The owners and operators of Twitter must be giddy, even if the company’s stock price is not exciting. No medium is more read or discussed lately. The President is notorious for his tweets, but this column isn’t about him, or them.
While I pride myself on being a technolomaniac, I don’t use Twitter. I don’t own a Twitter machine and while I may have an account somewhere, I have never used it to mass vomit my thoughts. Part of my abhorrence for tweeting is due to the fact that I can’t fathom the past tense for communicating via this medium. The rest is because I don’t have room in my life for more social media distractions, and the short forms of language necessary to converse on Twitter make my skin crawl. These are the kinds of things that keep English majors awake at night.
On the other hand, Twitter’s limit of 140 characters has a strong appeal to me. Brevity, after all, is the soul of wit, and I am a wit at least half of the time. The old writer’s joke is that “I would have written you a shorter letter but I didn’t have enough time.” Some recent tweets in the news prove this maxim- short tweets may be good, and better still if they never existed at all.
Americans’ love for Twitter, perhaps because of our short attention span, can only mean that the time will soon be upon trial lawyers to adopt the Twitter rules. And why not? Trial lawyers like to be on the cutting edge of communication, even if it takes us years to get there. We pride ourselves in being good communicators, and keen judges of human behavior.
A trend like Twitter will inevitably be too good for us to resist. We like rules that seem to be arbitrary at times, to boot. If you can’t beat ‘em, tweet ‘em will he the law of the land. I predict Twitter for Trial Lawyer Dummies will hit the Google Play store any day. Apple will take longer of course. Juror tweets have already disrupted trials, it is officially time for trial lawyers to tweet into trial.
A Twitter trial would eliminate long winded speeches by lawyers who love the sound of their own voices or whose thumbs are too fat to type well. This would make trials short as well. Either way, juries win. In fact, an entire Twitter trial would take less time to complete than this column takes to read:
Trial Lawyer: May it please the Court? 😀
Judge: Yes, Counselor. 😕
TL: Ladies, Gents of jury. Defendant drives bad. My client hurt. Car broken. Sadness. 😭
Opposing Trial Lawyer: I object- violates rule against double Emoji.
J: /ruled. Opposing trial lawyer, opening statement?
OTL: Thanks Judge. ❤ . My client didn’t do it, they can’t prove he did, and if he did, he had good reason.
J: Very well. TL, you may present your evidence. You are granted a second tweet if necessary.
TL: Picture show many damage. Car is 404. Client say big owie. Doctor say surgery $$$$$, therapy only $$$. (cont.)
TL: Owie 4ever.
J: Alrighty then. OTL?
OTL: Other guy lies. Car is fine. Doctor = duck sound. $$$$$? As if.
J: TY both. Closing arguments please.
TL: Lettuce, milk, apples, 1/2 pound cheese, aspirin- trial = ugh.
J: what the? 🤔
TL: Sorry YH, that was a grocery list for my husband. Recall? 👏
J: OK. Resend.
TL: $$$$$$$= yay. No $ = booo. TIA.
J: Let me guess- grocery list?
OTL: No YH. My closing arg. LOL.
J: Jurors, go decide. Send verdict to @TheRealBlackrobe27.
Jury: @TheRealBlackrobe27, did she say $$$$$$ or $$$?
J: Remember the twivedence. No scrolling back.
The jury deliberated until basketball scores from @ESPN distracted juror number 5. I can’t tell you the result of this trial, as deliberations lasted into the evening and I went home to catch up on Pinterest. The results will be on Facebook soon. You can read about the verdict in WikiLeaks if you can’t wait. #Judicialhellhole.
©2017 under analysis llc. under analysis is a nationally syndicated column. Spencer Farris is the founding partner of The S.E. Farris Law Firm in St Louis, Missouri. He prefers hashbrowns to hashtags, but too much of either is nauseating. Comments or criticisms about this column may be sent c/o this newspaper or directly to Under Analysis via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.