John G. Browning 2017-02-27 13:00:34
Free Legal Tips, With a Side of Humor L. Scott Briscoe is a Danville, West Virginia, criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing for nearly two decades. Back in 2014, he began sharing some “Free Legal Tips” on his Facebook page based on real-life experiences of himself and colleagues. “I posted the first few as jokes to my buddies, but they kept happening, and I kept posting, until a friend suggested I keep all of the tips in one spot, so I started the tips page,” Briscoe said. These often hilarious, common sense tidbits of advice are ones that you would hope clients wouldn’t need, but then again, real-world experience often indicates sadly, that they do. Briscoe’s worldly-wise, humorous counsel covers everything from how to avoid criminal charges in the first place to dealing with law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, including what not to wear to court. His funny-but-true tips have garnered attention from the ABA Journal and The Huffington Post as well as newspapers in the United Kingdom, and there’s even talk of a possible book deal. Without any further ado, here is a sampling of Briscoe’s handy pointers: On avoiding criminal charges in the first place: • When choosing a car to break into, and the credit cards inside to buy your meth-making materials locally, please do not select the car belonging to the judge’s wife. • STOP TAKING PICTURES OF YOUR ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES ON YOUR PHONE. STOP. JUST STOP. GRRRR. • Not happy with your drug dealer? Complaining about the bad deal on Facebook will only lead to more reasons for you to be unsatisfied. • When selecting your alibi witness, do not choose one who was already in jail while you were “not” committing your own crime. • After convincing the judge to let you leave jail for a relative’s funeral, do not call your cousin from your jail pod phone, under the sign stating your calls are monitored and recorded, asking him to drop the drugs in said deceased relative’s casket for you to retrieve. • After stealing someone’s debit card, do not use it to pay your home utilities, unless you wanted to give a deputy directions to your house. On dealing with the judge: • When asking the judge for an alternative sentence as opposed to jail, begging him for “prohibition” is not the result you really want. • Avoid bashing the judge in your case on Facebook, especially AFTER you friended him on said Facebook. On drug screening: • When the judge asks why you cannot give a drug screen, telling him you have a medical condition where you never pee will not “pass.” • Drinking ice water just before your drug test does not adequately explain why your urine sample is cold. • When using a friend’s urine in an attempt to pass a drug screen, drug test your friend first. On courtroom attire and etiquette: • When appearing in court, do not wear the same exact outfit AND accessories you wore during your crime. Also, avoid security cameras. • Pajamas and bedhead. Not courtroom appropriate. • Pot leaf earrings should NOT be worn to your hearing regarding possession of marijuana. • Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never say those two special words to your circuit judge. You know the two words I’m talking about. Unless you are a juvenile with a hankering for some lengthy detention time, then go for it. Read more of Briscoe’s humorous tips on facebook.com/funlegaltips. ➤ THINK YOU’RE FUNNY TOO? PROVE IT! Send your humorous articles of 600 words to email@example.com. Send deposition and trial excerpts to firstname.lastname@example.org. JOHN G. BROWNING is a partner in Passman & Jones in Dallas, where he handles commercial litigation, employment, health care, and personal injury defense matters in state and federal courts. He is an award-winning legal journalist for his syndicated column, “Legally Speaking,” and is the author of the Social Media and Litigation Practice Guide and a forthcoming casebook on social media and the law. He is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
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