Story at WSJ about the en banc hearing on Barry Bonds's conviction for perjury for a wandering and possibly evasive answer. (More at LA Times.) Judge Fletcher noted the prevalence of wandering answers in civil discovery and commented,"“half the bar and maybe all of the bar is in big trouble.” Here's a funny exchange from the hearing:
During a hearing, an 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hammered a lawyer for the government with questions about how an evasive but truthful answer could amount to felony obstruction of justice.
Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen asked Assistant U.S. Atty. Merry Jean Chan whether an evasive answer could be "cured" if the respondent later gave a direct answer.
"Cure is a different word than I would use," Chan said.
"Did you just give an evasive answer?" asked Judge N. Randy Smith.
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski warned: "The U.S. attorney is watching."