Pursuing the Counterfeiters
David Woods has just finished testifying for the plaintiff about how he scammed the defendant by successfully convincing the alleged trademark counterfeiter to sell to him by posing as a legitimate buyer, thus furnishing the evidence needed. Now, it is the defendant's turn to question Woods. The defendant's attorney would love to rip Wood's testimony apart and so pounces on the only opening he sees available: Woods posed as a buyer and he lied to his client.
Although his client has not been charged with criminal conduct and hence there is no issue of entrapment, the defendant's lawyer will nonetheless try to make an issue of entrapment. If nothing else, he will try to convey to the jury that this private investigator, David Woods, is not a fellow to be trusted. This is a frequently used trial tactic, termed character assassination.
The defense attorney goes over the facts very carefully. He wants the jury to understand that Woods lied to his client and comes right out with it. "You lied to my client, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did," Woods replies.
"Are you in the habit of lying to people?" the attorney asks.
Before Woods can answer, the plaintiff's attorney objects to the line of questioning. The judge nods his head and sustains the objection. The defense counsel becomes livid, since he has been shot down before he has even begun his main line of questioning. Obviously, the judge doesn't see the relevancy, the defense counsel thinks to himself; he asks for permission to approach the bench.
"Your honor, I'm trying to establish that the witness tricked my client--that Woods lied to him."