Judge Ellis and objections

[page 131, line 25]

You know, Judge Ellis — this was the first court I was in. Everybody said — my father-in-law told me, he was a lawyer and an ex-FBI agent, he says, “You really want to get in Guthrie’s court; Jim Guthrie is the most wonderful person.” And he was; he was a wonderful person. Mr. Wade assigned me to this new court, a court that had a judge only for about six months. And it turned out to be Ben Ellis’s court. And it was the hardest working, most trying court you’ve ever seen in your life. And the first year he broke records in the number of jury trials. And sometimes we’d have three juries going at the same time, and he’d say, “Mr. Bailey, bring the jury in.” And Ed Bailey would say, “Which one, Judge?”

Judge Ellis had one thing about him, though, that was such a saving point for the young lawyer. As a trial lawyer and a prosecutor himself, he always knew what the ruling would be on an objection. Just like that. Never had to think a second about it. In fact, he was so quick to rule on objections that he would lean forward to object as the question was coming in. So it was like having a third base coach, just watch Ellis. When he leans forward, you say, “I object.” He’d say, “Sustained.” And on we’d go. I mean, those of us that were in his court, when we moved on to felonies we weren’t sure that we’d know what to do. But Judge Ellis explained everything to us, I mean, like we were little children. “This is the way you do this. Don’t do that. No, no.”


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