“The suspect told police ‘give me a lawyer dog.’ The court says he wasn’t asking for a lawyer.”
—The Washington Post, November 2, 2017
As we learned recently from a Louisiana suspect’s request for a “lawyer dog,” strange requests are not going to stop anytime soon. In preparation, here is a list of other animal inquiries that you may encounter:
“Give me a lawyer pig”
The suspect has enjoyed their time in your thoughtful custody thus far, and so would like their lawyer to be a former cop. Given the positive experiences they've had, however, they will likely consent to further interrogation without a lawyer present and ultimately confess. Of course, all questions should be aimed at a conviction; we’re not social workers. Legal precedent: Suidae v. Texas, 383 U.S. 521 (1965).
“Give me a lawyer fowl”
This suspect is calling a “foul” on the very idea of a lawyer's involvement because you have shown such goodwill; this suspect wants to waive all Miranda rights and proceed directly to jail. Do not waste time asking the suspect any clarifying questions; that type of questioning is for hacks with no knowledge of the law. Legal precedent: Made Up v. Fabrication, 610 N.W.2d 623 (Ala. 2017)
“Give me a lawyer penguin”
This suspect would like to be represented by Danny Devito’s Penguin from the classic Batman Returns. This is understandable given that character’s inimitable sense of style and grace, but we cannot legally grant this one. This is due to the fact that the suspect might be saying, “give me a lawyer, penguin,” which would be light-hearted ribbing about the lack of verve in the way you dress. Always with the white shirts and black jackets? And no American flag pin?
Again, don’t waste time asking this suspect for clarification. If he wants the Penguin, or is relaxed enough to critique your outfit, he’s obviously guilty. Legal precedent: “Suits” season 3 (the one with the best suits)
“Give me a lawyer elephant”
There is an elephant in the room. Probably your tie choice. Legal precedent: 2017’s inter-departmental manual on tie fashion, “Long, Red, and Wide: The Most Elegant Nots (sic)”
“Give me a lawyer lion”
You misheard this suspect; he said, “give me a lawyer…lyin'.” In other words, “give me a lawyer…no, I’m playing with you, you’ve taken such good care of me.” Legal precedent: my nephew Kyle’s blog on urban slang
“Give me a lawyer goat”
This suspect is talking about the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T) lawyer, Matlock. Unfortunately, Matlock passed away in 2012, so this request cannot be honored. This suspect obviously has great taste, though, so make liberal use of civil forfeiture procedures. Legal precedent: “Grand Theft Auto IV”
“Give me a lawyer deer”
This suspect wants Gerald, the South Dakota friendly deer-turned-public-defender because (oops) Gideon’s Promise is complete bullshit. Legal precedent: whatever
Unfortunately this is not an exhaustive list. If faced with a confusing request, we cannot stress enough how useless clarifying questions will be. Don’t trust those impulses. Instead, lean on what you learned in your SAT and LSAT prep classes. That’s all you really need in life anyway.