Courtroom English

| September 1, 2002
Courtroom English

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Thomas Davidson

Bio Data
The first submission is by presented by Mr. Thomas Davidson, a lawyer from Hong Kong. Mr. Davidson received his LL.B. from Oxford, and later obtained an Ma in Education from the South Australian University. He has been practicing for 27 years, has appeared before Supreme Courts in Australia, and in the High Court and Old Bailey in London. Currently he is practicing in the field of International Law and Consumer Protection.

Consider the following English case recorded in the English law journals. A seaman who was a witness in the case was being cross-examined. He was asked if he knew the plaintiff. The seaman said he did not know what the word ‘plaintiff’ meant and could not answer the question. The attorney chided his lack of knowledge by saying, “You mean you came into this court and don’t know what ‘plaintiff’ means?” Later in the proceedings, the sailor was asked, “And where were you when the boat lurched?” The sailor replied. “Abaft the binnacle.” The questioning attorney, not familiar with nautical terms asked the sailor to rephrase the sentence so he could understand it. The sailor responded, “You mean you came into this court not knowing where abaft the binnacle is?”

The Trade Practices Act. Misrepresentation.
Each country, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States has its form of trade practices laws.


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