymous said...

An along with Vic Winer, Joe Venis.

Anonymous said...

In defense of those brave souls who work the streets and the jails, you hear mispronunciations and street jargon so often that you begin to think that it is the Kings English.
Then the word gets put into Websters Dictionary.

Anonymous said...

My favorite was Police Officers who attempt to describe a burglarized residence as being ransacked. However, it would be written as "ramshacked" or "rumsucked".

The other often misspelled word is "mirrow" instead of mirror.

Anonymous said...

I remember the story of a female complainant who was testifying about being shot during a fight. The prosecutor questioned her about the shooting incident by asking her if she was "shot in the fracas". The witness corrected the prosecutor by replying, "No, he shot me just above my fracas".

Anonymous said...

I remember the story of a female complainant who was testifying about being shot during a fight. The prosecutor questioned her about the shooting incident by asking her if she had been "shot in the fracas". The witness corrected the prosecutor by replying, "No, he shot me just above my fracas".

Anonymous said...

In a PCS trial with Johnny "the Greek" Papantonakis. Judge Woody Denson referred to Johnny as:

1. Mr. Pappadopolous
2. Mr. Papovich
3. Mr. Pappalous

And of course

4. Mr. Pappageorgio

Paul Damico

Bartender Cabbie said...

defecation of character?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

I read more than one offense report where the Complainant had been touched in her virginia.

Elizabeth said...

Um, it's not "intensive purposes"? Really? Ouch. Come to think of it, I guess the other way does make more sense. My similar issue is with the phrase "one in the same". I had the sense not to have it out with the ID deputy that put that in every fingerprint comparison report he ever wrote, but reading it was like an optical papercut to me. I guess there ARE advantages to not being a prosecutor anymore!

Michele Hartmann said...

There was a certain county criminal court judge in another county who would rule on objections as either overruled or 'substained'...and then there was the time (many, many years ago) that I interned at the HCDAO office and was filing back case files labeled [insert varying female first names] with last name of 'LNU'. I thought it was a family, duh, until someone said, no it means 'last name unknown'...yep, they were the club dancers.

Anonymous said...

RE: FNU LNU - in the early 1980's there was a judge that, allegedly, after several days of docket call finally made the comment: " Who is this FNU LNU person? They sure are getting charged a lot and not showing up for court. Was it Bates? Pruett?

Anonymous said...

The Judge's name was Johnny Kolinda who also, when the defense stood in trial to "invoke The Rule" - he as inquired of the lawyer: " Which one?

Anonymous said...

An HPD detective once called court looking for ADA George Whistlefish...

Anonymous said...

Defendant on the stand stated that he "rememberized" something

Anonymous said...

Bailiff announced the Judge as "residing" in the court as opposed to "presiding".

Anonymous said...

Splatter vs. Spatter

Anonymous said...

In Texas, we have expunctions not expungements as per the Code of Criminal Procedure. Although I'm not sure there is a corresponding verb for expunge - expunct?

Anonymous said...

Conversate.
Supposably.
CoHerced.
Irregardless.
Chester Drawers.
Hangar Nade.
Valentime's Day.
New Braunsfel.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.chron.com/newswatch/2011/04/texas_tribune_psychologist_rep.html

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

http://ask.metafilter.com/158740/You-were-doing-it-wrong

Adam Poole said...

Every single time I receive a letter from an inmate they want their jury TRAIL.

I don't get it. It's never mispronounced but always misspelled.

Anonymous said...

I like it in offense reports when someone gets Chocked instead of choked.

Dave Ward said...

What? All these comments, and not one person brought up the kissing cousin to 'Deferred Adjudification', 'Motion to Provoke Probation'?

brandon collins said...

During a plea, a defendant was trying to be deferential to the Judge. He had apparently heard Judges called Magistrate, probably at his PC hearing; so he kept calling the Judge, "your majesty."

Anonymous said...

In a burglary report, a police officer wrote that a "hair and bone necklace" was stolen.

odentex said...

I always, accidentally of course, called it the Horizontal Gaze Nonsense Test at trial.

-Eric M.-