This is new to us too. We have all had urine tests done in the past (unrelated to courtrooms), but never in a million years did we think you had to actually be qualified to take one.
The witness must have felt really proud at the time as he had never been qualified for anything in his life before.
Still unsure who is dumber, the witness or the attorney? In this case, the witness might have tried to pull the string a bit too far although the attorney had this coming.
Maybe attorneys should have one or two classes before passing the bar, related to unspecific questions like this. He could have avoided the shame in a public courtroom if he would have rephrased it to "in what year were your born". Can't see the witness getting out of that one so easily.
When we watched "Law &Order," never did any witness give his testimony in writing. It was always verbally spoken, or oral as this attorney chose to define what he was asking for.
Though, to his defense (see? We can have fun with legal puns too), he might have meant that the witness can't use gestures like nodding or shaking his head. But really, did this witness think he was expected to answer the word oral after every question?
How Did It End?
Was this lawyer serious when asking a living witness if so and so had killed him? Cause we didn't really need the witness's answer to know the truth. We can assume the answer was NO.
If I were the witness I wouldn't have replied. This is pure abuse of their intelligence.
Know the Nose
"Not all people are the same. You should never assume. Never think that everyone thinks alike. And, for sure, don't think that just because you have one nose everyone else does," said the lawyer to the witness.
Or in other words (from us to the super-intelligent lawyer), go back to biology lessons and go through the human organs once more. You have forgotten a fact or two.