In a recent trial I subpoenaed an assistant solicitor to testify; why doesn’t matter.  While we were proffering the assistant solicitor’s testimony outside the presence of the jury (the prosecutor had moved to quash the subpoena), I let the cross-examination get a bit out of control and the witness stopped and complained to the judge, “the defense lawyer is being snarky with me.”

Our judge pauses, looks at me and then looks at the prosecutor, clearly trying to decide how to defuse the situation.  He then turns to the witness and says, “Snarky.  Can you spell that for the record, please.”  The witness smiles, leans into the microphone, and says, “Snarky.  S. N. A. R. K. Y.  Snarky.”  Suddenly everyone is smiling, albeit uncomfortably.

A golden moment, and a brilliant judge who was able to think fast.  No hard feelings, I hope.  I do get snarky from time to time but mean no harm by it.

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