PITTSBURGH - Local attorney Al Friedman said his eight-year old daughter Hannah is "solely responsible" for losing a major products liability case that Al was trying in an Allegheny County courtroom last Thursday, "Bring Your Child to Work Day."
"Her closing argument to the jury was just awful," said a furious Al. "The whole case rested on a spoliation defense, and Hannah couldn't even pronounce the word. The jurors were tittering at her. Tittering!"
When the little girl finished her seven minute closing, which included handstands and hopping around on one foot, Judge Michael Musmanno pulled her aside. Mistaking her for an associate with her father's law firm, Musmanno offered friendly advice in a stage whisper: "It's not too late for you to go to medical school, you know."
The jury deliberated for just ten minutes and returned with a $4 million verdict against Friedman's client, Peerless Can Opener Company. Afterward, Judge Musmanno allowed the attorneys to interview the jurors, who unanimously attributed their verdict to Hannah's closing argument. Juror Sean Cannon of Shaler was typical: "I was in your corner until the very end, dude, but the little girl -- I mean, wow! She really stunk up the joint."
In retrospect, Al said it might have been a mistake giving Hannah so much responsibility so soon. "But it's good she got this one under her belt," he mused. "After all, next year she'll be nine, and who knows? She might be ready for an antitrust case."