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Identifying photocopy machine poses problem for Cuyahoga County official
Old 03-20-2011, 07:43 AM   #1
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Identifying photocopy machine poses problem for Cuyahoga County official

I thought some of the back and forth here was a bit overdone. Then I saw this
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- What is a photocopier? That seems like such a simple question.
But last year, a lawyer in a public-records case being heard by the Ohio Supreme Court had a hard time getting a $64,000-a-year Cuyahoga County worker to say whether the county recorder's office had a photocopier.
The effort consumes nearly 10 pages of a court transcript.
It begins like this
Marburger: During your tenure in the computer department at the Recorder's office, has the Recorder's office had photocopying machines?
Cavanagh: Objection.
Marburger: Any photocopying machine?
Patterson: When you say "photocopying machine," what do you mean?
And after a mind-numbing exchange, ends like this
Marburger: Have you ever--do you have machines there where I can put in a paper document, push a button or two, and out will come copies of that paper document also on paper? Do you have such a machine?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Marburger: What do you call that machine?
Patterson: Xerox.
Marburger: Xerox. Is the machine made by the Xerox Company? Is that why it's called Xerox?
Patterson: No.
Marburger: So Xerox, in the parlance that you've described, the language that you've described, is being used generically as opposed to describing a particular brand; is that right?
Patterson: All of my life I've just known people to say Xerox. It's not commonplace to use the terminology that you're using.
Marburger: You mean it's more -- people say Xerox instead of photocopy?
Patterson: If you're referring to a type of machine where you place a piece of paper on the top and press a button and out comes copies of it, they usually refer to it as a Xerox.
Marburger: Have you ever heard it referred to as photocopying?
Patterson: Not with my generation, no.
Story here

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Old 03-20-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
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Sounds like dealing with the DMV.

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Old 03-20-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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It’s a good thing he didn’t break down on the stand and ask for a "Kleenex™" ...
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:34 AM   #4
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Should have asked the clerk about the Mimeograph machine. Never mind, it had a crank, not buttons.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Should have asked the clerk about the Mimeograph machine. Never mind, it had a crank, not buttons.
But the fluid/copies had that smell that would give you a "cheap high" in those ancient HS days...
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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If you've ever been involved in any lawsuits that go to trial, this is pretty much what happens. Hate to say it, but it gives you the impression that billing is the #1 priority.
Here's an example, "did you pay the insurance bill?", Yes, here's the bank statment itemizing my payment to Blue Cross", "No, we need to see the copy of the cancelled check proving payment to Blue Cross, the bank statement showing payment isn't enough proof". Uh...I'm dumbfounded.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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I've seen that during the jury duty I sat last year. The case was pretty straightforward but the lawyers still spent hours making points that they felt were very important but which, for some reason or another, their witnesses weren't using the exact words they were hoping to hear. Chain of custody? Sure, I get it. Move on. Examples of guilty behavior leading to probable cause? Yep, I get that too. Anyone have any objections to any of this? Nope? OK, when's lunch?

The annoying part was watching either lawyer check their questions off their lists. Heck, if we're just reciting scripts here then e-mail it to the witness, post the answers to the website, and set up a poll for the jury. I'll be at Starbucks checking important Facebook updates, so IM me when you're ready for my vote.

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Old 03-20-2011, 12:19 PM   #8
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I don't have a problem with the controversy, except I wish the writer of the article had told us what "arcane point of law" is at issue. Patterson is saying that the term "photocopy" is not generally used these days to refer to machine duplication of documents, especially when a photographic process is not involved. And I think that's right. I guess by nature I'm a nitpicker.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:56 PM   #9
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At one point people working for Xerox would be fined if they used the term "Xerox" instead of "photocopy." The company wanted to avoid genericide.

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