Thursday, November 8, 2007

Britney's brilliant lawyer tactic #547: Piss off the guy hearing your case

I won't bore you with the trials and tribulations of Ms. Britney Spears nee Alexander nee Federline, but the latest story about how she's allegedly "ducking drug tests" has one of the most brilliant legal tactics I've ever encountered. The basic idea of the story is this: Britney was ordered by the court to submit to random drug tests. She has been called 14 times, and had only gone to the lab to take the test 8 of those times. Federline's lawyer sees much skullduggery here, whereas Britney's lawyer says that the girl just missed the calls because she was asleep or in the midst of a Cheetoh-induced stupor. But here's where the story gets kind of awesome:

Spears has been called to the laboratory 14 times, but has failed to respond to eight of those calls, Federline attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon Thursday morning.
Spears lawyer Anne Kiley argued the previous court order was unconstitutional and Spears didn't respond to the lab phone calls within an hour, as ordered by the court, because she was sleeping. Kiley asked that Spears be given six hours to respond to the laboratory phone requests.
Gordon said time wasn't the problem, noting Spears has lost telephone numbers and changed her telephone numbers. The commissioner then noted he has to wake up at 7:30 a.m. each morning.

Kiley interrupted: "You're not a pop star with a No. 1 album."

Oh, snap! OH NO SHE DI'INT!!!! Seriously, is this a smart tactic? I didn't go to law school, so I'm not familiar with the ins and outs and assorted intricacies of our legal system, but is it really a clever move to (a) interrupt the judge (or "court commissioner," whatever) and point out the fact that he's not a pop star with a Number 1 album? (And, technically, neither is Britney.)

It must be said, however, that this "with all due respect, sir, you're not a..." tactic is one that will not work for Federline's lawyer, unless the "seriously, though, Mr. Court Commissioner, you're not an unemployed, highly fertile, and frequently stoned backup dancer" move seems like a good one.