Had an entertaining trial this week. I defended a man charged with battery, which Florida law defines as touching or striking another person against that person’s will. My client’s version of the events was that he and the other guy, a cousin, had a verbal disagreement that got heated. My client offered to “put up your dukes,” as my Dad used to say. By the way, those were NOT my client’s words.
The cousin reached into a pouch attached to his belt, pulled out a trenchman’s tool, and pulled out its blade. He showed it to my client, as if to say, “I’m bringing this to the game.” My client swung, and cousin stabbed. In the chest. Then again, in the back of the neck. My client got a trip to the hospital.
Somehow, my client was arrested and charged, and the stabbing cousin was not.
I was not hired to plea bargain, so we found ourselves in trial.
When the trial began, and the prosecutor finished her opening statement, I told the jury that this was a case of two grown men fighting in the street. “This is not a crime, and this case doesn’t belong in criminal court.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the cousin, the stabber, alleged victim, nodding his head in agreement.
So, I sat down, and shut up.
A short while later, we heard the Jury’s verdict: Not Guilty.
Sometimes, less is More.