Ever heard of a canine who can practise law? In an unusual ruling, the difference between a lawyer, dawg and a lawyer dog is being scrutinized.
A judge has ruled that a suspect didn’t ask for a lawyer but rather for a lawyer dog.
The accused maintains his rights were violated because he asked for a lawyer, dawg. And the police didn’t get one for him.
Warren Desmesme was under interrogation by police in New Orleans in Oct 2015 after being accused by two young girls that he had sexually assaulted them.
Desmesme, then 22, denied any responsibility. It was the second time he had been brought in to answer police questions about the allegations.
In a ruling by Justice Scott J. Crichton, Desmesme was quoted as saying these words:
This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.”
Desmesme, in saying he was denied his right to a lawyer, argues the punctuation is missing. Instead of lawyer dog, he said lawyer, dawg.
The ruling by Justice Crichton of the Louisiana Associate Supreme Court rejected Desmesme’s appeal arguing a lawyer, dawg or lawyer dog was too ambiguous.
At both interviews detectives advised the defendant of his Miranda rights and the defendant stated he understood and waived those rights. Nonetheless, the defendant argues he invoked his right to counsel. And the basis for this comes from the second interview, where I believe the defendant ambiguously referenced a lawyer—prefacing that statement with “if y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what’s up.”
It’s not clear if there are actual lawyer dogs practising in Louisiana.