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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Mistaken Identity in the Courtroom

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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The Tex Parte Blog carried this priceless exchange on cross from a criminal trial in Dallas County:

On Nov. 11, George Milner Jr., a partner in Dallas’ Milner and Finn who’s considered the dean of the Dallas criminal-defense bar, was defending Marc Needham, who was accused of misdemeanor assault. Both Milner and his client are older gentlemen. When Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Brian Poe asked a witness during direct examination to identify the defendant, she pointed to Milner. Poe asked her if she was sure, to which she replied: “He’s the only one in the blue suit with blue tie. He stood up and objected. Him — that’s him there.” After Poe passed the witness, Milner didn’t miss a beat, telling Judge Angela King: “Your honor, first of all let me enter a plea of not guilty,” then he began cross-examining the witness. When Milner asked her what she remembered, she said: “Well, sir, I hate to tell you this, but the first thing I heard was you pointing a gun at me and saying, ‘Now do you want to F with me?’ Don’t you remember that?” “No. My memory is about like yours,” Milner said. “No, mine is very sharp, sir,” she replied. During redirect examination Poe asked the witness, “Would you be surprised that the person you’ve been talking to for the last 25 minutes is actually named George Milner? He’s a prominent attorney here in town, and he represents Marc Needham?” She replied, “Well, that’s a good trick they played, because he looks just like him to me.” The jury found Needham not guilty.

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