After viewing the great Warren William again as a shady lawyer in the precode classic The Mouthpiece I read this piece about the 1920s lawyer, Bill Fallon, on whose career the film was based. (He defended around 100 clients on murder charges and got every one of them off. That’s some lawyer!)
Anyway, à nos moutons.
He had a genius for “horse-shedding” witnesses, a coinage attributed to James Fenimore Cooper that refers to rehearsing testimony in carriage sheds; any resemblance to a vulgarism for equine excrement is purely intentional.
I hadn’t come across this before and found no sign of it in OED. Is it in any of the American slang dictionaries and was it in fact coined by Fenimore Cooper?