I’m told that the following was printed in the San Jose Mercury News on 10 May, 1997. You may have come across it before, but it’s so funny, it’s worth revisiting. It reads:
“From the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, the following is an actual excerpt from a murder trial when the defense attorney was cross-examining the county coroner.
Attorney: Before you signed the death certificate, had you taken the pulse?
Attorney: Did you listen to the heart?
Attorney: Did you check for breathing?
Attorney: So when you signed the death certificate, you weren’t sure the man was dead, were you?
Coroner: Well, let me put it thing way. The man’s brain was sitting in a jar on my desk. But I guess it’s possible he could be out there practising law somewhere”