A year or so back I had a really bad shoplifting case. There was no way to win and no way my client was pleading guilty. It was so bad that when I got to court the prosecutor had decided to let one of her third year, trial certified law student interns try the case (which only happens in open and shut felony cases).
We go through the case; it's as bad as I thought it would be and the intern is sailing though. It's just been too easy. Perhaps feeling a little mischievous, I slip into legal garbalese in my closing argument. I went on and on arguing that while the prosecution may have proven asportation it never proved caption. I don't know if other jurisdictions use these terms in larcenies but I know I'd never heard of them until I started reading Virginia case law. And even then "caption" wasn't in my copy of Black's so it took a little bit to figure out. I finish up with some sort of grand statement like "And, of course, as we all know, your Honor, since they haven't proven caption my client can't possibly be found guilty of larceny." Walking back to the defense table I glance over at the intern. He looks absolutely lost. When the judge asked for rebuttal the prosecutor had to ask the judge to give her a few minutes to explain. The prosecutor then spent at least 5 minutes explaining it to him before he got up and started speaking. Even then he didn't use the terms; instead he spoke of exercising dominion and control and carrying something away. To this day I'm not sure he knew which one was caption and which was asportation.
Teach them to sic an intern on me. Next time I'll have to memorize two or three Latin phrases so that they come tripping off the tongue. Maybe something like:
As we all know, your Honor, the police philosophy in this sort of situation is "Conlige suspectos semper habitos."Heck, I could even use some of these with Tom the next time we have a trial. During my opening argument I could tell the jury: "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. McKenna rudely keeps trying to throw my clients in prison. Sometimes I just want to turn to him and ask, "Nonne de Novo Eboraco venis?"
Your honor, the officer was clearly on a fishing expedition. You'll note that he didn't say "Dic mihi solum facta, domina."
I know my client hasn't yet paid the restitution however, he assures me "Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est."