I. Mulgrew: Mistrial Declared After Lawyer Channels Carson to Mock Witness

Written by Ian Mulgrew.

Posted to the Vancouver Sun, July 3, 2012:

The lawyer held up a sealed envelope and asked the ICBC accident reconstruction expert to play a psychic and divine the math problem it contained.

A puzzled B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Voith prohibited Thomas Harding from going further, but in closing argument the Surrey litigator spelled it out: “Although Johnny Carson is dead, the Amazing Carnac lives on.”

The judge said the lawyer went too far lampooning the professional engineer as the legendary talk-show host’s “wizard buffoon” persona – a “ridiculous, turbaned and bejewelled caricature” known as Carnac the Magnificent.

Like Queen Victoria, Justice Voith was not amused: “Though a jury trial ‘is a fight,’ I do not accept that it is an alley fight.”

A lawyer can zealously advocate for a client but there are limits, in the judge’s view, and Harding had crossed them with his sarcasm.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mistrial+declared+after+lawyer+channels+Carson+mock+witness/6874928/story.html#ixzz1zz7QnzhP

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