How does one respond when asked, under oath, in a deposition or in Court, what a dog’s thought process was in acting the way it did? Anyone who reads a newspaper, reads the online news, or watches television, knows that all too frequently, people are attacked by dogs resulting in injuries to the person being attacked. Many of those cases end up in litigation, and often the injured person will be asked be asked either in a deposition or a trial, “why did the dog attack you?” When one seriously considers that question, one understands that the attorney posing the question is asking the injured party to explain the dog’s thought process.
While there have been TV shows about horse whisperers, the idea that someone can read the mind of a dog who is attacking a person and explaining exactly why the attack occurred in the dog’s mind, may be considered beyond fiction.
However, any good attorney knows that, when such question is posed, it should be subject to an appropriate objection of “goes to the state of the mind of the dog.” Despite how obvious that objection is, attorneys will continue to ask this question simply because the attorney has been taught that it is important to understand why an aggressor is being aggressive in a situation that leads to a lawsuit. The other reason for interposing the objection is that it almost always gets a laugh from the other attorneys in the room, and, if in a courtroom, the Judge. If there is someone reading this article who can read the minds of dogs, please let us know.
Image Credit: Master Thief