On British Accents and Trial Strategies

by Jamison Koehler on December 7, 2010

A blog reader from Austin, Texas called yesterday with a question about Virginia law, and we chatted about some of our favorite bloggers. Like me, the reader is a big fan of D.A. Confidential and has in fact seen Mark Pryor in court.

So what is Pryor like in person, I wanted to know. Well, the reader responded, he has a shaved head and he appears very fit. He probably played some rugby in his day. And his British accent is so convincing in front of a jury he really should be prevented from using it.

I’m thinking the court should put Pryor on one of those voice-disguising machines used on 60 Minutes and other news shows so as to level the playing field for the defendant.  Simple fairness would seem to require no less.

But every prosecutor has a weakness, something you can turn to your advantage in court, and I think I have discovered Pryor’s:  He hates it when you fail to distinguish among the British accents. I’m sure I could find a way to work into my opening statement the fact that I really see no difference between an English accent or a Scottish accent or an Australian one. I can already imagine Pryor’s discomfort upon hearing this.  And you can be sure it would rattle him for the rest of the trial.

5 Comments on “On British Accents and Trial Strategies

  1. I first learned about the D.A. Confidential blog here and I too have become a regular reader. But haven’t you blown his cover by referring to him by his real name?

  2. You could wear your powdered horse-hair wig incorrectly, I hear that’s a big deal on the other side of the pond.

  3. Jamie: Damn. I hate it when another blog covers the same topic as I do. Only better.

    Rebecca: I read DA Confidential because he is pleasant and funny and informative, and it is always good to get a different perspective. And, no, I don’t think I have blown his cover: His real name is common knowledge.

    Dan: The wigs are very flattering, and I take advantage of everything I can to make myself look better.

  4. How dare you! You’ve not only discovered my kryptonite but published it for all to see! I shall explicate on my blog, with a reference to yours. Shame on you when defense lawyers start rattling me with their vile claims about me being from the Antipodes…

    And Rebecca, I’m so glad you read my blog, thanks. My cover was first blown when the Austin Statesman did an article about me/the blog. Since then, I’ve been fair game.

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