November 2, 2017

"The suspect told police ‘give me a lawyer dog.’ The court says he wasn’t asking for a lawyer."

"... the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a 'lawyer dog'..." (WaPo).
“This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.” The punctuation, arguably critical to Demesme’s use of the sobriquet “dog,” was provided by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office in a brief, and then adopted by Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton.

65 comments:

Molly said...

Where's that comma lady you quoted yesterday when you need her?

Earnest Prole said...

Where is the New Yorker's half-wit copy editor when you need her?

Earnest Prole said...

Damn! Beaten to the punch.

Kevin said...

Apparently he wanted to sic him on the cops.

Kevin said...

The court ruled that a "lawyer dog" is a thing?

I demand they produce one.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

New retirement business for Althouse and Meade; training lawyer dogs!

I always knew there was some greater cosmic reason you two crazy kids got together!

A to the C said...

They say all dogs go to heaven, which makes it difficult for me to believe they could be lawyers.

Unknown said...

As bad as the defendant looks in this, the courts look worse.

anti-de Sitter space said...

New names for DJT's list of potential justices.

Law and order.

EDH said...

"There was a poor dawg... died. Died. Died!

The Dawg...died.
."

n.n said...

Lawyer, dog?

Fabi said...

Is a dog bite lawyer an acceptable substitute? I know one.

eddie willers said...

New retirement business for Althouse and Meade; training lawyer dogs!

Zeus for SCOTUS!

Hagar said...

My reading is that the defendant made a disrespectful reference to public defender lawyers, some of which merit that term.

However, "system" lawyers may feel that using that term should be punished, even if the defendant actually was innocent of the crime he was charged with.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Forget Gitmo, DJT should ship Saipov to Louisiana. They can probably wrap up the process fast enough so that the electrocution can be combined w/ a Christmas tree illumination ceremony.

That'll be a noteworthy victory re the wars on terrorism and Xmas.

tcrosse said...

A Precedent Setter ?

Quayle said...

Show me a lawyer that isn't a dog.

I sure know a lot who are absolute sons of dogs.

Pinandpuller said...

Where my lawyer n*gga?

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW, Manafort must be pleased that he gave his 'not guilty' plea in DC, rather than in Louisiana.

If you ignore the 'not' part, he did say 'guilty.' Lock him up!!!!

BDNYC said...

Idiotic. His request for counsel could arguably be conditional or ambiguous because he said "if ...", not because he said "lawyer dog."

bagoh20 said...

If he said "give me a lawyer asshole", would that make him gay?

How about "lawyer motherfucker"?

Only a law school grad like a judge would find common English so confusing and ... flexible.

Pinandpuller said...

bagoh20

"Lawyer motherfucker" must be followed by

"Do you speak it?"

Birkel said...

Lawyer dogs are all too busy to do legal work.
They all say "I am looking for the man who shot my paw."

No time for anything else.

mccullough said...

Should read "lawyer-dog."

The Godfather said...

It's a funny story, but if it were a hypo in a law school class, I imagine a sharp student might ask whether the suspect said anything further about a "lawyer dog" or even a "lawyer, dog" when the cops continued their interrogation without providing either.

I'm reminded of a story. This was an evidentiary hearing on some preliminary matters in a complex civil case. Counsel for one of the parties rose repeatedly during the cross-examination of his witness to say, "Your Honor, I'm going to have to object to that question." The judge said nothing, and the interrogation continued. After awhile, counsel rose again to say, "Your Honor, I'm going to have to object to that question." And counsel said the same thing several more times, each time with no response from the judge. Finally, after six or so repetitions, the judge said to counsel, "And when you do object, I'll rule on it." Counsel was completely flummoxed. "I'm entitled to a ruling on my objections", he said. At which point his co-counsel whispered in his ear, "You have to say 'I object', not 'I'm going to object'". And he did, and he got his ruling. "Denied", as I recall.

Richard Belaire said...

Billy Tauzin, ex-Louisiana congresscritter: "At any given time, half of Louisiana is under indictment and the other half is under water."

PatHMV said...

The pundits are having just a bit too much fun with this. While the concurring opinion does particularly quote the "lawyer dog" part of the defendant's statement, the concurring opinion does NOT say in any way shape or form that the Justice believed the defendant might be asking for a canine attorney. Rather, the cases he cites make clear that he considers the phrasing "why don't you just call me a lawyer" as only an ambiguous request for an attorney, akin to "maybe I should talk to a lawyer," which the court has previously held to not represent a clear and unambiguous request for an attorney necessary to throw out subsequent statements.

Matthew Sablan said...

Lawyer dog. Know your meme.

Nonapod said...

I know a lot about the law and various other lawyerings...

Darrell said...

Let loose the dogs of law.

Mountain Maven said...

Dawg

tim maguire said...

Seriously? Because the transcript didn't include a comma, they're going to assume he was asking for something that doesn't exist. And not the thing he would naturally be asking for when he said that?!?

The South is hard to defend sometimes.

Birches said...

This is why people hate LEOs and lawyers.

Birches said...

But yeah, people need to be smart enough to ask for a lawyer and then STOP TALKING!

traditionalguy said...

He wanted a German lawyer to Shepherd his case.

Meade said...

On the internet, everybody knows you're a lawyer dog

Bob Boyd said...

Crichton started out as a dog catcher.

Ken B said...

How do they know he didn’t want a lawyer dawg? A dawg is a person.

Maybe he asked for a lawyer whose surname is Dawg. Or even Dog, Dogg, or Dogge? From the firm Dog, Dog, Dogg and Dawg.

How do they know he didn’t ask the officer whose name he believed to be Yerdog for a law?

How do they know he didn’t say he wants “A”, the first letter of the alphabet, and then interject “Lawyer dog” at random?

Rockport Conservative said...

We are writing about Louisiana. When I first moved there in the 60's the State Supreme Court declared that chickens were not animals therefor cockfighting was not animal cruelty. I believe they apparently evolved into being animals, by the time we moved away in the late 90's cockfighting was at least illegal. We did wonder at all those little triangular pens with cocks chained to them that were still visible in Louisiana and East Texas.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

I was in court the other day, where the judge remarked on dogs, but she wasn't referring to lawyers.

David said...

Going to prison. Needed his very own Bitch.

bgates said...

Maybe he was hoping to meet Kurt Russell.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What's updog?

Yancey Ward said...

Ok, so they didn't get him a lawyer when he asked for a lawyer dog. Did they at least get him that?

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stlcdr said...

Snoop not available for comment. Yet.

MaxedOutMama said...

The run on sentence does make this ambiguous. If ... so why ... seems, in English, to parse to If ... then, which is a conditional statement. It's not what follows the word "lawyer", but what precedes it.

Let us translate this to a real world situation. A couple are preparing to go out to a party. The female of the duo, doing the obligatory butt check in the hall mirror before departing, and being less than delighted with the image, turns to ask the male "Does this make my butt look fat?" The male, trapped between honesty and indifference (yes, it's a substantial posterior squeezed into confining and revealing fabric, but he is definitely planning to hit it this evening after the party, due to the prior deprivation caused by a certain monthly event that all women of a reproductive age conduct monthly solely because they like to irritate males), freezes verbally. A misstep here could be fatal to his amorous plans.

Rapidly aroused to fury, the female says to the male "This is how I feel, if you think I'm fat, then why don't you just get me my long jacket from the closet dog, 'cause this is not what's up!"

Any normal male will understand that if he does go and get her the jacket, he is not getting any tonight because he has just agreed by action that she is fat! You DAWG. The communication is understood to be a hypothetical rather than a request for the jacket.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd rather have a lawyer cat. Lawyer cats have no empathy at all, even for their clients. They just hiss and swipe.

Matthew Sablan said...

The if/then ambiguity is nonsense. Even if you believe it, we then ask: when did the police think he did it? And why did they not stop the interview then per his request?



The confession should be tossed. Of he's guilty, I hope they have a rock solid case.

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe the guy has Snoopy on retainer.

Robert Cook said...

There's no ambiguity to his statement to anyone aware that people use slang when they speak. "Dog" is a slang term I've heard black men, maybe equivalent to "man" or "dude" or "bro." He was saying, "I want a lawyer, man."

Robert Cook said...

I hit "publish" too quickly. I meant to add: The judge who ruled the defendant had not asked for counsel but had asked for a lawyer dog is either the most ignorant sum'bitch that ever wore a judge's robes, (this is Louisiana, after all) or is simply being dishonest in order to deprive the defendant of his constitutional rights (this is Louisiana, after all).

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the most ignorant sons of bitches are those who pass judgment without actually informing themselves of the facts of this case.

PaulHMV above neatly summarized it.

Sure is interesting to see who the bigots are here.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

As others have mentioned, the ruling was not based on the use of 'lawyer dog', but on the 'why don't you just' that preceded it. It also follows existing court precedent.

Based on the quoted section, read technically, he did not ask for a lawyer, he asked why they didn't get him one. If that is all that was involved in the exchange*, then it should have been treated as a request for a lawyer. One of the reasons lawyers are needed is specifically because they know the magic incantations, the way things need to be stated in order to have the intended effect. It is perverse to not provide him with a lawyer because he didn't have a lawyer with him to explain how to ask for a lawyer.


*Note that is is a big if. I don't have a transcript of what followed. Maybe the police answered the question as asked by explaining that, if they got him a lawyer, then the interview is over, at which point they would arrest him based on the evidence they already had, and did he really want to be arrested? If he said no, then it would be clear that he was not actually asking for a lawyer at that point. I'm not claiming this is what happened, only pointing out that we don't know.

tim in vermont said...

Why I hate lawyers with a passion.

Man in PA said...

[Try this little joke on your friends. It usually works. Insert in middle of conversation where they least expect it.]

You: "That's like updawg." [Great variation, if applicable, is "Smells like updawg."]

Them [confused]: "What's updawg?"

You: "Not much! What's up with you?" [big grin]

tim in vermont said...

the court has previously held to not represent a clear and unambiguous request for an attorney necessary to throw out subsequent statements

So you need a lawyer to ask for a lawyer.
Makes me feel better about lawyers. Cholera only gives you diarrhea because that's how it makes love to make babies!

Ferananidinande said...

Livermoron said...
Perhaps the most ignorant sons of bitches are those who pass judgment without actually informing themselves of the facts of this case.


The error was taking the WSJ's statements about punctuation and the word "dog" seriously, when in fact neither had anything to do with the stupid judges declaring that the guy wasn't asking for a lawyer, when any normal person could see that he obviously was asking for a lawyer, because some other stupid judges made similar stupid decisions in other cases.

Skipper said...

Justice has always depended on reciting the secret, magic words.

D.D. Driver said...

I saw a movie about a lawyer dog when I was a kid. Except, the lawyer dog was the DA, not a defense attorney.

Todd said...

So the defendant believes he asked for a lawyer and the cops continued to question him.

Was he incapable of responding with "I said I want a lawyer and I am not saying another word!"?

billm99uk said...

I guess he was looking for a legal beagle...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ferananidinande said...

The error was taking the WSJ's statements about punctuation and the word "dog" seriously...

Or, the error is referring to the WSJ, when one means the WaPo.

mikeski said...

"I want the t'woof!"

"You can't handle the t'woof!"