I suppose the phrase “liar, liar, pants on fire” could be considered prejudicial in this case, but it is possible that is the way the jury saw it. A Miami lawyer defending his client last week ran into a little trouble with his closing argument in the case. His client had been charged with arson for allegedly intentionally setting his car ablaze (I assume insurance fraud). The lawyer vehemently argued that his client was innocent, and that the car simply combusted spontaneously.
Queue the lawyer's pants.
Almost as if to prove a point that just about anything could burst into flames seemingly without reason, smoke started billowing from the solicitor's pocket as he was completing his summation. He fled from the courtroom as his pants apparently burst into flames.
There has to be a good lawyer joke in there somewhere.
Witnesses said the attorney “had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors”, just moments before the flames erupted. That must have been some pretty intense fiddling, to generate enough friction as to reach the point of combustion. And our mothers told us we would just go blind. Never said anything about combustible trousers.
After the flaming lawyer exited the courtroom, the court took a brief recess, and the jury was ushered out. The lawyer eventually returned with singed trousers to insist it was not a stunt of any kind. Instead, he explained to the court that batteries in an e-cigarette device he had in his pocket had exploded and started the fire.
Probably serves him right. I hate those stupid things. At least he wasn't carrying a portable meth lab in his pocket. That was the cause the last time I had to write about combustible pants, and as I said then, it is never a good thing when a guy makes a meth in his pants. Apparently having a cig near your twig is equally troublesome.
Sadly, even if it was perhaps the best timed spontaneous combustion argument ever presented in court, the jury wasn't buying it. They convicted the man's client of second degree arson. That had to burn – just a little.
As for the attorney, he could face contempt of court charges. If this was in fact a coincidence that would be unfortunate indeed. I suppose they will have to look into his hot pocket a little further, so to speak.
Ultimately, the time honored phrase that opened this post proves to be easily modified. We have the lawyer, whose untimely flame eruption made headlines across the nation. There is the defendant, claiming innocence but now convicted after his defense was not believed. And, of course, we have pantalon flambé, rounding out the set.
Lawyer, liar, pants on fire. It is scary how easily that rolls off the tongue.
Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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