• Agonizer / Text / it depends on what your definition of 'is' is

We Promise You’ll Enjoy All The Exasperated Yelling In This New Rich Media NYT Lawyer Video

Good on the NYT for trying to keep up with the Cool Kids of New Media. For example, they’ve started Op-Docs, which are basically short editorial documentaries. Great idea, terrible name. Anyway, this week’s Op-Doc is the dramatization of a ridiculous legal transcript. Now, the transcript in question is no Donald Sterling lawsuit transcript, but it’s pretty good.


The case itself was a relatively boring dispute about how much the County Recorder’s office could charge for records, but somehow turned into a complete knock-down drag-out fight over what a photocopier was as the Recorder’s Office employee sought to avoid answering the question.

In 2010, the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office in Ohio changed their policy about copying records. Digital files would no longer be available, and the public would have to make hard copies of documents for $2 per page. This would prove to be prohibitively expensive for Data Trace Information Services and Property Insight, companies that collect hundreds of pages of this public information each week. They sued the Recorder’s Office for access to digital versions of the documents on a CD. In the middle of the case, a lawyer representing them questioned the IT administrator of the Recorder’s Office, which led to a 10-page argument over the semantics of photocopiers.

The filmmaker has actors recreating the transcript, but the transcript itself is exactly as it occurred.

Lawyers, for real, this thing is like lawyer porn. If you’ve ever sat across someone in a deposition whispering “blood blood blood blood” under your breath as someone refused to answer a simple question or gazed in confusion and horror as a person you were questioning simply wrote their own name over and over again for 7 hours, you will be able to live all your deposition-shit-losing fantasies through this lawyer, who gets to deliver the line every attorney has always wanted to:

“If you feel stupid, it’s not because I’m making you feel that way.”

That’s our new mantra, for real.

Good luck with your exciting New Media venture, New York Times! You’ll be catching up to Vox and doing those weird flashcard things in no time!


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