Call it a photocopier or a generic xerox. We all know exactly what we're talking about. Unless you're Ohio state employee Lawrence Patterson, who last year, in one of the most bizarre legal arguments ever, claimed to have no idea.

Or, if he did have an idea, was being an intentionally giant pain in the Ohio Supreme Court's ass, leading his deposition in an infuriating series of ambiguous loops and tech sophistry. The court just wanted to know if he had a photocopier in his office. Just answer the question Lawrence. For the love of God, just answer the question.

Some highlights:


Patterson: When you say "photocopying machine," what do you mean?
Marburger: Let me be — let me make sure I understand your question. You don't have an understanding of what a photocopying machine is?
Patterson: No. I want to make sure that I answer your question correctly.

Patterson: When you say "photocopying machine," what do you mean?
Marburger: Let me be clear. The term "photocopying machine" is so ambiguous that you can't picture in your mind what a photocopying machine is in an office setting?
Patterson: I just want to make sure I answer your question correctly.

Cavanagh: It's not a fair question. A photocopy machine can be a machine that uses photostatic technology, that uses xerographic technology, that uses scanning technology.
Marburger: I don't care what kind of technology it uses. Has your offices — we don't have technocrats on the Ohio Supreme Court. We've got people like me, general guys —
Cavanagh: Objection.
Marburger: — or gals. I'm not really very interested in what the technology element of it is. I want to know —

Patterson: — there are different cars. Some of them run under gas power, some of them under electric power, and I'm asking if you could help me out by explaining what you mean by "photocopying machines" —
Marburger: That's a great point.
Patterson: — instead of trying to make me feel stupid.
Marburger: If you feel stupid, it's not because I'm making you feel that way.
Cavanagh: Objection.

The entire thing reads like a stage farce, but also makes you want to STRANGLE LAWRENCE PATTERSON. I imagine the Supreme Court drank themselves into a hole after reading the deposition. [ via Katie Baker]

Shutterstock/Diego Cervo