jokes and top tens






A Political Marriage Definition:

Marriage Is A Sacred Institution Consisting Of One Man, One Woman, A Congressional Aide, Some Lobbyist He Met In A Bar, Two More Women


An alphabet meme from Michele Bachmann:

A is for the Anti-Christ. See B & O.

B is for Barack -- Isn't that an "exotic" name for a President? George, Ronald and Sarah are far more American sounding.

C is for Christ, who informs all of my decisions, including the ones where I discriminate against the poor and sick. Just like He would!

D is for Death panels and they’re coming to unplug Grandma!

E is for Electoral Campaign Finance Reform. AHAHAHAHAAHH! Just kidding! The letter E is brought to you by, well, Citizens United says I don’t really have to tell you that anymore, do I?

F is for Fascism!!! BE READY TO VIOLENTLY FIGHT THE FASCIST LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AT ANY TIME!!! Nothing bad ever happens when you live your life by this doctrine. If it does, it's an isolated incident (see I).

G is for God, Guns & Guts. Everything a population needs to run a country wisely.

H is for Health care reform. Get the guns! They're coming to kill Grandma again!

I(1) is for Immigration. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" and I will do everything in my power to disenfranchise and demonize them as a way to maintain the White (not white, White, how many times do I have to clarify that?) hegemony.

I(2) is for Isolated Incident. These unfortunate events that only appear to have been instigated by violent rhetoric are totally unrelated to any other letter in this list (See A,B,D,F,G,H,L,N,O,P,U,X).  Unless the offender is a liberal, then it's MSNBC's fault.

J is for Jesus. I can never have too much of him in my life and I want to make sure he’s part of YOURS too, whether you like it or not.

K is for Kansas and Kentucky where evolution is a four letter word. No, seriously, our education system is so bad we can't spell but wee no wi ain't relaytuhd 2 no munkey!

L is for Liberal. Liberals hate you and everything about you. They're plotting to take over the country by force. They also happen to be total wimps and weaklings who hate guns. How are wimps and weaklings without guns going to take over the country? Please see Q.

M is for Marriage between a man and a woman ONLY. Even if it's Brittany Spears’ 55 hour marriage, it's still sacred, dammit!

N(1) is for Nazi. Nazis want to destroy America. Anyone who disagrees with you is one of these.

N(2) is for Nig…well I won't say THAT word about those people or the liberal thought police will come for me but I think you know what I mean (wink wink).

O is for Obama. See N(1) and N(2).

P is for President 1.The highest office of the land. The most powerful man in the world (for now… Myself in 2016!),  deserving of our respect and admiration and love and full support during a time of war 2. A secret Muslim foreigner terrorist sympathizer that is out to kill you and all you hold dear. It depends on who we are talking about. See O.

Q is for questions. Never ask any. Ever. About anything.

R is for Ronald Reagan. Ronnie represented a righteous religious revival and rapacious right-wing Republican revolution that ruined Russia. It doesn't matter that, by the time he left office, he was unable to repeat or understand the previous sentence.

S(1) is for Sarah Palin. Sister Sarah symbolizes strength, serenity, sweetness and street smarts. She supports several serious stances on society's struggles. Which ones? All potential interviewers please see Q.

S(2) is for Science, which is Satan's tool. Again, please see Q.

T is for Tea Party. The Tea Party tactlessly trampled through a thicket of town halls by throwing tenacious televised tantrums about terrible tax increases that never happened. “Alliteration? That one of them fancy college words for taking away my Medicare?”

U is for Us vs. Them.

V is for Voting. Voting is a God given right that we would NEVER think of interfering with by forcing people to pay for ID they can't afford, gerrymandering Congressional districts, underfunding voting machines in low income areas, mailing fliers to African Americans with false information, using robo-call centers to convince Hispanics to not vote in protest or anything else you can think of. If you do think of anything else, whatever you do, please don't suggest it your local GOP campaign headquarters. (1-800-drty-trk)

W is for Wealth redistribution. What goes up must never come down. That would be class warfare!

X is for Xenophobia (courtesy of Chuck Hutchings). "HELLO? WHICH. WAY. TO. THE. BATHROOM? EL BANO? DO. YOU. SPEAK. AMERICAN? Good lord, I hate Canada!"

Is for Yesterday when things were so much better than they are today. Women and Negroes knew their place and pinko commie liberals were blacklisted. Don't you wish we could go back to those good ol’ days? So do we and we're trying as hard as we can!

Z is for Zero accountability  Words are completely powerless. If words had ANY kind of power at all, our Founding Fathers would have used them to declare our independence or elevated them to first among our rights. So stop blaming every death threat, attempted assassination, anti-government militia and shooting spree on us. It was an isolated incident. They all isolated incidents! See I(2)


What if We Really Ran Government Like a Business?

Conservatives are always going on about how our government should be run like a business. Even some progressives buy into this idea, because for some strange reason, we associate businesses with efficiency, transparency, thriftiness, productivity, and accountability — even though recent years have shown that all too many businesses embody anything but these qualities. As John T. Harvey so aptly explains in his Forbes Magazine article, Why Government Should Not Be Run Like A BusinessL

"The problem in a nutshell, is that not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable."

Unfortunately for citizens and consumers (who are often one and the same), business and government have grown increasingly similar, and not in a good way. Thanks to bloated pay packages for corporate executives and deep cuts for government programs, citizens and consumers face reduced services, higher prices and taxes, long lines, labyrinthine phone trees, personnel shortages, out of stock items, lower quality goods and customer service, and a generally lower quality of life.

Below are five examples of what life would be like if conservatives had their way and we started running our federal, state, and local governments like businesses.

(1) Calling 911

You: Hello, I need to report a ... um ... HELLO?

Automated Phone System: Good evening. You have reached Emergency Services at Nine-One-One. For English, press one. Para espanol, oprima numero dos. If this is an emergency, please hang up, and dial Nine-One-One. Or visit our website at

If you're calling about a crime in progress, press one. If you're calling about your idiot neighbor cooking meth again, press two. If your house is on fire, the Fire Department is currently closed due to adjusted resource allocations. But you can press three for the Volunteer Fire Department. If nobody answers, please call Flo's Lounge at 555-5309, and ask for Bob. If you need an ambulance, press four, or repeat the previous procedure, and ask for Bob.

(2) Renewing Your Driver's License

Clerk: Good morning, how may I provide you with excellent service today?

Customer: Hi, I’m here to renew my driver's license.

Clerk: Great, how many licenses will you be renewing today?

Customer: Um ... just one?

Clerk: We have a Friends Special today, if you can get two friends to renew their licenses, we'll give each of you a 30% discount on your renewal fees.

Customer: I don't have any friends.

Clerk: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. But we're also offering a three-for-two ACTION PACK deal so you can pay for two types of licenses and get one free. Most folks who come in here go for the Motorcycle and Truck Driver's licenses, along with the one they normally get for driving their car.

Customer: Wow, that sounds like fun. But I don't know how to drive a motorcycle or a truck.

Clerk: That's okay, you can add a couple of training sessions for what you normally spend on a cup of coffee every day for the rest of your life. Plus, you can't possibly drive any worse than my 90-year-old aunt who accidentally ran down a pedestrian because her foot couldn't reach the brake pedal. And we gave her a truck driver's license, though we withheld the motorcycle one.

Customer: Oh! How awful, I'm sorry to hear that!

Clerk: It wasn't so bad. He was an organ donor, and Aunt Bettie needed a new liver, so I see it as a win-win.

(3) Registering Your Child For Kindergarten

Parent: Hi, I'm here to register my son for kindergarten this fall, and drop off the paperwork. We're so excited!

School Administrator: Great! Hmm ... okay ... birth certificate, vaccination records, emergency contacts ... Looks like we're all set. And will you be upgrading to Preferred ParentTM?

Parent: Um, what is "Preferred ParentTM?"

School Administrator: The Preferred ParentTM upgrade entitles you to exclusive benefits, like first choice for teacher conference time slots, online access to personalized progress reports for your child, and having your phone calls returned by the teacher and school administrators.

Parent: Sounds great, how do I sign up?

School Administrator: Just pledge $500 per year to our PTA and sign this waiver form.

(4) Getting A Business License

Applicant: Hello? Anybody here? Hello-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! [waits 15 minutes for clerk to appear]

Clerk: [breathlessly] Sorry to keep you waiting. My boss just laid everyone off, including herself, so I'm the only one here. And things were crazy in the Zoning Department.

Applicant: No prob. Anyways, I'm here to apply for a restaurant license.

Clerk: Sorry, we're out of stock for restaurant licenses.

Applicant: Do you know when you'll have them again?

Clerk: I'm not sure, our rep in Bangladesh says there was another factory fire. Would you like a beauty parlor license instead?

(5) Declaring War

President: So, ya really think they got WMD’s?

Vice President: Yep.

President: And they're part of the "axis of evil?"

Vice President: Yep.

President: Well, I'm the Decider, and I'm leaning towards war ... but how do we pay for it?

Vice President: After we free 'em, establish a democratically-elected government, and get 'hold of their oil, the war will pay for itself. Plus, we'll make out like bandits.

President: Okay, so we take 'em over, and then use their oil to pay for taking 'em over. Kinda like a leveraged buy-out, huh?

Vice President: Yep.

President: But what if we don't win so easily and get stuck owing all that money?

Vice President: Then we'll just say we've got a deficit and need to cut all our government programs.

President: Wow, that's some kinda strategery ya got goin’ on there. Way to go, Big Time!

(...oh wait, this last scenario actually happened ... <sigh>)

Sarah Palin's Secret Dictionary

BETCHYAD: verb, meaning to mock your audience, your nemesis, and guarantee a soundbite on the evening news.

BRISTOLIZE: noun, meaning to be in a constant state of pregnancy and confusion.

DISCOVERYCHANANELED: verb, to blunder and overpay for services; also to shill for top dollar on a program sure to bore.

FIRSTDUDING: verb, meaning have mutual sex with a professional musher.

FOXPIMPIN: verb, meaning to spew half-truths, political jibber-jabber and folksy chat to an audience of rubes.

GHOSTWRITERED: adj, meaning to employ someone to turn your gibberish into lame prose. As in, "The researcher ghostwritered a book for a famous politician. She got a bundle, he got the boot!"

GRIZZLIABLE: adj, referring to the empty and sick feeling conservative women get whenever Nancy Pelosi appears on screen anywhere in the United States.

HELIHUNTING: verb, meaning to enjoy an outing that involves powerful weapons, helicopters and soon-to-be dead critters.

LEVIATHON: noun, referring to an out-of-control teen-aged boy, who poses naked, attacks relatives in the press, then eats his words for a chance to suck up to a wealthy in-law.

SHAMLESSNESS: adjective; meaning to not give a crap about anyone but yourself, because you just made several million dollars. As in: "The politician bathed in shamlessness when he quit halfway through his term and screwed constituents.

TWEETITATING: verb; meaning to annoy by sharing trite comments as a means to maintain a brand.

WINKYDINKING: verb, as in to send a flirtatious message to an aging male demographic, or to wink in a "bedroom eye" manner at any camera in sight.

(Warning: excessive winkydinking can case some older men, especially Dick Cheney, to suffer heart attacks.)

Jeanne's Paronomasia

Almost daily Jeanne posts on her Facebook page her favorite "short" paronomasia ... i.e., "puns" for you vocabulary-challenged.

Example:  "I don't know what possessed me to attend that seance!"

Facebook link:

Newest Additions to Jeanne's  Lawyer Joke Collection

Pat O'Halloran and his best friend from the third grade on, Jerry Schwarzman, each had gone on to excel in college and professional school.  Pat became a priest, while Jerry, always the somewhat brainier of the two, finished both law school and a doctorate in astrophysics, going on to become a leading science and patent law attorney.  But despite their differing paths, one thing kept them together, their love for camping and hiking into the wilderness.  On one of their treks into the high desert, they pitched camp, setting up their tent overlooking a beautiful landscape of painted bluffs and mesas. After hours of sitting around their campfire admiring the beauty of lay before them, they retired and were quickly asleep. But some hours later, Fr. Pat wakes his faithful friend. "Jerry, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Jerry replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" asks Pat.
Jerry ponders for a minute.
"Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Chronologically, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three.
Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Pat?"
Pat is silent for a moment, then speaks:
"Jerry, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent."


There were two brothers ... one chose the wicked path and throughout his life, he was evil and corrupt, and ended up as a convicted criminal in a tiny cell. The other worked hard and became a rich, knowledgeable lawyer.

"Now what is the difference between these two brothers?"

Little Johnny raised his hand, and the teacher said, "Yes, Johnny?"

Said Little Johnny, "That's easy. One of them got caught."


Q: How do you get a group of lawyers to smile for a picture?
A: Just say "Fees!"


An attorney specializing in personal injury decided to branch out, so he added libel claims to his practice.

He wanted to add insult to injury.


Three lawyers are out having a relaxing day fishing. Out of the blue, they catch a mermaid who begs to be set free in return for granting each of them a wish. Now one of the guys just doesn't believe it and says: "If you can grant wishes, double my I.Q."

The mermaid says: "Done""

Suddenly, the lawyer starts reciting Shakespeare flawlessly and analyzing it with amazing insight. The second lawyer is stunned and says to the mermaid: "Triple my I.Q."

The mermaid says: "Done!"

The second lawyer immediately starts to spout out mathematical solutions to problems that have stumped scientists in all the major fields: chemistry, physics, etc.

The third lawyer is so enthralled with what he has seen in his friends, he says to the mermaid: "QUINTUPLE my I.Q."

The mermaid looks at him and says: "Normally I don't try to change people's minds when they make a wish, but I really think you ought to reconsider."

The last lawyer says: "Nope, I want you to increase my I.Q. five times, and if you don't do it, I won't set you free."

"Please," says the mermaid, "you don't know what you are asking... it'll change your entire view on the universe... won't you ask for something else... a million dollars, anything?"

But no matter what the mermaid said, the lawyer insisted on having his I.Q. increased five times it's usual power. So the mermaid sighed and said, "Done!"

And he became a woman!

(O.K., O.K., not really a lawyer joke, a "feminist" joke, but what did you expect?)


Jeanne Scott Matthews has somehow established a reputation (quite unfair in her humble opinion) as being somewhat "funny," in her writing and presentations.  She prefers to think of it as irreverent.

On one occasion when she was attending the opening session of a conference where she was scheduled to be the second day key-note. Sitting quietly (for her) in the audience, she listened while the program chair was outlining the program's agenda over the next couple of days.

The chair outlined the first day's activity and then moved on to the second day, saying, "And tomorrow we will have our comedienne ..."

Well duh!

Oh well. she is the proud possessor of the world's largest collection of lawyer jokes, holding fast to the belief that there are really only three such jokes, all the rest being true stories.  One problem, many of them are more or less "off color," or as she says, "in the file labeled 'jokes I can't tell my mother.'"

Over the years with 350+ issues of her newsletter, she conservatively estimates that she has told over 3,000 lawyer jokes.

From time-to-time she has included non-lawyer jokes -- physician jokes, pharmacy jokes, accountant jokes.  Over the years she has heard fewer than ten "complaints" from lawyers or their mothers (mothers of lawyers seem more thin-skinned --  studies have shown that a high percentage of babies who are bottle-fed as infants grow up to become lawyers, which all goes to show that even their mothers didn't trust them).  On the other hand when she told physician-jokes, she received more than two dozen complaints from the one issue.

A sample handful of "doctor jokes:"

What do you get when you cross a orthopedic surgeon with a turtle?

A dyslexic turtle!

What do you get when you cross a surgeon with a turtle?

You get a turtle that can tie its shoes with either hand!

 What do you get when you cross an Internist with a turtle?

You get an indecisive turtle or a turtle that cannot make up its mind without talking to 6 other turtles!

 What do you get when you cross a psychiatrist with a turtle?

You get a turtle that always answers a question with a question!

 What do you get when you cross a urologist with a turtle?

Funny tasting turtle soup!

 What do you get when you cross a rural GP with a turtle?

A turtle that can find a helicopter real quick at 3:00 a.m.

Doctor Acronyms & Shorts

Ash cash... Money paid for signing death certificates or cremation forms.

Assmosis... Promotion by "kissing ass."

ATS... Acute Thespian Syndrome.

Bash cash... Money paid for completing accident forms in Emergency departments.

Betty... Someone with diabetes

BOHICA... Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

BWS... Beached Whale Syndrome.

CHAOS... Chief Has Arrived On Scene.

CLL... Chronic Low-Life.

CNS-QNS... Central Nervous System - Quantity Not Sufficient.

Coffin dodger... Elderly patient.

CPR... Come Put 'em to Rest.

CTD... Circling The Drain (or Close To Death).

DBI... Dirt Bag Index, a complex calculation involving the number of tattoos multiplied by the number of missing teeth to give an estimate of the time since the patient last bathed.

Departure lounge... Geriatric ward.

Digging for worms... Varicose vein surgery.

Double-blind trial... Two orthopods looking at an ECG.

Expensive Scare... Intensive care.

Fascinoma... A case with interesting pathology.

FIBD... Found In Bed Dead.

FLK... Funny-Looking Kid.

Flower sign... Flowers at patient's bedside - a supportive family.

FORD... Found On Road Dead.

Freud squad... Psychiatrists.

FTF... Failure To Fly - failed suicide attempt.

Gassers... Anesthetists.

GLM... Good-Looking Mom.

GOK... God Only Knows.

GOMA... Get Out of My Ambulance.

GOMER... Get Out of My E.R.

GPO... Good for Parts Only.

Guessing tube... Stethoscope.

Handbag-positive... A confused, elderly female patient, usually lying on a hospital bed clutching her handbag.

HIF... Hysterical Italian Family (can be interchangeable with any ethnic group).

House red... Blood.

IBM... Incredible Barfing Man.

IDM... It Doesn't Matter.

Jesus bus... Going to die soon (i.e. "He's on the Jesus bus").

JLD... Just Like Dad - found under FLK once the father appears.

LOBNH... Lights On But Nobody Home.

MAGGOT... Medically Able, Go Get Other Transportation (i.e. not the ambulance);

Metabolic Clinic... The lunch room or cafeteria.

NAD... Not Actually Done.

Parentectomy... Recommended treatment for many pediatric disorders.

PD... Pretty Drunk.

Pest control... E.R. staffers referred patient to a psychiatrist.

PFO... Pissed Fell Over - drunken patient injured in fall.

PIM... Patient Is Mangled.

PITA... Pain
In The Ass.

PRATFO... Patient Reassured And Told To F___ Off.

Pumpkin-positive... A person of limited intelligence (i.e. a penlight shone into his or her mouth would encounter a brain so small that the whole head would light up).

Removal men... Mortuary attendants or those who take elderly patients to long-term care.

Rule of Five... If patient has more than five orifices with tubing in them, the condition is considered critical.

TATT... Talks All The Time.

TEETH... Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy.

Treat 'n' street... E.R. term for quick patient turnaround.

TUBE... Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination.

UBI... Unexplained Beer Injury


Top Tens

She has also closed virtually everyone of her presentations over the years with a "top ten" list and a few of these have been included for your enjoyment as well.

New Jokes?

She is always in the market for new lawyer jokes, so if you've heard a new one of late, try it out on her.  If it really is new -- and is not too off-color -- she will include them in an upcoming issue of her newsletter, with full credit to you the submitter.


back to top


Why do they bury lawyers 12-feet deep?

… Because deep down they are really good guys.

The "really good guys" joke was contributed by my then 14-year old son, Larry, who thought it was really funny and would tell it incessantly around our friends and neighbors.

At age xx-something, Jeanne has already been through at least 4-5 "mid-life" crises (depending upon whom you talk to ... her husband, her children, her friends, her professional colleagues) so this top ten list rings oh so true.

Jeanne's Top Ten Thoughts About Turning 65

10. Feeling like my body had gotten totally out of shape, I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

9. I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it.

8. Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up!

7. It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

6. The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our boobs. The bad news is they have to squat down first.

5. These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief.“

4. I've tried to find a suitable exercise video for women my age, but they haven't made one called "Buns of Putty.“

3. Don't think of it as getting hot flashes; think of it as your inner child playing with matches.

2. My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

1. Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.

Jeanne's "Laws" of Golf

Jeanne Used to be Quite an Avid Golfer but for Several Reasons She has Mostly Given it Up ... But She has Compiled Her Own Set of Golf Rules.  Here are a few of them:

(1) Don't buy a new putter until you've had a chance to throw it.
(2) Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.
(3) When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club... or two more balls.  (4) If you're afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out,
you have two options:
You can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear
and then top a ball halfway there...
(5) The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.
(6) No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.
(7) The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion
 that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors.
(8) Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot.
(9) A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.
(10) It is surprisingly easy to hole a fifty foot putt. For a 10.
(11) Counting on your opponent to inform you when she breaks a rule is like expecting her to make fun of her own haircut.
(12) Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.
(13) It's not a gimme if you're still 5 feet away.
(14) The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line
 that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.
(15) You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time.

 (16) If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
(17) Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.
(18) When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.
(19) Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
(20) If you want to hit a 7 iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard.
(21) To calculate the speed of a player's downswing, multiply the speed of his back-swing by his handicap; i.e., back-swing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing = 300 mph.
(22) There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands:
How many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.
(23) Hazards attract; fairways repel. Keep this in mind.
(24) A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.
(25) If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker.
(26) If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint.
(27) It's easier to get up at 6:00 am. to play golf than at 10:00 am. to do the laundry.
(28) A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.
(29) Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you always end up having to pray a lot.
(30) A good golf partner is one who's always slightly worse than you are....
(31) That's why I get so many calls to play with friends.
(32) If there's a storm rolling in, you'll be having the game of your life.
(33) Golf balls are like eggs. They're white. They're sold by the dozen.
(34) And you need to buy fresh ones each week.
(35) It's amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.
(36) If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse).
(37) It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon.
(38) On the other hand, you don't get to ride around on a cart, drink beer, eat hot dogs and fart, if you are performing Brain Surgery!!!!




Jeanne has been known to stick in the names of real friends, attorneys and others into her jokes ... so watch out for your name <smile>.

Believe it or not, in one of her past lives before she became a Washington lobbyist, Jeanne really, really did practice law ... and her favorite judge was old Sam Street Hughes, Ingham County Circuit Judge.

When Sam was finally ready to retire in 1973, Jeanne had moved to Washington DC.  One day her phone rang and it was Judge Hughes feigning a great deal of bluster and impatience.  "Jeanne Scott, I hereby hold you in contempt of court," he screamed into the phone.  Confused and completely off guard, she feebly responded, "What did I do, your honor?"

It appears that a case involving a former client of hers, which she had transferred to another attorney when leaving practice, had literally blown up in the Judge's courtroom, with her client's husband getting a hold of a gun in the courtroom and getting of a couple of shots at the judge before a sheriff's deputy subdued him. (But that's another story)

The long and the short of it, Jeanne was found in contempt and ordered to return to Lansing to be one of the principal speakers at Judge Hughes "retirement party" set for the next month.  Failing to appear would mean 3 days in jail.  Knowing what three days in jail meant from past experience, Jeanne went to the Judge Hughes' party, gladly and with every honor she could bestow on him.



Copyright, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Jeanne Scott Matthews

Fine Print: Jokes subject to change without notice; text is slightly enlarged to show detail; resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is unintentional and coincidental; all models are over 18 years of age; dry clean only; do not bend, fold, or mutilate; anchovies or jalapenos added to jokes upon request; your mileage may vary; no substitutions are allowed; for a limited time only while supplies last; offer void where prohibited; humor is provided "as is" without any warranties expressed or implied; user assumes full liabilities; not liable for damages due to use or misuse; equal opportunity joke employer; no shoes, no shirt, no jokes; caveat emptor; read at your own risk; jokes may contain material some readers find objectionable; parental advisory: explicit lyrics; keep away from pets and small children; limit one-per-family please; no money down; no purchase necessary; ask us about our guns-for-jokes trade-in plan; you need not be present to win; some assembly required; batteries not included; action figures sold separately; jokes were packed full, contents may have settled during mailing; sanitized and sealed for your protection; do not use if safety seal is broken; do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment; safety goggles may be required during use; call before you dig; use only with proper ventilation; for external use only; if a swelling, redness, rash, or irritation develops, discontinue use; do not place near a flammable or magnetic source; keep away from open flames; avoid inhaling fumes or contact with mucous membranes; joke contents under pressure, may explode if incinerated; smoking these jokes may be hazardous to your health; the best safeguard, second only to abstinence, is the use of a good laugh; text is made from 100% recycled electrons and magnetic particles; no animals were used to test the hilarity of these jokes; no salt, MSG, preservatives, artificial color or flavor added; if ingested, do not induce vomiting, if symptoms persist, consult a comedian; jokes are ribbed for your pleasure; slippery when wet; must be 18 to enter; possible penalties for early withdrawal; one size fits all; joke offer is valid only at participating Internet sites; slightly higher west of the Rockies; allow four to six weeks for delivery; if defects are found, do not try to fix them yourself, but return to an authorized joke service center; please remain seated until the jokes have come to a complete stop; jokes in the mirror may be funnier than they appear; this disclaimer does not cover hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other Acts of God, sonic boom vibrations, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, radiation leakage from overhead power lines, unauthorized repair, improper installation, misuse, typos, misspelled words, missing or altered signatures, and incidents owing to computer or disk failure, accidental file deletions, or milk coming out of your nose due to laughing while drinking; other restrictions may apply.  If something offends you, lighten up, get a life, and move on.

Woe unto you, Lawyers!

                Luke 11:52



The trouble with the legal profession is that 98% of its members give the rest of us a bad name.


Jeanne's Latest Additions to Her Canonical List of Lawyer Jokes


Week of September 16, 2013

Following up on the opening statement of Wile E. Coyote's illustrious attorney, Harold Schoff, Acme Company's equally talented corporate counsel, Arthur B. Fuddle,  had his turn

In The United States District Court

Southwestern District, Tempe, Arizona


Wile E. Coyote,                                                    )

                                                Plaintiff                )


                                vs.                                         )                                Case No. B19293

                                                                              )                  Judge Joan Kujava, Presiding

Acme Company,                                                  )

                                                Defendant.           )

____________________________________      )


Opening statement of Arthur B. Fuddle, Counsel for the Defendant Acme Company.

By Mr. Fuddle:

                Ladies and Gentleman of the jury: the opening statement you have just heard from Mr. Schoff on behalf of the plaintiff, Wile E. Coyote, paints an incomplete picture of what occurred on the occasions when Mr. Coyote claims he was injured by ACME products.

                The evidence will clearly show that my client, ACME Products Corp., a Division of Dangerously Innovative Products and Patents Incorporated (or "DIPPI") is not at fault in this matter, and that any injuries sustained by the plaintiff were clearly caused by his own negligence, assumption of the risk and/or misuse of the products.

                Now, we have all seen the footage on television of the plaintiff withstanding various injuries which appear to be caused by ACME's products. You have seen over and over the tape of a hapless coyote being bludgeoned by a boulder as he is helplessly trapped by his ACME Spring Loaded Shoes. We have all seen the photographs taken at Warner Memorial Hospital of Mr. Coyote in a very small incubator, on life support, as his doctors attempt to straighten out the accordion-like folds from his body. We have all seen the gruesome images of the operation in which Dr. Tasmanian D. Devil whirls like a dervish, obscuring his features and creating a starry, "dust cloud" effect, while numerous limbs holding various surgical instruments swiftly repair the nerve damage to Mr. Coyote's extremities.

                It is normal for any human being to feel pity, horror, and even anger at such images. I want you to put those images aside for the moment, because they paint an incomplete picture. What the media has not disclosed to you, and what you will see in this courtroom, are various attempts at murder committed by the plaintiff - attempts which, fortunately, failed - while using my client's products. As the plaintiff readily admits, he is a predator, and his sole function in life is to track down and kill an innocent, highway traversing ornithoid.

                You see, ladies and gentleman, while the plaintiff is a natural predator, he is not a very good one. His own skills were inadequate to complete the task at hand, so he chose to seek the aid of various devices to effectuate his diabolical schemes. He looked in a catalogue, saw my client's products, and ordered them in the hope that they would assist him in killing his prey.

                But ladies and gentleman, ACME's products are not meant to cause intentional harm to anyone. The plaintiff has taken what were designed as amusements, toys for the young and feebleminded, and has twisted their use to his own purposes.

                But I digress. Let us examine the plaintiff's claims and how the evidence clearly refutes the proposition that ACME is responsible for any harm sustained by the plaintiff.

                Mr. Coyote states that on December 13 he received an ACME Rocked Sled, that he attempted to use said rocket sled to pursue his prey, and that, upon igniting the sled, it accelerated with "sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's forelimbs to a length of fifty feet."

                There are several reasons why ACME cannot be held responsible for any injuries caused by this incident. First, the warning label attached conspicuously to the inside of the left front tire of the sled clearly stated, and I quote: "WARNING: IGNITION OF THIS DEVICE AT FULL THROTTLE MAY CAUSE SUDDEN AND PRECIPITATE FORCE AS TO STRETCH USER'S FORELIMBS TO A LENGTH OF UP TO SIXTY FEET, OR MAY CAUSE DEATH." That the plaintiff suffered so little as a result of his carelessness can be attributed only to Providence.

                Second, Arizona law is clear on this point: a plaintiff who is found to be violating any law whose purpose is safety at the time of his injury is contributorily negligent *per se*. There is ample evidence that Mr. Coyote was violating both the laws of gravity and inertia at the time of this incident, and thus he is responsible for his own woes.

                I could list many more examples of Mr. Coyote's negligent conduct in connection with his use of ACME's products, but you will hear all about them as the trial goes on. You will also hear the following evidence:


     You will hear the plaintiff himself testify that, prior to the injuries complained of in this

     accident, he has suffered numerous injuries. As an example, on one occasion prior to the

     use of any ACME product, the plaintiff cornered his prey on the edge of a rather thin

     precipice. Taking an ordinary saw, the plaintiff began cutting away so that the edge of the

     cliff, with his prey on it, would drop some 1500 feet to a jagged, rocky destruction.

     Instead, by some inexplicable twist of fate the edge of the cliff remained standing while the

     whole mountain, on which the plaintiff was standing, plummeted to the bottom of the ravine,

     causing numerous injuries which affect the plaintiff to this day.


     On another occasion, Mr. Coyote was chasing his prey and followed it off of the edge of a

     cliff onto thin air, not realizing until too late that his prey, a bird, could remain in the air

     almost indefinitely while he, a canine, could not. As a result, he fell yet again, suffering even

     further severe and debilitating injuries which predate the injuries complained of in this



     You will also hear the testimony of Mr. Road Runner, the plaintiff's prey and the true victim

     in this tragedy. Mr. Runner has been forced to live a nomadic lifestyle as a result of Mr.

     Coyote's unwanted attention, preventing him from forming any type of long term

     relationships. Numerous restraining orders had no effect. Mr. Runner has also suffered

     numerous psychological problems as a result of Mr. Coyote's actions, including but not

     limited to an inability to trust anyone who provides him with bird seed, a necessary

     ingredient in his daily nutritional schedule.


     You will also hear from a witness to many of the incidents alleged in plaintiff's complaint, a

     colorful local prospector with red hair and mustache who has been known to proclaim:

     "No rootin' tootin' coyote can outsmart Yosemite Sam on any day of the week!" Don't be

     fooled by his gruff manner and twin pearl-handled six-shooters, he's a pussycat.


     Customer service records of defendant ACME, which we were forced to produce in this

     matter, clearly show that none of the complaints registered by ACME's customers

     nation-wide have ever resulted in criminal convictions of the officers of the corporation.


     Finally, videotape evidence will demonstrate that plaintiff faked many of his injuries, setting

     out to create performances especially for a jury such as yourself. On numerous occasions

     he would "mug" for the camera, as if he was well aware beforehand that he was being

     taped. For instance, during the "Rocked Sled" incident, as his forelimbs were stretched out

     ahead of him and his body remained behind, he looked straight into the camera with a

     forlorn, tired expression, as if to say: "look at how terrible my situation is, can you guess

     what's going to happen to me now." This jury is too smart to fall for such petty theatrics.

                In summary, ladies and gentlemen, it will be clear to you from the evidence that ACME's products, if used properly, will cause only minimal injuries to a user and his loved ones. The plaintiff in this case has brought his troubles upon himself by adopting his carnivorous lifestyle. As others have so adequately uttered: "Live by the Super Slick Jet Propulsion Automated Explosive Metal-Shearing Heat-Seeking Laser-Guided Razor-Edged Boomerang, die by the Super Slick, etc."

I ask you, on behalf of my client, to dismiss the plaintiff's claims against it.


Week of September 9, 2013

Given recent efforts by the Tea Party-driven Republicans to "defund Obamacare" ... I was reminded of the great cartoon series, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner ...

... and checked the courts out here in Arizona and found this ...

In The United States District Court

Southwestern District, Tempe, Arizona


Wile E. Coyote,                                                    )

                                                Plaintiff                )


                                vs.                                         )                                Case No. B19293

                                                                              )                  Judge Joan Kujava, Presiding

Acme Company,                                                  )

                                                Defendant.           )

____________________________________      )


Opening statement of Mr. Harold Schoff, attorney for Mr. Coyote:

                My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hearby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory.  Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.

                Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions, he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, "Defendant"), through that company's mail order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily restricted his ability to make a living in the profession of predator.  Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for Worker's Compensation.

                Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th, he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled.  The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey.  Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled, Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition.  As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's forelimbs to a length of fifteen feet.  Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote's body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey.  At that moment, the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right.  Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poor design and engineering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or nonexistent steering system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled led it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.

                Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B), prepared by Dr. Ernst Grosscup, M.D., details the multiple fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a result of this collision.  Repair of the injuries required a full bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full or partial casts on all four legs.  Hampered by these injuries, Mr. Coyote was nevertheless obliged to support himself.  With this in mind, he purchased of Defendant as an aid to mobility one pair of Acme Rocket Skates. When he attempted to use this product, however, he became involved in an accident remarkably similar to that which occurred with the Rocket Sled.  Again, Defendant sold over the counter, without caveat, a product which attached powerful jet engines (in this case, two) to inadequate vehicles, with little or no provision for passenger safety.

                Encumbered by his heavy casts, Mr. Coyote lost control of the Rocket Skates soon after strapping them on, and collided with a roadside billboard so violently as to leave a hole in the shape of his full silhouette.

                Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme "Little Giant" Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc.  (For a full listing, see the Acme Mail Order Explosives Catalog and attached deposition, entered I evidence as Exhibit C.) Indeed, it is safe to say that not once has an explosive purchased of Defendant by Mr. Coyote performed in an expected manner.  To cite just one example: At the expense of much time and personal effort, Mr. Coyote constructed around the outer rim of a butte a wooden trough beginning at the top of the butte and spiraling downward around it to some few feet above a black X painted on the desert floor.  The trough was designed in such a way that a spherical explosive of the type sold by Defendant would roll easily and swiftly down to the point of detonation indicated by the X. Mr. Coyote placed a generous pile of birdseed directly on the X, and then, carrying the spherical Acme Bomb (Catalog #78) climbed to the top of the butte.  Mr. Coyote's prey, seeing the birdseed, approached, and Mr. Coyote proceeded to light the fuse. In an instant, the fuse burned down to the stem, causing the bomb to detonate.

                In addition to reducing all Mr. Coyote's careful preparations to naught, the premature detonation of Defendant's product resulted in the following disfigurements to Mr. Coyote:

                1. Severe singeing of the hair on the head, neck, and muzzle.

                2. Sooty discoloration.

                3. Fracture of the left ear at the stem, causing the ear to dangle in the aftershock with a               creaking noise.

     4. Full or partial combustion of whiskers, producing kinking, frazzling, and ashy          disintegration 

                5. Radical widening of the eyes, due to brow and lid charring.

                We come now to the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes.  The remains of a pair of these purchased by Mr. Coyote on June 23rd are Plaintiff's Exhibit D.  Selected fragments have been shipped to the metallurgical laboratories of the University of California at Santa Barbara for analysis, but to date, no explanation has been found for this product's sudden and extreme malfunction.

                As advertised by Defendant, this product is simplicity itself: two wood-and-metal sandals, each attached to milled-steel springs of high tensile strength and compressed in a tightly coiled position by a cocking device with a lanyard release.  Mr. Coyote believed that this product would enable him to pounce upon his prey in the initial moments of the chase, when swift reflexes are at a premium.

                To increase the shoes' thrusting power still further, Mr. Coyote affixed them by their bottoms to the side of a large boulder.  Adjacent to the boulder was a path which Mr. Coyote's prey was known to frequent.  Mr. Coyote put his hind feet in the wood-and-metal sandals and crouched in readiness, his right forepaw holding firmly to the lanyard release.  Within a short time, Mr. Coyote's prey did indeed appear on the path coming toward him.  Unsuspecting, the prey stopped near Mr. Coyote, well within range of the springs at full extension. Mr. Coyote gauged the distance with care and proceeded to pull the lanyard release.  At this point, Defendant's product should have thrust Mr. Coyote forward and away from the boulder.  Instead, for reasons yet unknown, the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes thrust the boulder away from Mr. Coyote.  As the intended prey looked on unharmed, Mr. Coyote hung suspended in the air.  Then the twin springs recoiled, bringing Mr. Coyote to a violent feet-first collision with the boulder, the full weight of his head and forequarters falling upon his lower extremities.

                The force of this impact then caused the springs to rebound, whereupon Mr. Coyote was thrust skyward. A second recoil and collision followed.  The boulder, meanwhile, which was roughly ovoid in shape, began to bounce down a hillside, the coiling and recoiling of the springs adding to its velocity. At each bounce, Mr. Coyote came into contact with the boulder, or the boulder came into contact with Mr. Coyote, or both came into contact with the ground.  As the grade was a long one, this process continued for some time.  The sequence of collisions resulted in systemic physical damage to Mr. Coyote, viz., flattening of the cranium, sideways displacement of the tongue, reduction of length of legs and upper body, and compression of vertebrae from base of tail to head.  Repetition of blows along a vertical axis produced a series of regular horizontal folds in Mr. Coyote's body tissues, a rare and painful condition which caused Mr. Coyote to expand upward and contract downward alternately as he walked and emit an off-key, accordion-like wheezing with each step. The distracting and embarrassing nature of this symptom has been a major impediment to Mr. Coyote's pursuit of normal social life.

                As the court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work.  It is our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber bands.  Much as he has come to mistrust Defendant's products, Mr. Coyote has no other domestic source of supply to which to turn.  One can only wonder what our trading partners in Western Europe and Japan would make of such a situation, where a giant company is allowed to victimize the consumer in the most reckless and wrongful manner over and over again.

                Mr. Coyote respectfully requests that the Court regard these larger economic implications and assess punitive damages in the amount of seventeen million dollars.  In addition, Mr. Coyote seeks actual damages (missed meals, medical expenses, days lost from professional occupation) of one million dollars; general damages (mental suffering, injury to reputation) of twenty million dollars; and attorney's fees of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  By awarding Mr. Coyote the full amount, this Court will censure Defendant, its directors, officers, shareholders, successors, and assigns, in the only language they understand, and reaffirm the right of the individual predator to equal protection under the law.


Week of September 2, 2013

It seems there were this Frenchman, a Mexican, a "Bubba" Redneck, and a Lawyer.


The Frenchman drank the last portion of a great bottle of Burgundy, threw the empty bottle in the air.  Shouting "Vive la France!" -- he pulled out his pistol  and blasted the bottle before it hit the ground.

The Mexican drank his Tequila and likewise threw his empty bottle into the air, pulled out his pistol and shot it, shouting "Viva Zapata!"

Bubba then pulled out his pistol, guzzled the last drop of his Coors beer and shouting, "It don't get any better than this!" -- shot the Lawyer.




Another story involving south of the border, tells of the ...


There was this Mexican bandit who made it a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas.  Finally, a reward was offered for his apprehension, and an enterprising Texas Ranger decided to track him down.

After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, tiptoed up behind him and put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit's head, saying, "You're under arrest.  Tell me where you hid the loot form your robberies, or I'll blow your head off!"

Unfortunately, the bandit did not speak any English and confusion reigned.

Fortuitously, a bilingual lawyer was sitting at the nearby bar and offered to translate the Ranger's message.  The terrified bandit blurted out that the loot was buried under the oak tree in back of the cantina.

 "What did he say?" asked the Ranger.

The lawyer answered, "He said, 'Get lost you turkey.  You wouldn't dare shoot me!'"




And then there is always the story of Gonzalez's cows ...

 It seemed that the son of an Hispanic-American lawyer graduated from college and was considering the future.   He went to his father, who had a very large office, and asked if he might be given a desk in the corner where he could observe his father's activities.  He could be introduced to his father's clients as a clerk.  This way, he could decide on whether or not to become a lawyer.  His father thought this to be a splendid idea, and this arrangement was set up immediately. 

On his son's first day at work, the first client in the morning was a rough-hewn man with callused hands, in workman's attire, who began the conversation as follows:

     "Mr. Lawyer, I work for some people named Gonzales who have a ranch on the east side of town.  For many years I have tended their crops and animals, including some cows.  I have raised, the cows, tended them, fed them, and it has always been my understanding and belief that I was the owner of the cows.  Mr. Gonzales died and his son has inherited the farm, and he believes that since the cows were raised on his ranch and fed on his hay, the cows are his.  In short, we have a dispute as to the ownership of the cows." 

The lawyer said, "I have heard enough.  I will take your case. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE COWS!"

After the tenant farmer left, the next client came in.  A young, well-dressed man, clearly a member of the landed class.  "My name is Gonzales.  I own a farm on the east side of the town," he said. "For many years, a tenant farmer has worked for my family tending the crops and animals, including some cows.  The cows have been raised on my land and fed on my hay, and I believe that they belong to me, but the tenant farmer believes that since he raised them and cared for them, they are his.  In short, we have a dispute over ownership of the cows."

"I heard enough.  I'll take your case. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE COWS!"

After the client left, the son came over to his father with a look of concern. "My father, I know nothing of the law, but it seems to me that we have a serious problem regarding these cows."

"DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE COWS!" said the lawyer.  "The cows will be ours!" 


Week of August 26, 2013

Before she went to Washington and became lobbyist and health policy guru, Jeanne really did practice law ... and her favorite judge was old Sam Street Hughes, a transplanted North Carolinian, former Mayor of the City Of Lansing, Michigan, and serving as the senior Ingham County Circuit Court  Judge ...



      My favorite occurred when I was in his court for the sentencing of one of my recidivist criminal defense clients.  After leniency on two earlier convictions, Sam was determined to give my young woman client some "hard time" -- yet he recognized the plight of this young mother with limited skills trying to make her way in a society for which she was ill-prepared by upbringing and education. 

      I had seen the pre-sentence report and the suggestion that my client be sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison and had prepared her for that sentence from the court.  When she was brought before Judge Hughes, he proceeded to lecture her on her need to improve herself and her life opportunities through preparation and education.  He told of his own struggle to prepare himself against great odds at Berea College.  Black was indeed beautiful, he told her, and he knew a place where she could learn how to care for the beauty and grooming needs not only for herself but for others -- a great school of cosmetology.  He told her how after just a couple of years of study and training she could find a job where she could earn her living and contribute much back to society.  During his entire discourse, he never once mentioned the words "jail," "prison" or "incarceration."  In closing, he told her how proud her family would be the day she finished this program. He then proceeded to sentence her to 3 to 5 years at that school of cosmetology.

      My client turned to me quietly and said, "Miz Scott, is I going to jail?"  When I told her that was where the school was located, at the Michigan prison for women at DeHoCo, she replied.  "That old judge, he makes going to jail seem almost like fun!"


Say it Again Sam!

                On another occasion before the Honorable Sam Street Hughes, I found myself defending a client charged with a major felony for which (if convicted) he could be sentenced to life imprisonment under Michigan's "habitual" criminal law.  After many prolonged pre-trial arguments and motions, I had succeeded in discrediting the prosecution's chief witness. The prosecution was now willing to reduce the charges pending against my client to a single misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of two years in jail.   Given my client's past criminal record and the risk of a life-sentence, I recommended that he accept the offered plea bargain -- which he did.

                My client had been incarcerated in the County Jail for several months pending this development in his case and as it was approaching Christmas, we both had every hope that Judge Hughes would release him upon sentencing to "time already served."

                Unfortunately, my client's temper and his repeat offender record got the best of him.  Just the day before the pre-sentence report was to be filed, he got into a jailhouse row that put two other prisoners in the hospital and himself in solitary.  Judge Hughes decided to give my client a one year sentence.  He would have to serve at least another three months with good behavior.

                On the morning of his sentencing day, which happened to be the last working day before Christmas, I met with my client to advise him of the Judge's decision.  To say the least, he was not happy to hear this news, especially as the songs of various office Christmas parties could be heard around the courthouse.  He had convinced himself that he should be home that very day. 

                He was brought into Judge Hughes' Court that afternoon, manacled as was the usual custom to five other prisoners also being sentenced.  When his case was called, a deputy sheriff released his handcuffs and accompanied him to stand in front of the Bench.

                As Judge Hughes read his sentence along with a stern lecture on criminal recidivism, my client, who was 6'4" tall and weighed nearly 250 pounds, squirmed angrily.   Following sentencing, he was led back to the jury box where the deputy sheriff re-cuffed him to the line of other defendants.  I packed my briefcase and was leaving the bar when the first very non-Christmasy outburst occurred just over my shoulder.  "Mother-bleeping Judge!  You mother-bleeping Judge!"  White-faced, I turned to see my client wildly waving his arms and literally bouncing his manacled co-prisoners off furniture and off one another. 

                Judge Hughes was on his feet pounding the bench and calling for order.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the prosecutor on his knees under counsel's table as items began flying around the courtroom.  I attempted to calm my client, pushing at my full extension to the middle of his chest, trying to get him back in his chair.  His shouted expletives reverberated again and again throughout the courtroom.  Pandemonium had broken out.

                Several deputy sheriffs burst through the main courtroom door.  I stepped back and a large mass of humanity piled into the jury box, arms, legs and screams emanating from everywhere.  Judge Hughes continued to shout for order in his courtroom.  At that moment, there was the large "C-R-A-A-A-C-K" of splintering teak wood as the front facing of the jury box wall broke under the strain of a half dozen deputy sheriffs, my client and his manacled co-prisoners.  The whole human melee rolled out onto the courtroom floor amid shards of wood and cries of pain.  A furious Judge Hughes stood ominously as a shadow over all of this mayhem calling futilely for order, "Order! Order in my courtroom!"

                The sheriff's deputies soon had all the prisoners out of the courtroom and I sheepishly crept toward the door, hoping to exit before Judge Hughes noticed I was gone.  At that moment I heard those terrible words, "Miss Scott, please approach the bench!"

                With my life passing before me and thoughts of spending my own Christmas away from my small children and in jail for contempt of court, I walked humbly back to bench, head down between my shoulders, beseeching all the way,  "Your Honor, I'm sorry!  Your Honor, I'm sorry!  Your Honor, I'm sorry!"

                 "Miss Scott," intoned the venerable Judge, "I am hereby vacating the sentence given your client.  I am finding him in contempt of court.  I will re-sentence him next week.  You will be present!"  Still apologizing, I backed quietly away from the bench imitating my very best Chinese kowtow all the way.  The Court's next words were, "Mr. Prosecutor, the Court has taken judicial notice of the fact that Miss Scott did attempt to restrain her client.  This is more than the Court can say for the assistant district attorney, who was cowering under his table."

                I exited the courtroom to the strains of "Silent Night, Holy Night" echoing down the hallway.   My next plea bargain with this prosecutor was going to be very difficult.

                The next week, on New Year's eve afternoon, we all gathered in the courtroom -- myself, the prosecutor, my client, with two of the largest deputy sheriffs I have ever seen on either side.  My client's new sentence -- two years without parole on the misdemeanor conviction along with seven one-year contempt of court citations (for disparaging the Court's relationship to the institution of motherhood) -- each sentence to run consecutively.  As I turned to walk out of the bar, past the jury box which was being held together with patch board, my client turned to me and said.  "See what you did for me!  When I get out, I'm going to get you!" 

                Let's see that was how many years ago?


Miss Scott, That's a Lovely Pantsuit

             But my relationship with Sam didn't start out very well ... shortly after starting in practice, I had gone and introduced myself to each of the then sitting four judges on the Ingham County Circuit Court.  At the time (1970), there was only one other woman practicing general law in Ingham County and Lansing, Michigan (today there are more than 100) and Sam wasn't all that comfortable with women lawyers. I had been warned by the other woman of Sam's idiosyncrasies with regard women lawyers. He was definitely old school, although as a "southern-raised" gentleman, he always was very polite, albeit with  a firm judicial manner.

                 So it was on my second or third appearance in his  court, that I had decided to wear a very expensive,  professional-looking pants suit I had recently bought to his  court (this was long before Hillary Clinton gave pant suits  new charisma). As I was stepping up from counsel's table to  approach the bench, Sam suddenly paled and slammed  down his gavel. "Miss Scott, the women in my courtroom  should be dressed appropriately. Go home and don't come  back until you are dressed properly like the lady you are!"

                Needless to say, I was taken back, flustered and uncertain how to react ... and after a couple of moments of stammering, I turned, fighting tears, grabbed my case notes and headed to the bar to leave, muttering (apparently louder than I thought) ... "You old son-of-a-bitch."  Just as I pushed open the bar, Sam ordered, "Miss Scott what did you just say?"  Stopped in my tracks, I responded "Nothing your honor, nothing." To which Sam replied, "Oh you said something, I order you to tell me what you said." Knowing I was trapped, and reacting to the anger I was building up, I turned and said in the loudest voice I could muster, "I called the Court a 'son-of-bitch' your honor ." Adding "... and I meant every word of it too!"

               Before you could say "incarceration" I was held in contempt and being escorted by a Sheriff's deputy to the courthouse holding cell.  And there I sat for 0ne hour, two hours, three hours (and worrying about my kids at daycare) when finally  I was called back before Sam and asked to his hear his lecture on "respect for the Court, if not the judge" -- which,  by this time, was an argument making more and more sense to me by the minute. So it was that I swallowed my pride and humbly apologized to Sam who then waived any fine or further penalty for my infraction.

                You would have thought that this early encounter would have soured my future relationship with the Honorable Sam Street Hughes ... and it might have, if just a few days later, while walking out of another judge's courtroom, I was stopped by Judge Hughes's clerk and asked to come to the Judge's chambers, he wanted to talk with me. Once there, Sam was the one apologizing, saying he admitted to being an old "fuddy-duddy" ... and that he was out-of-order in ordering me to change my clothes. He emphasized that I was still wrong in my disrespect -- publicly -- to the Court ... for which I apologized once again, but said he would be receptive to women lawyers in the future. We shook hands ... and he actually kissed my hand ... and we became fast friends, the senior 72-year old jurist and the brash 26-year old lawyer.

Post Script: I learned later, that while I was sitting in the court's hoosegow that afternoon a few days back, another lawyer who had witnessed to scene had gone straight to the presiding judge's chambers to relate the events. Sam had been chastised and embarrassed and if he didn't release me the presiding judge would (no explanation was ever given as to why it took 3 hours) ... but the peace pipe we figuratively smoked that day lasted for years, as I was invited back to Lansing from Washington DC for Sam's retirement party a few years later and was asked for a eulogy to be read at his funeral in 1990. Miss you Sam!


Week of August 19, 2013

A Whole Bunch More Quickies

What one word describes a lawyer who doesn't chase ambulances?
... Dead


What's the quickest way to a lawyer's heart?

...Through the ribcage. (see Jeanne's heart)


What do you say when you see a lawyer about to be hit by a truck?

... _________________________.


What's America's best chance to solve its world wide trade deficit?

... Chinese lessons for lawyers.


Why is it so hard to drown a lawyer?
... Pond scum floats.


What's the best thing to get for a lawyer who has been hospitalized?

... Dr. Kevorkian!


You see 5 lawyers in a Chevy Suburban SUV drive off a cliff, what's wrong with this?

... a Chevy Suburban SUV seats 8.


Why did the lawyer cross the road?

... To sue the chicken on the other side.


Why don't lawyers worry about the wages of sin?

... They charge "professional fees," not "wages".



... Having so many lawyers around!


Why don't lawyers play hide-and-seek?
... Nobody will look for them.


What do you get when you cross a blonde and a lawyer?
... Hey! There's some things even a blonde won't do.


What’s a good wedding present for a lawyer who marries another lawyer?

... Towels marked Hiss and Hiss


Week of August 12, 2013

Eponymous Laws (continued)

This list of eponymous laws provides links to articles on laws, adages, and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person. In some cases the person named has coined the law -- such as Parkinson's law. In others, the work or publications of the individual have led to the law being so named -- as is the case with Moore's law. There are also laws ascribed to individuals by others, such as Murphy's law; or given eponymous names despite the absence of the named person.


Aitken's law -- describes how vowel length in Scots and Scottish English is conditioned by environment. Named for Professor A. J. Aitken, who formulated it.

Amara's law -- "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."

 Amdahl's law -- Used to find out the maximum expected improvement to an overall system when only a part of it is improved. Named after Gene Amdahl (born 1922).

Ampere's law -- In physics, it relates the circulating magnetic field in a closed loop to the electric current passing through the loop. Discovered by Andre-Marie Ampere.

Archie's law -- In petrophysics, relates the in-situ electrical conductivity of sedimentary rock to its porosity and brine saturation. Named for Gus Archie (1907-1978).

Asimov's three laws of robotics -- Also called, more simply, the three laws of robotics or just the three laws, a set of rules which the fictional robots appearing in the writings of Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) must obey. There were eventually four laws when the Zeroth was added.

 Augustine's laws --on air force management. Named for Norman Augustine.

Avogadro's law -- In chemistry and physics, one of the gas laws, relating to the volume and molarity of a gas.

Bayes' theorem --In probability theory, shows the relation between one conditional probability and its inverse.

Beer-Lambert law -- In optics, the empirical relationship of the absorption of light to the properties of the material through which the light is traveling. Independently discovered (in various forms) by Pierre Bouguer in 1729, Johann Heinrich Lambert in 1760 and August Beer in 1852.

Benford's law -- In any collection of statistics, a given statistic has roughly a 30% chance of starting with the digit 1.

 Biot-Savart law -- Describes the magnetic field set up by a steady current density. Named for Jean-Baptiste Biot and Felix Savart.

Birch's law -- In geophysics, establishes a linear relation of the compressional wave velocity of rocks and minerals of a constant average atomic weight. Named after Francis Birch.

Boyle's law -- In physics, one of the gas laws, relating the volume and pressure of an ideal gas held at a constant temperature. Discovered by and named after Robert Boyle (1627-1691).

Bradford's law -- a pattern described by Samuel C. Bradford in 1934 that estimates the exponentially diminishing returns of extending a library search.

Bremermann's limit -- Named after Hans-Joachim Bremermann, is the maximum computational speed of a self-contained system in the material universe.

Brett's law -- Bans the possession, sale or cultivation of Salvia divinorum in the state of Delaware. Named for Brett Chidester, a teenager who, after frequent use of the drug, committed suicide.

Brooks' law -- "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." Named after Fred Brooks, author of the well known book on project management The Mythical Man-Month.

Buys Ballot's law -- Concerned with the notion that the wind travels counterclockwise around low pressure zones in the Northern Hemisphere. Named for C. H. D. Buys Ballot, who published an empirical validation of an existing theory, in 1857.

Byerlee's law -- Gives the stress circumstances in the Earth's crust at which fracturing along a geological fault takes place.

Campbell's law -- "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor." Named for Donald T. Campbell (1916-1996)

Charles's law -- States that at constant pressure, the volume of a given mass of a gas increases or decreases by the same factor as its temperature (in kelvins) increases or decreases. Named for Jacques Charles.

Clarke's three laws -- Formulated by Arthur C. Clarke. Several corollaries to these laws have also been proposed.

o    First law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

o    Second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

o    Third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Classen's law -- Theo Classen's "logarithmic law of usefulness" - 'usefulness = log (technology)'.

Conway's law -- Any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it. Named for Melvin Conway.

Cooper's law -- The number of radio frequency conversations which can be concurrently conducted in a given area doubles every 30 months.

Coulomb's law -- An inverse-square law indicating the magnitude and direction of electrostatic force that one stationary, electrically charged object of small dimensions (ideally, a point source) exerts on another. It is named after Charles-Augustin de Coulomb.


Week of August 5, 2013

Eponymous Laws (continued)

This list of eponymous laws provides links to articles on laws, adages, and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person. In some cases the person named has coined the law -- such as Parkinson's law. In others, the work or publications of the individual have led to the law being so named -- as is the case with Moore's law. There are also laws ascribed to individuals by others, such as Murphy's law; or given eponymous names despite the absence of the named person.


Dale's principle -- In neuroscience, states that a neuron is capable of producing and secreting only one neurotransmitter from its axon terminals. Named after Henry Hallett Dale but more recent data suggests it to be false.

Dalton's law -- In chemistry and physics, states that the total pressure exerted by a gaseous mixture is equal to the sum of the partial pressures of each individual component in a gas mixture. Also called Dalton's law of partial pressure, and related to the ideal gas laws, this empirical law was observed by John Dalton in 1801.

Darcy's law -- In hydrogeology, describes the flow of a fluid (such as water) through a porous medium (such as an aquifer).

Davis' law -- In anatomy, describes how soft tissue models along imposed demands. Corollary to Wolff's law.

De Morgan's laws -- Apply to formal logic regarding the negation of pairs of logical operators.

Dermott's law -- The sidereal period of major satellites tends to follow a geometric series. Named after Stanley Dermott.

Dilbert principle -- Coined by Scott Adams as a variation of the Peter Principle of employee advancement. Named after Adams' Dilbert comic strip, it proposes that "the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management."

Dollo's law -- "An organism is unable to return, even partially, to a previous stage already realized in the ranks of its ancestors." Simply put this law states that evolution is not reversible.

Dulong-Petit law -- States the classical expression for the specific heat capacity of a crystal due to its lattice vibrations. Named for Pierre Louis Dulong and Alexis Therese Petit.

Dunbar's number -- A theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar's number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150. First proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar.

Duverger's law -- After Maurice Duverger. Winner-take-all (or first-past-the-post) electoral systems tend to create a 2 party system, while proportional representation tends to create a multiple party system.

Einasto's law -- Relates the density of a galaxy to distance from the center. Named for Jaan Einasto.

Faraday's law of induction -- States that a magnetic field changing in time creates a proportional electromotive force. Named for Michael Faraday, based on his work in 1831.

Faraday's law of electrolysis -- States that the mass of a substance produced at an electrode during electrolysis is proportional to the number of moles of electrons transferred at that electrode; again named for Michael Faraday.

Fick's laws of diffusion --- Describe diffusion, and define the diffusion coefficient D. Derived by Adolf Fick in the year 1855.

Fitts' law -- A principle of human movement published in 1954 by Paul Fitts which predicts the time required to move from a starting position to a final target area. Fitts' law is used to model the act of pointing, both in the real world, e.g. with a hand or finger, and on a computer, e.g. with a mouse.

Fourier's law, also known as the law of heat conduction, states that the time rate of heat flow Q through a slab (or a portion of a perfectly insulated wire) is proportional to the gradient of temperature difference; named for Joseph Fourier.

Gall's law -- "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked."

Gause's law -- In ecology, the competitive exclusion principle: "complete competitors cannot coexist."

Gauss's law -- In physics, gives the relation between the electric flux flowing out a closed surface and the charge enclosed in the surface. It was formulated by Carl Friedrich Gauss. See also Gauss' law for gravity, and Gauss's law for magnetism.

Gay-Lussac's law -- "The pressure of a fixed mass and fixed volume of a gas is directly proportional to the gas's temperature."

 Gibrat's law -- "The size of a firm and its growth rate are independent."

Ginsberg's Theorem -- A set of adages based on the laws of thermodynamics.

Godwin's law -- An adage in Internet culture that states, "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Coined by Mike Godwin in 1990.

Goodhart's law -- When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

Graham's law -- In physics, a gas law which states that the average kinetic energy of the molecules of two samples of different gases at the same temperature is identical. It is named for Thomas Graham (1805-1869), who formulated it.

Greenspun's Tenth Rule -- Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp. Coined by Philip Greenspun.

Gresham's law -- Typically stated as "Bad money drives good money out of circulation", but more accurately "Bad money drives good money out of circulation if their exchange rate is set by law." Coined in 1858 by British economist Henry Dunning Macleod, and named for Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579). The principle had been stated before Gresham by others, including Nicolaus Copernicus.

Grimm's law -- Explains correspondence between some consonants in Germanic languages and those in other Indo-European languages. Discovered by Jacob Grimm, (1785-1863), German philologist and mythologist and one of the Brothers Grimm.

Grosch's law -- Herb Grosch in 1965 argued that the economic value of computation increases with the square root of the increase in speed -- that is, to do a calculation 10 times as cheaply you must do it 100 times as fast.

Gustafson's law (also known as Gustafson-Barsis' law) -- a law in computer engineering, that any sufficiently large problem can be efficiently parallelized. Coined by John Gustafson in 1988.


Week of July 29, 2013

Eponymous Laws (continued)

This list of eponymous laws provides links to articles on laws, adages, and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person. In some cases the person named has coined the law -- such as Parkinson's law. In others, the work or publications of the individual have led to the law being so named -- as is the case with Moore's law. There are also laws ascribed to individuals by others, such as Murphy's law; or given eponymous names despite the absence of the named person.


Hanlon's razor -- A corollary of Finagle's law, and a play on Occam's razor, normally taking the form, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." As with Finagle, possibly not strictly eponymous. Alternatively, "Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence."

Hartley's law -- a way to quantify information and its line rate in an analog communications channel. Named for Ralph Hartley (1888-1970).

Hauser's law -- empirical observation about U.S. tax receipts as a percentage of GDP, theorized to be a natural equilibrium.

Hawthorne effect -- A form of reactivity whereby subjects improve an aspect of their behavior being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they are being studied. Named after Hawthorne Works.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle -- States that one cannot measure values (with arbitrary precision) of certain conjugate quantities, which are pairs of observables of a single elementary particle. The most familiar of these pairs is position and momentum.

Hebb's law -- "Neurons that fire together wire together."

Henry's law -- The mass of a gas that dissolves in a definite volume of liquid is directly proportional to the pressure of the gas provided the gas does not react with the solvent.

Herblock's law -- "If it's good, they'll stop making it." Possibly coined by Herbert Lawrence Block, whose pen name was Herblock.

Hick's law -- In psychology, the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has.

Hofstadter's law -- "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law." It was created by Douglas Hofstadter in his book Godel, Escher, Bach.

Hooke's law -- The tension on a spring or other elastic object is proportional to the displacement from the equilibrium. Frequently cited in Latin as "Ut tensio sic vis." Named after Robert Hooke (1635-1703).

Hotelling's law in economics -- Under some conditions, it is rational for competitors to make their products as nearly identical as possible.

Hubble's law -- Galaxies recede from an observer at a rate proportional to their distance to that observer. Formulated by Edwin Hubble in 1929.

Hutber's law -- "Improvement means deterioration." Coined by financial journalist Patrick Hutber.

Hume's law -- In meta-ethics, the assertion that normative statements cannot be deduced exclusively from descriptive statements.

Isaac Bonewits's laws of magic -- "Laws" synthesized from a multitude of belief systems from around the world, collected in order to explain and categorize magical beliefs within a cohesive framework, by Isaac Bonewits.

Kepler's laws of planetary motion -- Describe the motion of the planets around the sun. First articulated by Johannes Kepler.

Kerckhoffs' principle of secure cryptography -- A cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge.

Keynes's law -- Demand creates its own supply.

Kirchhoff's laws -- One law in thermodynamics and two about electrical circuits, named after Gustav Kirchhoff.

Kopp's law -- The molecular heat capacity of a solid compound is the sum of the atomic heat capacities of the elements composing it. Named for Hermann Franz Moritz Kopp.

Kranzberg's first law of technology -- Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.

Leibniz's law -- A principle in metaphysics also known as the Identity of Indiscernibles. It states: "If two objects have all their properties in common, then they are one and the same object."

Lenz's law -- An induced current is always in such a direction as to oppose the motion or change causing it.

Linus' law -- "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." Named for Linus Torvalds.

Little's law -- In queuing theory, "The average number of customers in a stable system (over some time interval) is equal to their average arrival rate, multiplied by their average time in the system." The law was named for John Little from results of experiments in 1961.

Littlewood's law -- States that individuals can expect miracles to happen to them, at the rate of about one per month. Coined by Professor J E Littlewood, (1885-1977).

Lotka's law -- In infometrics, states that the number of authors publishing a certain number of articles is a fixed ratio to the number of authors publishing a single article. As the number of articles published increases, authors producing that many publications become less frequent. For example, there may be 1/4 as many authors publishing two articles within a specified time period as there are single-publication authors, 1/9 as many publishing three articles, 1/16 as many publishing four articles, etc. Though the law itself covers many disciplines, the actual ratios involved are very discipline-specific.

Marconi's law -- An empirical law that relates radio communication distance to antenna tower height

Meadow's law -- A precept, now discredited, that since cot deaths are so rare, "One is a tragedy, two is suspicious and three is murder, until proved otherwise." It was named for Sir Roy Meadow, a discredited paediatrician prominent in the United Kingdom in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

Metcalfe's law -- In communications and network theory, states that the value of a system grows as approximately the square of the number of users of the system. Framed by Robert Metcalfe in the context of ethernet.

Moore's law -- An empirical observation stating that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every 24 months. Outlined in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel.

Murphy's law -- "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Ascribed to Edward A. Murphy, Jr.


Week of July 22, 2013

Eponymous Laws (continued)

This list of eponymous laws provides links to articles on laws, adages, and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person. In some cases the person named has coined the law -- such as Parkinson's law. In others, the work or publications of the individual have led to the law being so named -- as is the case with Moore's law. There are also laws ascribed to individuals by others, such as Murphy's law; or given eponymous names despite the absence of the named person.

Notable: Roemer's Law


Newton's law of cooling -- The rate of cooling (or heating) of a body due to convection is proportional to the difference between the body temperature and the ambient temperature.

Newton's laws of motion -- In physics, three scientific laws concerning the behavior of moving bodies, which are fundamental to classical mechanics (and since Einstein, which are valid only within inertial reference frames). Discovered and stated by Isaac Newton (1643-1727), they can be formulated, in modern terms, as follows:

o    First law: "A body remains at rest, or keeps moving in a straight line (at a constant velocity), unless acted upon by a net outside force."

o    Second law: "The acceleration of an object of constant mass is proportional to the net force acting upon it."

o    Third law: "Whenever one body exerts a force upon a second body, the second body exerts an equal and opposite force upon the first body."

Niven's laws:  -- "If the universe of discourse permits the possibility of time travel and of changing the past, then no time machine will be invented in that universe."

Nyquist Rate -- The minimum sampling rate required to avoid aliasing, equal to twice the highest frequency contained within the signal. Named after Harry Nyquist.

Occam's razor -- States that explanations should never multiply causes without necessity. ("Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.") When two explanations are offered for a phenomenon, the simplest full explanation is preferable. Named after William of Ockham (ca.1285-1349).

Ohm's law -- In physics, states that the ratio of the potential difference (or voltage drop) between the ends of a conductor (and resistor) to the current flowing through it is a constant, provided the temperature also does not change. Discovered and named after Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854).

Okun's law -- In economics, this refers to the trend that every time unemployment increases by 1%, a 2% decrease in the annual GDP occurs.

Orgel's Rules -- In evolutionary biology, a set of axioms attributed to the evolutionary biologist Leslie Orgel.

o    First rule: "Whenever a spontaneous process is too slow or too inefficient a protein will evolve to speed it up or make it more efficient."

o    Second rule: "Evolution is cleverer than you are."

Pareto optimality -- Given an initial allocation of goods among a set of individuals, a change to a different allocation that makes at least one individual better off without making any other individual worse off is called a Pareto improvement. An allocation is defined as "Pareto efficient" or "Pareto optimal" when no further Pareto improvements can be made.

Pareto principle -- States that for many phenomena 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes. Named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, but framed by management thinker Joseph M. Juran.

Parkinson's law -- "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Coined by C. Northcote Parkinson (1909-1993), who also coined its corollary, "Expenditure rises to meet income." In computers: Programs expand to fill all available memory.

 Peter Principle -- "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." Coined by Dr. Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990) in his book The Peter Principle. In his follow-up book, The Peter Prescription, he offered possible solutions to the problems his Principle could cause.

Planck's law -- In physics, given a black body at a given temperature, describes the spectral radiance of the object. After Max Planck.

Poe's law (poetry) -- There is a maximum desirable length for poems: "The unit of poetry must be fixed by the reader's capacity of attention, and ... the limits of a poem must accord with the limits of a single movement of intellectual apprehension and emotional exaltation," named for Edgar Allan Poe See "The Philosophy of Composition".

Poe's law (religious fundamentalism) -- "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing." named after Nathan Poe who formulated it on the Web site Christian Forums in 2005. Although it originally referred to creationism, the scope later widened to religious fundamentalism.

Poisson's law of large numbers -- For independent random variables with a common distribution, the average value for a sample tends to the mean as sample size increases. Named after Simeon-Denis Poisson (1781-1840) and derived from "Recherches sur la probabilite des jugements en matiere criminelle et en matiere civile" (1837; "Research on the Probability of Criminal and Civil Verdicts").

Postel's law -- Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others. Derived from RFC 761 (Transmission Control Protocol, 1980) in which Jon Postel summarized earlier communications of desired interoperability criteria for the Internet Protocol (cf. IEN 111)

Premack's principle -- More probable behaviors will reinforce less probable behaviors. Named by David Premack (1925 - ) [Roeckelein, Dictionary of Theories, Laws, and Concepts in Psychology, Greenwood, 1998 ISBN 0-313-30460-2 548 pages page 384]

Raoult's law -- In chemistry, Raoult's law states that the vapor pressure of mixed liquids is dependent on the vapor pressures of the individual liquids and the molar vulgar fraction of each present in solution.

Reed's law -- The assertion of David P. Reed that the utility of large networks, particularly social networks, can scale exponentially with the size of the network.

Reilly's law of retail gravitation -- People generally patronize the largest mall in the area.

Roemer's law -- A hospital bed built is a bed filled.

Rothbard's law -- Everyone specializes in his own area of weakness.

Sarnoff's law -- The value of a broadcast network is proportional to the number of viewers.

Say's law -- Attributed to economist Jean-Baptiste Say and contrasted to Keynes' law (discussed hereinbefore), saying that "supply creates its own demand", i.e., if businesses produce more output in a free market economy, the wages and other payment for productive inputs will provide sufficient demand so that there is no general glut.

Sayre's law -- "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue." By way of corollary, the law adds: "That is why academic politics are so bitter."

Schneier's law -- "Any person can invent a security system so clever that she or he can't think of how to break it."

Segal's law -- "A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

Shermer's last law -- A corollary of Clarke's three laws, it states that "Any sufficiently advanced alien intelligence is indistinguishable from God." Originally posited in Michael Shermer's "Skeptic" column in the Jan 2002 issue of Scientific American.

Skitt's law -- A corollary of Muphry's law, variously expressed as, "Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself," or, "The likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster."

Smeed's law -- An empirical rule relating traffic fatalities to traffic congestion as measured by the proxy of motor vehicle registrations and country population. After R. J. Smeed

Snell's law -- The simple formula used to calculate the refraction of light when travelling between two media of differing refractive index. It is named after one of its discoverers, Dutch mathematician Willebrord van Roijen Snell (1580-1626).

Sowa's law of standards -- "Whenever a major organization develops a new system as an official standard for X, the primary result is the widespread adoption of some simpler system as a de facto standard for X."

Stang's law -- A Proto-Indo-European phonological rule named after Norwegian linguist Christian Stang. The law governs the word-final sequences of a vowel, followed by a laryngeal or a semivowel */y/ or */w/, followed by a nasal, and according to the law those sequences are simplified in a way that laryngeals and semivowels are dropped, with compensatory lengthening of a preceding vowel.

Stefan-Boltzmann law -- The total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body in unit time is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body's thermodynamic temperature. Named for Jozef Stefan (1835-1893) and Ludwig Boltzmann.

Stein's law -- If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. If a trend cannot go on forever, there is no need for action or a program to make it stop, much less to make it stop immediately; it will stop of its own accord.

Stevens' power law -- In physics, this law relates the intensity of a stimulus to its perceived strength. It supersedes the Weber-Fechner law, since it can describe a wider range of sensations. The theory is named after its inventor, S. Smith Stevens (1906-1973).

Stigler's law -- No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer, named by statistician Stephen Stigler who attributes it to sociologist Robert K. Merton, making the law self-referential.

Stokes' law -- An expression for the frictional force exerted on spherical objects with very small Reynolds numbers, named for George Gabriel Stokes, (1819-1903)

Sturgeon's law -- "Nothing is always absolutely so." Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985).

Sturgeon's revelation -- "90 percent of everything is crud." The last word is often misquoted as "crap".

Sutton's law -- "Go where the money is". Often cited in medical schools to teach new doctors to spend resources where they are most likely to pay off. The law is named after bank robber Willie Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks, is claimed to have answered "Because that's where the money is."


Week of July 15, 2013

Eponymous Laws

This list of eponymous laws provides links to articles on laws, adages, and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person. In some cases the person named has coined the law -- such as Parkinson's law. In others, the work or publications of the individual have led to the law being so named -- as is the case with Moore's law. There are also laws ascribed to individuals by others, such as Murphy's law; or given eponymous names despite the absence of the named person.


Thomas theorem -- "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences," a social law as far as there are any. (After W.I. Thomas and D.S. Thomas.)

Tobler's first law of geography -- "Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things." Coined by Waldo R. Tobler (b.1930).

Tully-Fisher relation -- Stated by R. Brent Tully and J. Richard Fisher, relates the intrinsic luminosity of a galaxy to its velocity width.

Verdoorn's law -- In economics, this law pertains to the relationship between the growth of output and the growth of productivity. According to the law, faster growth in output increases productivity due to increasing returns. Named after Dutch economist, Petrus Johannes Verdoorn.

Verner's law -- Stated by Karl Verner in 1875, Verner's law describes a historical sound change in the Proto-Germanic language whereby voiceless fricatives *f, *p, *s and *x, when immediately following an unstressed syllable in the same word, underwent voicing and became respectively *b, *d, *z and *g.

Wagner's law predicts that the development of an industrial economy will be accompanied by an increased share of public expenditure in gross national product, and is named after the German economist Adolph Wagner (1835-1917).

Weber-Fechner law -- This law named after the Germans Ernst Heinrich Weber and Gustav Theodor Fechner attempts to describe the human perception of various physical stimuli. In most cases, Stevens' power law gives a more accurate description.

Wike's law of low odd primes -- "If the number of experimental treatments is a low odd prime number, then the experimental design is unbalanced and partially confounded." (Wike, 1973, pp. 192-193)

Wirth's law -- Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.

Wolff's law -- Bone adapts to pressure, or a lack of it. A broken bone is stronger once repaired.

Zawinski's law -- Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

Zipf's law -- In linguistics, the observation that the frequency of use of the nth-most-frequently-used word in any natural language is approximately inversely proportional to n, or, more simply, that a few words are used very often, but many or most are used rarely. Named after George Kingsley Zipf (1902-1950), whose statistical body of research led to the observation. More generally, the term Zipf's law refers to the probability distributions involved, which are applied by statisticians not only to linguistics but also to fields remote from that.


Week of July 8, 2013

Legal Trivia

The greatest known attendance at any trial was of Major Jesus Sosa Blanco, accused of 108 murders. At one point in the 12.5 hour trial (5:30 pm to 6:00 am, Jan 22-23, 1959) 17,000 people were present in the Havana Sports Palace in Cuba. Blanco was executed on Feb 18, 1959.

The longest lease on record is for 10 MILLION years for a plot for a sewage tank adjoining Columb Barracks, Ireland, signed Dec. 3, 1888. It is rumored that it has a renewal option clause.

The longest will on record consists of four bound volumes containing 95,540 words. The will was for Mrs. Frederica Evelyn Stillwell Cook, proved on November 2, 1925 at Somerset House in London. 

The youngest known judge was David Ward, who had to wait until he turned 21 before taking office in 1932 as judge of the County Court in Fort Myers, Florida.

Mrs. Anne Bass, former wife of Sid Bass of Texas was reported to have turned down $535 million as an alimony settlement because she argued it was inadequate to live in the lifestyle to which she had been made accustomed.

The largest alimony claim on record was $3 BILLION by Deanna Al-Faso, a Belgian, against Sheik Mohammed Al-Faso of Saudi Arabia.  Her lawyer was Marvin Mitchelson. When they settled for $81 million, she declared herself "very, very happy" --  if she could collect the money. It is not known if she did.

Next time a criminal defendant complains that the bail is too high, explain to him that two suspected drug dealers in Suffolk Country had bail set on May 14th, 1986, at $1 BILLION each. The judge was quoted as saying "They're not going to be handled with kid gloves anymore." They were alleged to be smuggling $24 MILLION worth of cocaine into the US every month.



Week of July 1, 2013

Lawyer versus Lawyer (part 2)

The two partners in a law firm were having lunch when suddenly one of them jumped up and said, "I have to go back to the office -- I forgot to lock the safe!"  The other partner replied, "What are you worried about?  We're both here."

John and Joe had been law partners for many years, sharing everything, most especially the affections of their libidinous secretary, Rose.  One morning, an agitated John came to Joe with the bad news, "Rose is pregnant!  We're going to be a father!" 

Joe, the more reserved of the two, calmed his partner and reminded him that things could be much worse.  They were both well-off, and could easily afford the costs of raising the child.  Rose would have the best care available, her child would attend only the finest schools, and neither would want for anything.  The child would have the benefit of having two fathers, both of which were caring and well-educated.  Gradually, John got used to the idea of fatherhood.  When the big day came, both were at the hospital awaiting the news of their offspring's birth.  Finally, John could take no more and went outside to take a walk. When he returned an hour later, Joe had the news.  "We had twins," said Joe, "and mine died." 


Law firm up and/or out structures where young associates are evaluated at various stages in the "partnership track" to weed out those who will not make partner have been the subject of a great deal of comment and increasing scrutiny.  The process is reported increasingly "vicious" and competition has resulted in some particularly interesting evaluations.  -- Among some of the comments extracted from these mentoring sessions --

-- "Since my last report, this associate has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."

-- "His fellow associates would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity."

-- "I would not allow this associate to breed."

-- "This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't be."

-- "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

-- "When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there."

-- "He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."

-- "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

-- "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

-- "This associate is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."

--  "This associate should go far - and the sooner he starts, the better."



One morning at the law office, one attorney looked at the other and said, "Wow, you look really terrible this morning."  The other lawyer replied, "Yeah, I woke up with a headache this morning and, no matter what I try, I can't seem to get rid of it."  The first lawyer told him, "Whenever I get a headache like that, I take a few hours off during the day, go home, and make love to my wife.  Works every time for me." 

Later that afternoon, the two lawyers met again.  The first told the second, "You know, you look 100% better than this morning."  The second replied, "Yeah, that was great advice you gave me.  You've got a beautiful house, too."


Week of June 24, 2013

Lawyer versus Lawyer

Pete and Jerry had been law partners for many years.  One day, Pete fell ill, and grew progressively worse.  Medical specialists were called in from the world over, but no one could diagnose Pete's illness.  The only thing that seemed certain was that Pete's death was imminent.  As Pete lay in his last hours, he felt obligated to reveal a few secrets to Jerry.  "You know that million dollar settlement we got from Morgan last year?  I never told you this, but it was really three million.  I kept the other two million, and eventually gambled it away.  Can you forgive me?"

Jerry said that he would, without question.  Pete then told him, "Well, you remember when your wife divorced you and got the big alimony judgment?  It was me that gave her the inside information on your finances.  I had been screwing her for years.  How can you forgive me?"

Jerry told his friend, once again, that it was forgotten.  After Pete had told of several other transgressions, all of which Jerry forgave, Pete began to look at Jerry as saintly.  "How can you be so forgiving, after the way I have cheated and lied to you for so many years?"

Jerry answered,  "For two reasons, Pete.  First, because you will soon be dead, and there's no reason to hate you in the grave.  And, secondly, because I poisoned you."

A lawyer calls an associate, at another office, and tells him, "Gee, one of your clients was just here, and was HE hopping mad!   He said he's on his way to your office with a .357 Magnum, and it sounded like he means business!    Anyway, that's not the reason I called...."


Two lawyers when a knotty case was o'er,

Shook hands, and were as friendly as before.

Said the client, "Tell me how

You can be friends, who fought just now."

"Thou fool!" said one. "We lawyers, though so keen,

Like shears, ne'er cut ourselves, but what's between."


         --Burl Ives



Two lawyers, a criminal litigator and an Intellectual Property lawyer, are sitting next to each other on a long flight from LA to NY.  The litigator leans over to the property lawyer and asks if she would like to play a fun game.  The property lawyer just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.   The litigator persists and explains that the game is real easy and a lotta fun.

He explains "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5.  Then you ask me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $5."

Again, the property lawyer politely declines and tries to get to sleep.

The litigator, now somewhat agitated, says, "OK, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $50!" This catches the intellectual property lawyer's attention, and she sees no end to this torment unless she plays, so she agrees to the game.

The litigator asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The property lawyer doesn't say a word, but reaches into her purse, pulls out a five-dollar bill and hands it to the litigator.

Now, it's the intellectual property lawyer's turn.  She asks the litigator "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?"

The litigator looks up at her with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references.  He taps into the Airphone with his modem and searches the net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his co-workers - all to no avail.

After about an hour, he wakes the intellectual property lawyer and hands her $50.

The property lawyer politely takes the $50 and turns away to try to get back to sleep.

The litigator, more than a little miffed, shakes the intellectual property lawyer and asks "Well, so what's the answer?"

Without a word, she reaches into her purse and hands him $5.

Week of June 17, 2013

A Taste of Lawyer

A man wanted a big, ferocious dog to protect his business, so he visited a kennel that specializes in attack dogs. The man explained to the kennel owner that he wanted the biggest, meanest, most vicious dog in the kennel, and the owner offered to take the man on a tour of the premises.

After they had been walking for a few minutes, they came upon a large dog. He was snarling loudly and biting and clawing at the cage. "He looks like he'd be a pretty good attack dog," said the buyer. "Well, he's not bad," replied the owner, "but I have something better in mind for you."

They continued walking around the premises, and after a while they found an even larger, meaner dog than the first. He snarled at the two men and tried to bite them through the wire on his cage.

"Ah," said the buyer. "This must be the dog you were referring to earlier."

"Well, no." said the owner. "I have something better in mind for you." The men continued their tour. Eventually, they came upon a fairly large dog that was lying quietly on his side, licking his butt. He did not seem to notice as the men approached. "This is the dog I had in mind for you," said the owner.

The buyer was flabbergasted. "You're joking!" he exclaimed. "This dog seems quite tame; he doesn't act at all like an attack dog at all. Hell, he's just lying there, licking his ass!"

"I know, I know," said the owner. "But you see, he just ate a lawyer, and he's trying to get the taste out of his mouth."


And a  Variation ...

It seems Simba the Lion King was sitting on a rock surveying his realm when he noticed Pasha, a tiger, following an elephant along a jungle path.  It seems the elephant was in the process in dropping some elephant turds... and Pasha was seen gobbling each of them up.

"That's disgusting," called Simba, "why are you eating elephant turds?"

Pasha called back, "Well this morning I ate an attorney, and I'm still trying to get the taste out of my mouth!."




What did the cannibal do at his wedding? Toast his attorney ...



Week of June 10, 2013


(Both Sides, win a few, lose  a few)

Two doctors were discussing a case in the psych ward.  The first doc asked what had triggered such a profound depressive psychosis in the patient.  The second one answered, "He's a lawyer.  One day at home,  he started to think about how much money he'd screwed his partners and clients out of over the last few years.  He laughed so hard he defecated in his pants.  When he smelled the foul odor he had created, he checked for the source.  Finding his trousers full of the stuff, he thought he was leaking.  This caused him to go into shock and faint.  When he woke up, he found he had fallen on his arm, breaking it."   The first doc asked,  "He went mad because he broke an arm?"   The second medico answered,  "No, he went mad because he couldn't figure out how to sue himself!"


During cross-examination of a coroner at a murder trial, the defense attorney asked, "Did you take the victim's pulse before you pronounced him dead?"

Coroner: "No."

Defense Attorney: "Did you check his breathing?"

Coroner: "No."

Defense Attorney: "So you didn't make any of the usual tests to be sure the man was dead?"

Coroner: "Look at it this way: All I had to examine was a brain in a jar, but for all I know, he may still be out there somewhere practicing law."


One of the questions from the career placement test given graduating seniors at top universities nationwide:

"Rearrange the letters P N E S I to spell out a word.

Those who spell the word “spine” become doctors; those that spell “pines” become biologists; those that spell “snipe” go into the military ... the rest go to law school.


Overheard at a physician's office: "The doctor is in the courtroom on Tuesdays and Wednesdays."


A minister, a doctor and a lawyer wound up at the pearly gates.  The minister was the first to arrive, St. Peter asked him why he was there, "Why should you come into heaven? ... How have you come to deserve this?" ...  "Well," answered the man of God,  "I am a minister, I have watched over the souls God has entrusted to me and I have cared for them in times of sadness and pain and I have celebrated with them in times of joy...."    St. Peter was truly impressed, "But have you no sins, no adultery?" he asked...    "Of course not, I am an MINISTER" ... "Well then", said St. Peter, "welcome to heaven, take this brand new Mercedes, drive the heavenly highway and good fortune to you."....

The second to arrive was the doctor, St. Peter asked him why he was there, "Why should you come into heaven? ....   How have you come to deserve this?".... "I am a physician," answered the good doctor, "I save the dying, I heal the sick, and those I can not save or heal... I help to die with dignity."....  St. Peter was truly impressed, "But have you no sins, no adultery?"....  "Well, I am a PHYSICIAN and so, I am sometimes exposed to temptation and I must admit I have strayed on three occasions," answered the doctor. "Well then", said St. Peter, "the good outweighs the bad acts of your life; welcome to heaven, take this brand new Buick, drive the heavenly highway and good fortune to you."....

Finally the attorney arrived, St. Peter asked him why he was there, "Why should you come into heaven? ....  How have you come to deserve this?"...   "Well I am an ATTORNEY," said the barrister,"... and I try to help people in times of need.  I've been an advocate for their liberties and their freedoms and I have always tried to speak out against injustice"....  St. Peter was truly impressed, "But have you no sins, no adultery?"....  "Yeah, you bet, every chance I got," answered the lawyer. ....  "Well then," said St. Peter, " the good in your live barely outweighs the bad acts of your life -- but even so you are welcome to heaven, take this late model VW, drive the heavenly highway and good fortune to you"....

The attorney was driving along when he suddenly overtook the Buick, which was pulled to the side of the road...the lawyer got out yelling, “Everybody OK, what happened, anybody need a lawyer? Accident? We’ll sue the b***rds!"  But he found the physician lying on the front seat of the car, crying his eyes out.  "Pull yourself together man, what is wrong with you?" said the attorney.”  The physician looked up and through tear-filled eyes said, "Well you know the system around here.".... the lawyer  nodded yes, "Well",  continued the physician, "I just saw my wife --   she was on a skateboard"......


You know what they say about orthopedic surgeons --

Strong as an ox and twice as smart!!


"Internists know everything and do nothing ...

Surgeons know nothing and do everything ...

Psychiatrists know nothing and do nothing and

Pathologists know everything, but a day too late.


Overheard:   "Our whole family follows the medical profession very closely," said the young student to his teacher, "They're all lawyers!"




Week of June 3, 2013


Funkhouser's Law of the Media: The quality of legislation passed to deal with a problem is inversely proportional to the volume of media clamor that brought it about.

                Originally attributed to G. Ray Funkhouser, Ph.D., Field Research Corp., San Francisco

Jacquin's Postulate on Democratic Governments: No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

              Author: attributed to Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) 1866 ... but named for Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, a Dutch physician, 1727-1817


Knowle's Laws of Legislative Deliberation: The length of debate varies inversely with the complexity of the issue.  Corollary: When the issue is simple, the debate is interminable.

            From Robert Knowles, origin, Unknown


Mencken's Law: Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel.


H.L. Mencken.  Joe Goulden, writer and student of Mencken, reports that this appeared in Mencken's Newspaper Days  as "Mencken's Law", but that it was derived from the "the Law of the Forgotten Man," found in:  The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over, The Forum , XVII, 1894, by the Social Darwinist William Graham Sumner, to wit, "When A and B join to make the law to help X, their law always proposes to decide what C shall do for X, and C is the Forgotten Man."  Goulden adds that Mencken had another version that concludes " . . . A is a scoundrel, and should be briskly clubbed."  Still another version appeared in a James J. Kilpatrick column where it was entitled "Mencken's Working Hypothesis of the Legislative Process" and was stated as follows: "Whenever A attempts by law to impose moral standards on B, A is most likely a scoundrel."


Parliamentary Rules for the Interpretation of Law

                (1) Always avoid reading the preamble, which is likely to confuse rather than enlighten.  It sets forth not what the act is to do, but what it undoes, and confuses you with what the law was instead of telling you what it is to be.   

                (2) When you come to a very long clause, skip it altogether, for it is sure to be unintelligible.  If you try to attach one meaning to it, the lawyers are sure to attach another; and, therefore, if you are desirous of obeying an act of Parliament, it will be safer not to look at it, but wait until a few contrary decisions have been come to, and then act upon the latest.   

                (3) When any clause says either one thing or the other shall be right, you may be sure that both will be wrong.

                From Comic Anthology, edited by Thomas Yoseloff. New York, 1963.


Rhode's Law:  When any principle, law, tenet, probability, happening, circumstance, or result can in no way be directly, indirectly, empirically, or circuitously proven, derived, implied, inferred, induced, deducted, estimated, or scientifically guessed, it will always for the purpose of convenience, expediency, political advantage, material gain, or personal comfort, or any combination of the above, or none of the above, be unilaterally and unequivocally assumed, proclaimed, and adhered to as absolute truth to be undeniably, universally, immutably, and infinitely so, until such time as it becomes advantageous to assume otherwise, maybe.


Just a Thought:

Isn't lawyers making laws a little too much like having doctors make diseases.


Week of May 27, 2013


A big shot Wall Street lawyer phoned home to his Long Island mansion one morning, and a woman with a strange voice answered.

"Are you the new maid?" he asks.

"Yes, I am," the woman replies.

"Would you call my wife to the phone, please?" says the lawyer.

"She can't speak right now," says the maid. "She is up in the bedroom... she’s uh... she's uh..."

"Come on, out with it, woman," says the lawyer. "I haven't got all day. What the heck is she doing?"
"She's having sex with the guy who lives next door," replies the maid.

The lawyer thinks for a moment then says, "Okay. here's what I want you to do. Sneak upstairs, go into my den and look in the bottom drawer of my desk. There you'll find my Colt .45 handgun. Take the gun and go into the bedroom and shoot them both dead. I'm a hotshot lawyer. I'll get you off scot-free, no doubt about it. And I'll make sure that you are very well rewarded for your trouble."

The maid agrees to follow his instructions. A few minutes later, the lawyer hears several loud gunshots followed by dead silence. Then the maid comes back to the phone and says, "It's done. Now what should I do?"

"Okay," says the lawyer. "Now I want you to go back upstairs and throw them in the swimming pool."

"What swimming pool?" replies the maid.
"Uh-oh..." says the lawyer. "Is this (555) 765-1020?"

The Top 9 Excuses Given by Recently Disbarred Lawyers      


 9. How was I supposed to know acting ethically was against the ethics rules?

 8. Hey, it's not like your client was going to change her mind about the divorce whether you slept with her or not.

 7. I didn't return any client calls for six months because my answering machine was broken. And my secretary is an airhead. And no one else in the office picks up the phone. And I was sick that year, but have recently accepted Jesus as my personal savior.

 6. The paralegals were out to get me.

 5. I stole that money on my own time; I shouldn't have to share it with my partners.

 4. I could have sworn my torts textbook had a chapter outlining proper jury bribing.

 3. The dog ate my ethics.

 2. I wanted to be among the majority of Americans who daily practice law without a license.


    and the Number 1 Excuse Given by Recently Disbarred Lawyers...


 1. Who's got time to read ethics guidelines with only 47 billable hours in a day?


... and finally just a really, really dumb lawyer ...

Joe was a successful lawyer in his 30's.  He had a booming corporate practice, a good home, a loving wife and children.  In fact, only one thing darkened his skies; he had back pains.   These pains had been going on for a number of years and, despite all the doctors' advice and treatment, had grown increasingly worse.  Finally Joe is referred to a specialist who runs some tests on him.  The specialist tells him, "You have a rare condition where your testicles have receded up into your body and are pressing against your spine, giving you one hell of a backache."

"What can be done?" asks Joe.

"The only treatment for this is to remove your testicles."

Well, Joe is quite taken aback with this advice, but - after talking it over with is wife - agrees that it is an acceptable price to pay for relief of the backaches.

So, the day arrives and the operation is performed.  Afterward, when he is back on his feet, Joe is feeling depressed, in spite of the fact that his backaches are now gone.  He doesn't feel much like a man any more.

To ease his distress, he decides to go to the clothing store and treat himself to something nice to wear.  He goes in and is greeted by the salesman who asks what he desires.

"I'd like to look at a new coat."

"Certainly, sir.  You'd be a 44 long."

"That's right!  How did you know?"

"It's my job.  Now, how about a nice pair of pants to go with it?"


"That would be a 33 medium."

"Right again!  How did you know?"

"It's my job.  And now, can I interest you in a shirt to compliment the coat and pants?"

"OK.  What size am I?"

"A medium, with a 16" neck."

"That's amazing!  You're right again."

"Just my job, sir.  How about some shoes?  You'd be a size 11D"

"Wow!  Right again!  Sure."  By now Joe is feeling better.

Then the salesman suggests some new underwear to go with the new suit. "Your pants are a size 36."

"Nope," says Joe, "I'm a size 34."

"Oh no, sir.  You're a 36."

"No, no.  I've been a size 34 since I was 18."

The salesman looks distressed, but insists, "You are a size 36.  If you wore a size 34, your testicles would be pressed up into your body and would give you one hell of a backache.


Week of May 20, 2013

Lawyer/Legal Proverbs (10)


Home is home, as the devil said when he found himself in the Court of Session.



Lawyers and soldiers are the devil's playmates.



A lawyer's opinion is worth nothing unless paid for.



A good lawyer, an evil neighbor.

English, French, Spanish


A client twixt his attorney and counselor is like a goose twixt two foxes.



Preachers purge the conscience, doctors the body, lawyers the purse.



The better lawyer, the worse Christian.



Go to law for a sheep and lose your cow.



A lawyer and a wagon-wheel must be well greased.



New laws are followed by new tricks.




Week of May 13, 2013

But First There is Law School

Law School Admission Form

Sue U. University


Law School for the Ethically Disadvantaged

666 Ambulance Chase

Sue Sainte Marie, Michigan


Applicant Type:

[ ] ethically disadvantaged

[ ] disbarred

[ ] kicked out of other law school

[ ] bribe enclosed

[ ] regular (give us a break)




Cell #:____________________


a) Please submit documents indicating your ethical disadvantage

(i.e., acquittals, newspaper cuttings, prison or parole records, etc.):




b) Identify the years when your ethical disadvantage adversely affected your

academic achievements (i.e. time served, time on the lam, etc.):




c) Please give lack-of-character references (i.e., defaulted creditors,

probation officer, arresting police officer, sentencing judge, etc.):





Course Calendar


Legal Ethics: Canceled due to lack of interest.

Soviet Law Reform: Canceled.

Tort Law: Sue the bastards!

Military Law: Bang!

Entertainment Law: Snort!

Law of the Seas: Barf!

Taxation Law: Zzz...

Criminal Law: Plead the Fifth!

Immigration Law: Spam the net!

Environmental Law: Cough, Couch, Hack!




Richard Milhous Nixon Memorial Award: Awarded to the law student who has stolen the most final law exams without getting caught.


Enron & Crooks Entrance Scholarship: Token scholarship awarded by mega-law firm to keep a high business profile in the academic community while obtaining a tax break at the same time.


Cancer & Seagull Spam Award: Awarded to the law student who disrupts Internet the most on a global scale.


Please note that the above scholarships are based on Financial Greed.




George Dubya Bush Attendance Award: Awarded to the student who manages not to attend the most classes and still get credit for his work.


William Jefferson Clinton Morality Award: Awarded for obvious reasons



When applying to medical school, prospective doctors must show that they are caring and compassionate. This is so the medical school will be able to measure its progress as it erases these qualities.


This also explains why applicants to law school must prove that they are honest.


Anonymously written on a law school wall:

"n law school, time is meaningless; but in time, law school is meaningless."


Law School: A course of study described as being very difficult, but apparently not difficult enough to stop over 1 million predators from becoming lawyers.


Where do vampires learn to suck blood?

... Law school.


10. Materials needed for Torts 101 include and apron and a spoon.

9.  If you last the entire eight weeks, Sally Struthers will personally sign your diploma.

8.  Admissions test, found on the back of a matchbook, requires you to draw two Marcia Clark briefs.

7.  The dean once failed to get James Earl Jones off on a charge that "he talks like a sissy."

6.  Professors always accept the 5th Amendment as an excuse for not turning in assignments.

5.  Every question is answered with, "You can't handle the truth!"

4.  Daily classes consist of three hours chasing a little metal ambulance around a dog track.

3.  In a mock trial, the judge sentences you to a "spanking."

2.  Your roommate is on a "John Gotti" scholarship.

1.  The white wig and black robes may be traditional, but there's no explaining the lipstick, garter belts and high heels.


Week of May 6, 2013

"A More Feminine Practice of Law"

(... and a True Story)

                Evidence that I am growing older, but hopefully more experienced in the practice of law, came to me one day when I found myself appearing in Federal District Court to argue against a young female attorney who had spent her first two years as an associate in my office.  Later, she had left to join a large big city law firm, but we had maintained close ties.  It was to be her very first solo courtroom argument and she was naturally quite nervous, especially in coming up against her former mentor and an experienced "old hand" such as myself.

                Without compromising my client's position, I tried to reassure her that her written briefs were excellent and that she had a strong legal case from which to formulate her argument.  "You will do a wonderful job," I assured her -- [After all I was responsible for much of her training.]

                And a wonderful job she did -- although sitting near her during her argument I could detect the telltale signs of a slightly trembling lectern and a warble in her voice when the judge asked her a few pointed questions.  Finally, the argument was completed.  The judge left the bench as we stood at our tables.    I turned to her and affectionately put out my arms and we embraced.  As we were still holding each other we both noticed that the judge had re-entered the courtroom, minus his robes and without the bailiff's fanfare.   He walked silently to the back of the courtroom.

                Opposing counsel and I quickly packed our briefcases and beat a hasty retreat to the hallway.  While waiting for the elevator, we were joined by the judge and his clerk.  We found ourselves riding eight floors to the courthouse lobby in awkward silence.  Just as the elevator doors were about to part, the judge turned to both of us and remarked.

                "You know, I've been on the bench for eighteen years and I've seen attorneys almost come to blows -- but that's the first time I've seen opposing counsel hug one another!"

Postscript -- My young opponent won her case!



"A More Feminine Practice of Law"

(and a True Story -- Part 2)

Once while I served as chief legal counsel to a medium-sized corporation, I was visiting the mid-town Manhattan offices of one of the law firms my company used.  Upon arriving, I left my name with the receptionist and had just taken a seat to await my appointment with a senior partner, when this young male associate ran out, mumbled something to the receptionist, grabbed my arm and began leading me back to the secretarial pool area.  At first I didn't realize what had happened but it soon became clear he had mistaken me for a temporary agency steno-typist (and me in my best Ann Taylor business suit!)

I decided to play along and soon found myself sitting at a computer terminal (I don't do DOS!) mumbling "what's this thinga-ma-jig for" when the senior partner found his way back to the steno area.   He was red-faced and very, very apologetic as he escorted me back to his corner office mumbling something about the young junior associate who would never make partner in the firm!

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall after I left as I saw the senior partner heading straight for this associate's  office.   In fact, the associate may have beaten me to the ground floor .... but of course, I took the elevator!

Did you hear about the lady lawyer whose elderly client tried to molest her ...

                   ... she had him hauled into court for assault with a dead weapon.



What's does a woman lawyer get if she sleeps with a judge?

                                ... An honorable discharge."



A father walks into a book store with his young son. The boy is holding a quarter. Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The father realizes the boy has swallowed the quarter and starts panicking, shouting for help. 
 A well dressed, attractive and serious looking woman, in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down, neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the book store. Reaching the boy, the woman carefully drops his pants; takes hold of the boy's testicles and starts to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever so firmly.
 After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the quarter, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand. Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the coin to the father and walks back to her seat in the coffee bar without saying a word. 
 As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor?"  
 "No," the woman replied. "Divorce attorney."


Week of April 29, 2013

Origins of Legalese

The Question is Posed:  "Is Legalese a non-English language?"

Actually, despite many cognates with English, Legalese is proof that lawyers are descended from the same wandering Asian tribes that eventually colonized the United States across the Bering Strait land-bridge.  Consider the following linguistic evidence, as documented from such authentic sources on Amerind culture as F-Troop and Bonanza (after all, they were only written approximately 75 years after the closing of the American frontier.  Heck, many of the descendants of the original tribes portrayed were still alive, thus lending credence to the veracity of the text.

                English                   Amerind                                       Legalese

                Person                  Someone-Come-Close                  Party-of-the-First-Part

                Contract                Paper-that-speak                          The-aforesaid-agreement

                Gun                       Bang-stick                                    Either of the following: Constitutionally                                                                                                   Protected Right or Dangerous weapon

Note that both the dialects of the lawyers and of Amerinds use several words to describe what English does in one word, thus, the languages are related, QED (Another legalese, but this looks like a loaner word from the math-geek tribe, which in fact did not originate in any known language group and may provide radical new proof of spontaneous generation.)

It is believed that the proto-Lawyers headed *west* instead of *east* like everyone else in the Universe, probably because they were engaged in litigation with the Scythians.  The Scythians attempted to evade the proto-lawyers by using aliases like 'Sarmations' (which lead to the Samaritans accidentally getting their junk mail due to a typo in the syro-aramaic) and building boats to flee to Finland.

This plan was ultimately foiled when the proto-lawyers (now going under the archaic name 'Barristers' from the Greek description of their talk: 'bar-bar' 'stir-stir') impounded their fleet (which had conveniently run aground in Crimea. Apparently, the Scythians were lousy navigators, but that is the subject of a different thread.)  The Barristers followed the Scythians to Scotland and Ireland, but ultimately settled in England where they could do contingency fee work for the Vikings in their ongoing quit claim action against the Angles and the Saxons (the Jutes were originally named but were dismissed due to lack of personal jurisdiction).

Here they established a matriarchal culture based on litigator-women who participated fully with men but, following their nurturing natures, tended to stay in mergers and acquisition work.  This culture was ultimately repressed by militant Christianity, as can be demonstrated by the fact that a higher rank than Barrister was created, baring the typically militaristic title of Searjant of Law.

The lawyers ultimately came to the North American continent on the Mayflower, having evicted a sufficient number of rats.   Here they were at last reunited with their ethnic brethren.

For more on legalese see:


Week of April 22, 2013

Tales of the Court ... a Few Judge Jokes


A lawyer went to Heaven after he dies, and was warmly welcomed by St. Peter. "We get so few of you around here, and each honest advocate is a pleasure." The lawyer, who had maintained a reputation for effectiveness as a plaintiff's lawyer before the Federal bar, was pleased, but still somewhat concerned.

"You know, St. Peter, I'm much happier up here than I would be, well, down there. But, after forty years practicing in Federal court, I never want to see a Federal judge again."

"Don't worry, son. Federal judges never make it up here."

After about two or three days in Heaven, the lawyer returned to St. Peter with a problem.

"St. Peter, I don't mean to complain, but I thought you said that Federal judges never made it to Heaven."

"They don't."

"Well, then, who is walking around up here wearing black robes with `Federal Judge' in neon letters across the back?"

"Oh, that's God. He just THINKS he's a Federal judge."



Two men were flying in a balloon and were blown off course, and became lost in clouds.  When they emerged, they had no idea where they were. Seeing a person down below, they descended and yelled, "Hey! Can you tell us where we are?"

"Sure," replied the man below.  "You're in a balloon!"

The pilot turned to his passenger, and said, "Great, this is Washington D.C.  We can catch a bus back home from here."

"But wait," said his passenger.  "How do you know that this is Washington?"

"Well, that was a Supreme Court Justice, so we can't be too far from the Supreme Court," replied the pilot.

"How do you know it was a Supreme Court Justice?" inquired the passenger.

"Well, it's simple: He answered my question; his answer was technically correct; and his answer was completely useless!"


An apocryphal urban legend ... probably more true than it should be: 

During the paneling of a prospective jury duty, one of the lawyers began right off as an intimidating showman, asking: "Do any of you here today dislike lawyers?"

Before the pause became too long, the presiding judge announced, "I do."

Television Invades the Courtroom


     Transcript: "Are all the TV cameramen here?"

"Yes, Your Honor."

"Is the lighting set?"

"Yes, Your Honor."

"Is the sound good?"

 "Yes, Your Honor."

"Good, Then let justice take its course."

Ginger, an elderly hooker, stood before newly elected Judge Green.  Her appeal for leniency was so convincing that the Judge had qualms about sentencing her.  He called a short recess and retired to chambers, where he called Judge Lewis, a wizened magistrate and a veteran of twenty years on the bench.  "Say, Martin," he asked, "what would you give a 60-year old prostitute?"

"Oh," said the learned jurist, "no more than ten dollars."

"That's a nasty looking bunch of customers you have to dispose of this morning, your Honor," remarked the new court stenographer.

The grizzled judge barely looked up from the papers he was reviewing.  "You're looking at the wrong bunch.  Those are the lawyers!"


After a first class neighborhood donnybrook had taken place in a Bronx apartment complex, about a dozen housewives were hauled into court on charges of disorderly conduct.  In a Babel of voices, each accused the others of causing the trouble in the building.  The judge, with Solomon-like wisdom, called for orderly testimony.

"I'll hear the oldest first," he decreed.

The case was dismissed for lack of evidence.



Week of April 15, 2013

... a few Tax Lawyer Jokes

In the men's room, a tax lawyer, a corporate bond lawyer and a legal aide lawyer were standing side by side using the urinal. The tax lawyer finished, zipped up and started washing and literally scrubbing his hands...clear up to his elbows... he used about 20 paper towels before he finished. He turned to the other two men and commented,  "I graduated from Harvard and they taught us to be sanitary." The corporate lawyer finished, zipped up and quickly wet the tips of his fingers, grabbed one paper towel and commented, "I graduated from Yale and they taught us to be environmentally conscious."  The legal aide lawyer zipped up and as he was walking out the door said, "I graduated from night law school at the University of Detroit and they taught us not to piss on our fingers.

The impressionable new associate at the big city law firm was talking to three senior associates about their preferred marital status. 

The estate planning associate extolled the virtues of married life.  "You have a lot more secure home life," he said; "you can start your family now and have someone to discuss the ups and downs with ..."

The litigation associate explained how he preferred to play the field.  "I like the thrill of the chase, getting to know someone new ... "

The tax associate discussed his preference,  "You really need a wife and a mistress.  That way, when your wife calls and asks where you are, you can tell her you're with the other woman.  When the mistress calls, tell her you're at home with your wife.  In the meantime you can spend all of your time at the office billing hours."

Three attorneys went duck hunting; a small town solo practitioner, a tax attorney, and a litigator.  They were in a blind, a bird flew along, the solo practitioner rose to shoot, he fired once, missed, exclaimed, "I think it was a duck!"

The tax attorney was next in the shooting lists ... a bird flew by, he rose, and exclaimed,  "A duck ... er, maybe a goose, er, maybe a turkey, er, maybe a grouse, er, maybe a heron, er, maybe a California Condor with Alzheimer's Disease, er, maybe a woodcock" ... and never got off a shot ....

The litigator was next ... three birds flew by ... he rose emptied his magazine -- all 30 rounds (in defiance of the usual game laws, and as a member of the NRA, he had extended his magazine from three rounds to thirty) ... reloaded and continued to shoot at the two birds lying dead in the water ... just to make sure they were croaked ... He then exclaimed ...  "send that to the Supreme Court ... they'll tell us what they were."


Week of April 8, 2013

Real Lawyer Ads


Week of April 1, 2013



The wisest of men can fool himself. -- Jewish saying

If the mark of a good prank is the number of intelligent people it can fool, then these three semi-famous April Fools jokes involving lawyers and lawmakers clearly made the grade.


Back in 1994, an op-ed piece in the April issue of PC Computing magazine ridiculed an imagined Senate bill that would prohibit "drunk driving" on the "Information Highway."

"The moniker -- Information Highway" itself seems to be responsible for SB #040194," the magazine reported. "Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy "it's designed to prohibit anyone from using a public computer network (Information Highway) while the computer user is intoxicated. I know how silly that sounds, but Congress apparently thinks that being drunk on a highway is bad no matter what kind of highway it is. The bill is expected to pass this month."

The article's author, John Dvorak, later said that the spoof caught  the attention of the Washington Post -- and a few U.S. senators (including Ted Kennedy, one of the purported sponsors of the bill), who received a flurry of angry phone calls in response to the article.

Sadly, the original article can't be found on the Internet, but you can read the text here, attached to a letter about the article from a Kennedy staff member. (Scroll down to see the article text.)


In another April Fools hoax involving lawmakers run amok, a bogus AP news article reported that the Alabama legislature passed a bill that redefined pi from its previously assumed value -- "3.14159, plus as many more digits as you have time to calculate" -- rounding it down to an even 3.

According to the story, the bill's sponsor had "called into question the usefulness of any number that cannot be calculated exactly, and suggested that never knowing the exact answer could harm students' self-esteem."

The fake news report was published in the April 1998 edition of an obscure newsletter by New Mexicans for Science and Reason (you can read it here), but it soon was circulating all over the world, thanks to a relatively new phenomenon: mass email forwarding.


The Denver Bar Association showed its humorous side with an April 2001 newsletter article about an unusual Colorado Supreme Court decision that compelled the state's attorneys to wear uniforms in court.

And not just any old uniforms. "Based on the recommendations of fashion consultants and parochial school principals, the Court will now require all lawyers, female and male, to wear a blue blazer with the Colorado State Seal on the pocket," the article said. "Men will wear tan slacks in summer and gray flannel in winter. Women barristers must wear plaid skirts year round. Women are also expected to wear white bobby sox, and men are prohibited from donning any shoes with tassels."

The Court reportedly acted out of concern over casual attire in the state's courtrooms. "Confusion grew as each law firm established a different dress code, with names such as 'business casual,' 'corporate casual,' 'up casual,' ' casual' and 'downscale but still lawyerly casual,'" the article explained.

Apparently, the spoof was believable enough for several fashion-conscious attorneys to call the bar association for clarification. (The original article lives on at the Denver Bar Association website -- and it's still a fun read.)


Week of March 25, 2013


Jeanne's Rule of Supply

There is a finite number of physicians that a population of fixed size will support.  The same theory holds for teachers and engineers. 

However, this principle does not seem to apply to lawyers.  The more you have, the more you need. 

At the rate law schools are turning them out, by the year 2100 there will be more lawyers than humans

"When there are too many policemen there can be no liberty; when there are too many soldiers, there can be no peace.  When there are too many lawyers, there can be no justice.

-- Lin Yutang


Week of March 18, 2013

How we are told our laws are made ...

There Oughta-Be a Law

It seems that we have laws for everything but the stuff that can really get on our nerves. For instance, "there oughta be a law" to protect citizens from the airline passenger who maintains his seat in a fully reclined position while an in-flight meal is being served. So I propose that we start passing some much- needed legislation to crack down on the following offenses:

Resisting A Rest: Repeatedly disrupting an entire row of patrons at a theater or sports event by heading for refreshments, frequent rest-room visits, and leg-stretching.

Euphonious Assault: Playing the car radio at ear-splitting volume so the next driver is blasted into the back seat.

Lane Sharking: Parking over two spaces in a crowded lot so that the adjacent space is rendered useless.

Coffee-right Infringement: Hurry-up restaurant employees who are too quick to bring your bill at the end of a meal.

Violation Of Individual Swivel Rights: Rotating a circular merchandise rack while another shopper is browsing on the other side.

Breaking And Exiting: Slipping away after dropping a bottle of pancake syrup while in an empty grocery-store aisle.

Sorry I Missed Him'meanor: Intentionally returning unwanted phone calls when you know the party who called will be out.

Kidyapping: Failure to get off the subject of your children or grandchildren. (Guilty as charged)

Poly-gamey: Attempting to watch two televised football games and a tennis tournament simultaneously on a Sunday afternoon by means of rapid-fire, remote-control channel surfing.

Labor Fraud: Politicians who roll up their sleeves only when posing for campaign photographs.


How are laws are REALLY made ...


Week of March 11, 2013

Tales of the Cloth

A specially-chartered plane was carrying the Pope, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the smartest lawyer in the world, and an Eagle Scout on an international goodwill tour, when it ran into a storm.  When three of the engines and the hydraulic system started to fail, the pilot got on the plane's intercom.

"Gentlemen," he announced to his nervous passengers, "this aircraft is not going to reach its destination.  Not only that, we have only four parachutes for the five of us on board.  I hate to be selfish about this, but the early bird gets the worm, Arriverdaci!"

The Secretary-General of the United Nations immediately pointed out that his survival was crucial to world peace and stability.   "I must think of the peoples of the world . . . and save myself!"   With that, he seized a parachute and jumped out.

The lawyer immediately jumped up and pointed out that after all he was the smartest lawyer in the world.  "At this very moment I have five cases before the U.S. Supreme Court on which hang the civil liberties of generations to come," he went on.  "My career has been a beacon for thousands and I cannot allow it to come to such an untimely end."  Reaching into the pile, he too bailed out.

The Pope, a kindly man, turned to the Eagle Scout.  "I've lived a long, full life and am quite prepared to meet my Lord and Savior.  Son, you take that last parachute for yourself."

"Don't worry, your Holiness," said the Eagle Scout with a grin,  "The world's smartest lawyer just jumped out of the plane wearing my knapsack!"

A minister and lawyer were chatting at a party:

"What do you do if you make a mistake on a case?" the minister asked.

"Try to fix it if it's big; ignore it if it's insignificant," replied the lawyer. "What do you do?"

The minister replied "Oh, more or less the same. Let me give you an example. The other day I meant to say 'the devil is the father of liars,' but I said instead 'the devil is the father of lawyers,' so I let it go."


A truck driver used to amuse himself by running over lawyers he would see walking down the side of the road.  Every time he would see a lawyer walking along the road, he would swerve to hit him, and there would be a loud "THUMP" and then he would swerve back on the road.  This past-time was immensely enjoyable to the truck driver.

One day, as the truck driver was driving along, he saw a priest hitchhiking, so he thought he would do a good turn by offering the priest a lift.  He pulled the truck over and asked the priest, "Where are you going, Father?"

"I'm going to the church 5 miles down the road!" replied the priest.

"No problem, Father!  I'll give you a lift. Climb in the truck."

With that, the happy priest climbed into the passenger seat, and the truck driver continued down the road.

Suddenly, the truck driver saw a lawyer walking down the road, and instinctively he swerved to hit him.  But then he remembered there was a priest in the truck with him, so at the last minute he swerved back to the road, narrowly missing the lawyer.  However, even though he was certain he missed the lawyer, he still heard a loud "THUD".

Not understanding where the noise came from he glanced in his mirrors, and when he didn't see anything, he turned to the priest and said, "I'm sorry, Father.  I almost hit that lawyer."

"That's okay," replied the priest. "I got him with the door!"



Week of March 4, 2013

There are laws of nature and laws of man ... but there should be a few more:

 Law of Biomechanics: The severity of any itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
 Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.
 Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
 Law of Cybernetic Entomology: There is always one more bug.
 Law of Dirty Rugs/Carpets: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich of landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.
Law of Health Care: Two objects of greatly different mass falling side by side will have the same rate of descent, but the lighter one will have larger hospital bills.
Law of Large Problems: Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out.
Law of Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Law of Logical Argument: Any position is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
Law of Packrattery: All files, papers, memos, etc. that you save will never be needed until such time as they are disposed of when they will become essential and indispensable.
Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
Law of Relativity: How attractive a given person appears to be is directly proportionate to how unattractive your date is.
Law of Resistance: When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, an unethical lawyer will immediately appear.
Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.
Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.
Law of the Telephone: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal.
Law of the Theater: At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.
Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.



Week of February 25, 2013

Legal Poetry



                            If you've got a son or daughter

                                                who ain't living like they oughter,

                                If they'd suck and egg and peddle you the shell;

                                                If the neighbors and the preacher,

                                The policemen and the teacher,

                                                Are convinced that they are headed straight for hell;

                                If their instincts are possessive

                                                And their ego is excessive,

                                If they're short on brains but very long on jaw,

                                                Don't sit up nights and worry,

                                Make your mind up in a hurry,

                                                Chuck 'em off to school and make 'em study law.

                                Have them learn the art of stalling,

                                                How to howl like Virtue bawling,

                                And to make their betters think they are tops;

                                                How to wheedle fortunes stealthy

                                From a clientele that's wealthy,

                                                And to be elected judge in case they're flops.

                                To become a politician

                                                Must, of course, be their ambition,

                                Help 'em buy up all the ghosts they can afford.

                                                It's a lawyer's bounden duty,

                                Be he moron, shyster, cootie,

                                                When the gravy train is moving, be aboard.

                                He, of course, must hold his liquor,

                                                Be a Latin-spouting slicker,

                                Fill the human race with wholesome fear and awe,

                                                For the life of Riley waits him

                                Till the Devil ups and takes him

                                                When he's finished with the practice of the Law.


     - Excerpted from a speech to the Missouri Bar Association by R. Emmett Kane, M.D., October 4, 1947




    @@@/   \@@@     

        @@=(o o)=@@         

 @@   ^   @@  

         @@\ ~~~ /@@         

@@ \___/ @@

@@  | |  @@

@@       @@


Edgar Lee Masters

The Circuit Judge

(Jeanne's Note: Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) was so well known that he got his picture on a US postage stamp (see below). Like his father, Masters was called to the bar, that of Illinois, and in 1893. For five years, he was a partner to Clarence Darrow. Masters often published under a pseudonym such as Dexter Wallace and Webster Ford. He received several national recognition awards as a poet. In this whimsical contribution to Poetic Justice: Law Poems, Masters takes on the form of a traveling circuit judge, never a popular figure for attorneys.)

Take note, passer-bys, of the sharp erosions
Eaten in my headstone, by the wind and rain,
Almost as if an intangible Nemesis or hatred 
Were marking scores against me,

But to destroy, and not preserve, my memory.
I in life was the Circuit Judge, a maker of notches,
Deciding cases on the points the lawyers scored,
Not on the right of the matter,

O wind and rain, leave my headstone alone!
For worse than the anger of the wronged,
The curses of the poor,
Was to lie speechless, yet with vision clear,

Seeing that even Hod Putt, the murderer,
Hanged by my sentence,
Was innocent compared with me

(Masters was featured in a U.S. postage stamp ... )


W.H. Auden

(Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973 - he signed his poems W. H. Auden) published Law Like Love in 1941 in his poetry book called Another Time. Born in England and Oxford-educated, he was a homosexual and had a number of partners throughout his life. He moved to the United States in 1939 with one of them where, in 1951, he was briefly suspected of being a Russian spy. His poem "Law Like Love" is thought to have been an effort to equate his loves with the conflicts that lawyers face in the duality of their practice.)


Law, say the gardeners, is the sun,
Law is the one
All gardeners obey
Tomorrow, yesterday, today.

Law is the wisdom of the old,
The impotent grandfathers feebly scold;
The grandchildren put out a treble tongue,
Law is the senses of the young.

Law, says the priest with a priestly look,
Expounding to an unpriestly people,
Law is the words in my priestly book,
Law is my pulpit and my steeple.

Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly and most severely,
Law is as I've told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose,
Law is but let me explain it once more,
Law is The Law.

Yet law-abiding scholars write:
Law is neither wrong nor right,
Law is only crimes
Punished by places and by times,
Law is the clothes men wear
Anytime, anywhere,
Law is Good morning and Good night.

Others say, Law is our Fate;
Others say, Law is our State;
Others say, others say
Law is no more,
Law has gone away.

And always the loud angry crowd,
Very angry and very loud,
Law is We,
And always the soft idiot softly Me.

If we, dear, know we know no more
Than they about the Law,
If I no more than you
Know what we should and should not do
Except that all agree
Gladly or miserably
That the Law is
And that all know this
If therefore thinking it absurd
To identify Law with some other word,
Unlike so many men
I cannot say Law is again,

No more than they can we suppress
The universal wish to guess
Or slip out of our own position
Into an unconcerned condition.
Although I can at least confine
Your vanity and mine
To stating timidly
A timid similarity,
We shall boast anyway:
Like love I say.

Like love we don't know where or why,
Like love we can't compel or fly,
Like love we often weep,
Like love we seldom keep.


Week of February 18, 2013

Lawyers in Heaven

One of my all time favorites, I've adapted it for several different occasions ... one involving Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits during my tenure as legal counsel for Catholic hospitals ...

They tell the story of the physician, theologian and lawyer -- each of whom had become world renown for the brilliance and creativity of their thought and erudition; each of whom had contributed major treatises advancing the scholarship in their respective professions;  and each of whom had been called upon by the world's leaders to volunteer their invaluable time and intellectual talents toward the betterment of humankind and to help foster peace among the peoples of the world.  As fortune would have it, all three were traveling toward a summit meeting of the world's scholars to once again contribute their great talents when their plane crashed and all three were instantly killed.

As the first of these great minds, the physician, was approaching the heavenly gates, St. Peter rushed out to greet him, grasped his hand and welcomed him warmly as a "... good and faithful servant" to his eternal reward in heaven.  Similarly, as the theologian approached heaven's portal, St. Peter again rushed out and embraced the great savant with a warm embrace of welcome to his eternal reward.

At that moment, the lawyer, still a ways down the road, was seen approaching the gates of heaven.  Spontaneously the skies opened up with great songs and joyous hymns, the Cherubim and Seraphim were seen overhead singing angelic praises with hosannas and alleluias, golden trumpets announced the pending arrival of the famous barrister.  A great carpet was rolled out and from the skies, rose petals fluttered to mark her pathway as she approached nearer and nearer to the heavenly gate.

From just inside the portal, the physician and theologian were taken aback and approached St. Peter. 

"St. Peter", they said, "We don't want to complain, we are perfectly happy to be here in heaven for all eternity, but we have a question. 

"On earth, the two of us, like this attorney, were world famous for our scholarship and wisdom.  Like her, we contributed our time and talents to the betterment of humankind -- yet, when we reached the heavenly gates, all we received was a warm handshake and a quiet welcome to our heavenly reward.  She, on the other hand, is being greeted by all of the heavenly Cherubim and Seraphim, a great golden carpet has been rolled out to mark her way to heaven, the golden trumpets are announcing her arrival -- why is she entitled to such a glorious entry?"

"Shhh!", responded St. Peter, "You must remember, this is the first lawyer to make it to heaven in three hundred years!"

A physician, a priest and a lawyer arrive at heaven and St. Peter greets them before the Pearly Gates.  "Welcome to Heaven.  We have just one last thing to do before you enter.  Are you ready for your last test?"

   The priest says, "I've prepared for this moment for 73 years."

   "Okay," says St. Peter, "spell 'God'."


  "Very good, enter your eternal reward."

   The physician says, "Well, that was easier than I thought; I'll take my test now."

   "Okay," says St. Peter, "spell 'love'."


   "Excellent, enter your eternal reward."

   The lawyer, says, "Boy, is this is gonna be a snap.  Give me my test."

   "Okay," says St. Peter, "spell 'prorhipidoglossomorpha'."

One day a lawyer died and found herself at the pearly gates of heaven.   St. Peter asked, "Who are you?"   The woman answered, "I was a Hollywood divorce lawyer."

Nodding ominously, St. Peter asked, "What have you done to earn an eternal reward in heaven."

The lawyer thought about it long and hard, searching her mind for the one good deed that might gain her entrance to heaven.  "As a matter of fact, the other day I passed a panhandler in the street and I gave him fifty cents," she said beamingly.

St. Peter nodded grimly, looking over at his assistant Gabriel, and asked, "Is that in the records?"

Gabriel nodded his assent.  St. Peter than said, "That's not very impressive, nor is it enough.  I'm sorry," and started to close the gates.

"Wait, wait!  There's more," shouted the woman.  "The other night, as I was walking home, I almost tripped over a homeless child in the street.  I gave him fifty cents too!"

Peter again checked with Gabriel who confirmed the incident.  "Is there anything else?"

The lawyer again thought and thought and sadly said, "Not that I can remember."

St. Peter contemplated for a long time and then asked Gabriel, "What do you think I should do?"

Gabriel glanced at the lawyer disgustingly and said,

"I'd give her back her buck and tell her to go to hell!"



Week of February 11, 2013


Do you know how to save five drowning lawyers?




How was copper wire invented?

Two lawyers arguing over a penny. 


What do you get when you cross a librarian with a lawyer?

All the information you need - but you can't understand a word of it.


 How does a pregnant woman know that she is carrying a future lawyer?

She has an extreme craving for baloney.


What do you get when you cross a pit bull with a lawyer?

A dishonest pit bull


How do you get a group of lawyers to smile for a picture?
Just say "Fees!"


Why are lawyers so good at racquetball?
Because they stoop so low.


What should you do if you see your ex-wife's lawyer rolling around in pain on the ground?

Shoot him again.


How can you tell when a lawyer is well-hung?

When you can just barely slip your finger in between his neck and the noose.



What does it mean when a lawyer is in bed gasping for breath and calling your name?

You didn't hold the pillow down long enough



Week of February 4, 2013

Oops, I found a couple of more lawyer-genie jokes ...

A government lawyer sat in his office, and out of boredom, decided to see what was inside his old filing cabinet. He poked through the contents and came across an old brass lamp. "This will look good on my mantel," he said, and took it home with him. While polishing the lamp, a genie appeared and, as usual, granted him three wishes. "I would like an ice-cold Coke right now." He gets his Coke and drinks it. Now that he can think more clearly, he states his second wish. "I wish to be on an island with beautiful women, who find me irresistible." Suddenly, he's on an island with gorgeous women eyeing him lustfully. He tells the genie his third and last wish. "I wish I'd never have to work again." Instantly, he was back in his government office.



There's these three lawyers and they're out having a relaxing day fishing. Out of the blue, they catch a mermaid who begs to be set free in return for granting each of them a wish. Now one of the guys just doesn't believe it, and says:                                                        

"Ok, if you can really grant wishes, than double my I.Q."                     

The mermaid says: "Done."                                                     

Suddenly, the lawyer starts reciting Shakespeare flawlessly and analyzing it with extreme insight. The second lawyer is so amazed he says to the mermaid:                                                                      

"Triple my I.Q." The mermaid says: "Done."                                    

This lawyer starts to spout out all the mathematical solutions to problems that have been stumping all the scientists of varying fields: physics, chemistry, etc.                                                               

The last lawyer is so enthralled with the changes in his friends, that he says to the mermaid:                                                          

"Quintuple my I.Q."                                                           

The mermaid looks at him and says: "You know, I normally don't try to change people's minds when they make a wish, but I really wish you'd reconsider."                                                                  

The last lawyer says: "Nope, I want you to increase my I.Q. times five, and if you don't do it, I won't set you free."                                       

"Please," says the mermaid "You don't know what you're'll change your entire view on the universe...won't you ask for something else...a million dollars, anything?"                                          

But no matter what the mermaid said, the lawyer insisted on having his I.Q. increased by five times it's usual power. So the mermaid sighed and said:          "Done."                                                                       

          And he became a woman. .                                                        


Week of January 28, 2013

... Just a few more Genie Lawyers

A modern-day cowboy has spent many days crossing the desert without water. His horse has already died of thirst. He's crawling through the sand, certain that he has breathed his last, when all of a sudden, he sees an object sticking out of the sand several yards ahead of him.

He crawls to the object, pulls it out of the sand, and discovers what looks to be an old briefcase. He opens it and out pops a genie. But this is no ordinary genie. She is wearing a pin stripe business suit and glasses, her hair is pulled back into a bun and little make-up. There's a calculator in her pocketbook. She has a pencil tucked behind one ear.

"Well, cowboy," says the genie. "You know how I work. You have three wishes."

"I'm not falling for this." Says the man. "I'm not going to trust a lawyer genie!"

"What do you have to lose? You've got no transportation, and it looks like you're a goner anyway!"

The man thinks about this for a minute, and decides that the genie is right.

"OK, I wish I were in a lush oasis with plenty of food and drink."

POOF: The cowboy finds himself in the most beautiful oasis he has ever seen. And he is surrounded with jugs of wine and platters of delicacies.
"OK, cowpoke, what's your second wish?"

"My second wish is that I were rich beyond my wildest dreams."

POOF: The man finds himself surrounded by treasure chests filled with rare gold coins and precious gems.

"OK, cowpuncher, you have just one more wish. Better make it a good one!"

After thinking for a few minutes, the man says, "I wish that no matter where I go, beautiful women will want and need me."

POOF: He is turned into a tampon.

The moral of the story: If a lawyer offers you anything, there's going to be a string attached.


An old lawyer was wandering on a beach one day, when he tripped over a decorative vase, with a cork stuffed into the top. He was curious about why someone would take the trouble to stuff a cork into this vase, so he uncorked the vase. Instantly, a giant cloud came surging out of the vase, and to the old man's amazement, a genie formed from the cloud. "I will grant you three wishes, my new master," said the genie to the old man. But the genie cautioned the old man to be careful for what he wished for. "All you need do is utter the words 'I wish' and then tell me your fondest desire and, I will make it reality," said the genie.  Well, the old lawyer was truly excited! There were SO many things he would like, and he thought about what he would wish for long and hard. At long last, he said, "Genie, I wish to be 25 years old again!" <poof> The old lawyer is gone, replaced by a young, handsome version. Next, the handsome young lawyer said "Genie, I wish to be rich beyond my wildest dreams, with a sports car and lovely young women at my beck and call!" <poof> A shiny, red Jaguar appears before the astonished young lawyer, with two lovely women seated in the car. The young lawyer grabs the vase and climbs in the Jaguar, and drives off the sandy beach onto the highway with the genie hovering attentively at his side. Happy with his new life, the young lawyer starts humming a familiar tune, then starts the first verse of the song, "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener." <poof>


Two small town lawyers were arch enemies in the court room, but best buddies outside.  One day after bashing each other in court, they decided to cool their heels with a day of fishing. One of them hooks an old bottle and hauls it in. As he is rubbing it to clean it up, a genie pops out. "For setting me free," says the genie, "You can have one wish...anything you want." The lawyer thinks for a minute, then says, "Turn the whole lake into   beer." POOF! The genie is gone and the entire lake has become ice cold brew. His buddy looks around and shakes his head. "Way to go, we’ve got to pee in the boat!"


One day a lawyer spotted an old brass lamp by the roadside. He picked it up, rubbed the dirt off of it, and a genie appeared. "I'll grant you your fondest wish," the genie said. The lawyer thought for a moment, then said, "I want a spectacular job - a job that no man has ever succeeded at or has ever attempted to do." <Poof> said the genie. "You're a housewife."


Week of January 21, 2013

I Dream of Jeannie . . . er Genie


A fellow walks into a bar with a ten-inch, scowling man on his shoulder.  He orders a drink.  The little man jumps off the shoulder, drinks a third of the drink and climbs back up.  The fellow then orders a sandwich.  The little man likewise devours a third of the sandwich.   After this goes on for two more drinks, the bartender says, "Hey buddy, I don't usually pry into customers' private affairs, but what the heck is it with that little guy?"  The customer replies, "Well, I found a bottle on the beach.  When I uncorked it, out popped a genie.  He gave me one wish.  I asked for a 10-inch prick, and the genie shrunk my lawyer!



There was a young man shipwrecked on an island.  He found a magic lamp on the shore one day, picked it up and rubbed it.  A Genie appeared.  However, he was not a typical Genie, he was an attorney Genie.  When the Genie told the man he was also an attorney, the man laughed and said, "Oh come on, Genies can't be attorneys too!"

The Genie said he would prove it.  He told the man to make his three wishes, but on one condition, for every wish he made, all attorneys were granted double of what the man wished for.  The man pondered the offer and decided that something was better than nothing and decided his three wishes.

"My first wish is for 1 million dollars."

The Genie reminded the man that he would grant the wish, but all attorneys would get double that amount.  The man agreed and then made his second wish. "My second wish is for a beautiful blonde with blue eyes."

Once again, the Genie granted the wish and also granted all attorneys with two of the blonde eyed babes.

          The Genie announced that the man had one more wish and to consider his choice carefully.  The man thought for a moment.  Suddenly, he drew the Genie's attention to a piece of driftwood lying on the beach. He told the Genie: "For my next wish, please pick up that piece of driftwood and beat me half to death!!!"


A paralegal, an associate and a partner of a prestigious law firm are walking through a city park and they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

          The Genie says, "I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give each of you just one."

          "Me first! Me first!" says the paralegal. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat with Tom Cruise." Poof! She's gone.

"Me next! Me next!" says the associate. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with a professional hula dancer on one side and a Mai Tai on the other." Poof! He's gone.

"You're next," the Genie says to the partner. The partner says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."


There were three lawyers stranded on an island. They had been there for a very long time, when one morning a magic lamp washed upon the shore. The lawyers saw it and picked it up. They rubbed the lamp and <poof> a genie appeared. The genie said he would grant the lawyers one wish each. The first lawyer thought about his wish and made it count. After thinking the lawyer finally said, "I wish I was back at home." Then <poof> he disappeared. The second lawyer thought long and hard about his wish. Finally the lawyer said, "I wish I was at home with my family." Then <poof> he vanished. The last wish went to the last lawyer on the island. He looked around and felt very lonely. It took a while to think of a good wish and finally an idea came into his mind. The third lawyer said, "I wish that my two best friends were on this island with me," and <poof> the two other lawyers appeared on the island again.


Week of January 14, 2013

With the passing of my sister-in-law Mary Schulte ... we lost one week and I have been searching my files for some of her favorites ...

Mary's Favorites:

Mary liked my "lawyer-family" jokes:

For three years, the young attorney had been taking his brief vacations at this country inn.  The last time he'd finally managed an affair with the innkeeper's daughter.  Looking forward to an exciting few days, he dragged his suitcase up the stairs of the inn, then stopped short. There sat his lover with an infant on her lap! Helen, why didn't you write when you learned you were pregnant? he cried.   I would have rushed up here, we could have gotten married, and the baby would have my name!"

"Well," she said, "when my folks found out about my condition, we sat up all night talkin' and talkin' and decided it would be better to have a illegitimate grandchild in the family than a lawyer."


Being married to a computer geek (my l'il brother) she found these "lawyer computer games" outrageously funny

Legal Computer Games and Software That Should Be but Aren't


Myst Opportunities: An attorney finds himself in an isolated and barren environment, with no friends, spouse, offspring, hobbies, interests or other signs of life. (Warning this program's virtual reality may be too realistic for actual lawyers to play).


Microsoft Wordy: This is the dream word processor for lawyers, with innovative features including Thesar-ALL..., which automatically adds in every possible synonym for all words typed, and the combination of Margin-Ails-Ya ... (eliminating unnecessary perimeter white space), together ensuring that no court's page limits are ever exceeded.


Doomed: The player takes on the role of a young associate, wandering through the treacherous halls of a large metropolitan law office. Danger lurks behind every door, be it the firm's reduction-minded review committee, pathologically forgetful docket clerk or cafeteria.


Texttris: Created jointly by a team of programmers from Russia and a bunch of attorneys from Brooklyn, this game combines entertainment and practicality. Players/practitioners are challenged to maneuver falling blocks of boilerplate language into position to form marginally fathomable contractual provisions (tied to an impending change in applicable tax laws) runs out. (A sister program "Taxtris," is already widely used by government revenue legislation drafters.)


Sim Firm: Create and run your own firm with the ultimate law office simulator. Add, subtract or banish to remote jurisdictions, attorneys, support staff and other personnel without regard for applicable legislation or potentially psychotic reactions. Select computers, copiers, shredders -- even pool and Foosball tables if you wish. Then sit back and watch your profits grow.


Hardball IV for Lawyers: You'll think you’re right there on the field when you see the photo-realistic rotoscoped renderings banging their fists on conference room tables, slamming down receivers during telephone negotiations and faxing themselves entire volumes of the Federal Reporter to keep the machine from receiving messages from opposing counsel.


Law Suit Larry: In this twelfth installment of the popular series, our hapless star's odyssey through life of personal rejection leads him to pursue a legal career, naively believing that a vested suit and writing marginally humorous columns in professional journals will somehow lead to dating bliss.


The Interviewnet: When law school recruiting becomes tiresome, takes a ride on the information superhighway instead and trade on-campus stops for online interviewing of eligible candidates. This complete communication package even includes a protective anti-virus program that automatically activates as soon as rejection messages are posted.


And Mary could be earthy now and then <smile>


A woman comes for a pre-marital physical and is found to be in fine fettle.  The doc asks, however, why, through 12 marriages, she has retained her virginity.  She replies:


... My first husband was a sales representative who spent our entire marriage telling me, in grandiose terms, "It's gonna be great!"

... My second husband was a software engineer; he was never quite sure how it was supposed to function, but he said he would send me documentation.

... My third husband was a computer service technician who constantly said that everything was diagnostically "okay", but he just couldn't get the system up.

... My fourth husband was a teacher, and he simply said,  "Those who can ... do; those who can't ... teach."

... My fifth husband was a telemarketer who said that he had the orders, but he wasn't quite sure when he was going to be able to deliver.

... My sixth husband was a design engineer. He told me that he understood the basic process but needed three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method. 

... My seventh husband was a financial manager. His comments were that he knew how, but he just wasn't sure whether or not it was his job. 

... My eighth husband was a government regulator and told me that he was up to the standards but that regulations said nothing about how to do it. 

... My ninth husband was a marketing manager. He said, "I know I have the product, I'm just not sure how to position it!"  

... My tenth husband was a psychiatrist and all he ever wanted to do was talk about it.

... My eleventh husband was a gynecologist and all he ever wanted to do was look at it. 

... My twelfth husband was a stamp collector and all he ever wanted to do was... God I miss him!  

So now I have married a lawyer, I know I'm really going to get screwed."



Rest in Peace Mary, we love you ...

L'il Bro and Mary


Week of December 31, 2012

Honest Lawyers

"My Daddy's an accountant. What does your Daddy do for a living?" asked Billy.

Tommy replied, "My Daddy's a lawyer."

"Honest?" asked Billy.

"No, just the regular kind," replied Tommy.

St. Peter was at the Pearly gates processing some new arrivals after the Year 2000 meltdown. "So why should I let you in?" St. Peter asked the first man.

"I was the CEO of a large company. My efforts in raising Year 2000 awareness, fighting for budget approval and becoming personally involved in our compliance project almost saved the company from certain collapse. My dedication to the cause is documented in the many reports that . . . ."

"Ok, ok that's enough, You can go in." St. Peter said.

A second man approached. "And why should you enter the Pearly gates?"

"I was a Y2K consultant. I dedicated the last year of my life working long hours to solve computer problems. My only motivation was a desire to see us through these difficult times, to stamp out this diabolical problem and to make sure we all . . . ."

"That will do!" St. Peter called, "Make you way through the gate please."

"Now why should I let you in?" St. Peter said to the next person.  "I am a lawyer. I hovered over the scrapes of society that were left after year 2000 and then swooped down like a bloodsucking vulture to pick the bones of any defenseless survivors that managed to survive the apocalypse. My only desire was to accumulate as much cash as possible."

"Hmmm", Peter thought about this for a while, "Ok, you can go in."

An angel watching all this from above flew over to St. Peter.  "Hey what did you let him in for?" he asked.

St. Peter looked up. "We need to let a few of the honest ones get through too you know."

"What do you get when you run an 'Honest Lawyer' contest?  ...  No winners."


The tooth fairy, an honest lawyer, and an expensive, dishonest lawyer are in the same room. There is a $500 bill on a table in the room. When they leave, the money is gone. Who took  it? ...  Since there is no such thing as the tooth fairy or an honest lawyer, the answer is obvious.


What do you get when you cross a pit bull with a lawyer? ...   A dishonest pit bull


A man sat down at a bar, looked into his shirt pocket, and ordered a double scotch.  A few minutes later, the man again peeked into his pocket and ordered another double.  This routine was followed for some time, until after looking into his pocket, he told the bartender that he's had enough.

The bartender said, "I've got to ask you - what's with the pocket business?"

The man replied,   "I have my lawyer's picture in there.  When she starts to look honest, I know I've had enough."


Week of December 24, 2012



(7) $5 million insurance policy taken out on Santa because "he ain't gettin' any younger."

(6) Every good kid gets a yellow legal pad as a gift.

(5) Most toy manuals now need to disclose "common sense not included."

(4) All toys include shrink wrap liability release forms.

(3) Stripes on candy canes? Actually fine print reading "Not responsible for any eye damage."

(2) Santa's sleigh grounded due to the methane output of his "engines."

... and the Number 1 Sign the North Pole's Being Run by Lawyers...

(1) All kids get gifts this year because the "naughty" list is stayed pending appeal.



On Christmas eve, a burglar broke into the home of a lawyer.

The thief took all the lawyer's Christmas gifts from under the tree

but left the packages for the wife and children alone.

As the criminal was leaving the house, he was caught by a policeman.

He confessed to what he did but told the policeman that he couldn't be arrested.

The policeman asked why, and the thief responded,

"Because the law states that I'm entitled to the presents of an attorney."


T'was the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic energy was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus Musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the woodburning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums. My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the arenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself--thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power traveling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic acclaim predicates, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen--"now Dasher, now Dancer... "et al.--guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180 degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved, with utmost celerity and via a downward leap, entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls of said pathway. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which be bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His visual input centers were scintillating with the reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of albino's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus Avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and supra-labials resembled nothing so much as a loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small tabular, and columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking-piece whose grey fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenerian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By swiftly lowering, then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned hosiery from that dorsally transported woven container. Upon completion of this task, he executed an about-face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement heretofore observable chiefly among the seed bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his vocalization beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to the selfsame assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubrious, beneficial, and gratifying, pleasurable period between sunset and the dawn!"

TA prominent lawyer receives a phone call from a United Ways representative at Christmas season. " Sir, our records show that you made $3.1 million last year and was wondering if you cared to make a contribution this year," asks the representative. 

The lawyer then asks," Well, does your records happen to show that my mother is terminally ill and her monthly medical bills and medication expenses exceeds her monthly income?" 
"I'm sorry, but no it doesn't," replies the representative. 
"Then does it show that my brother is an invalid and doesn't have any income whatsoever?" asks the lawyer. 
The representative replies, "No, it doesn't, I'm sorry." 
"Well," said the lawyer, "if I don't give them any money, what makes you think that I'll give you any?"



Week of December 17, 2012


A lawyer and a doctor were arguing about the relative merits of their professions.

"I don't really think," said the physician, "that all lawyers are thieves.  But you must admit that your profession doesn't make angels of humankind."

"You're right," said the lawyer.  "We leave that up to you doctors!"



A lawyer brought his wife to the doctor, complaining she wasn't her usual self, depressed and listless. The doctor took her to his office. When he came out he said to the husband, "All your wife needs is this." And he grabbed the woman, felt her all over, hugged and kissed her. "She needs this twice a week." The husband thought a while and then said, "Well, OK, I guess I can bring her in on Tuesdays and Thursdays."


A doctor, a priest and a lawyer walk into a pub together.  Each orders a pint of Guinness. Just as the bartender is handing them over, three flies swoop down, and each lands in a beer.  With disgust, the doctor pushes his pint away and demands another.  The priest reaches into his beer, removes the fly, shrugs his shoulders and takes a long swallow.  The lawyer reaches into his glass, pinches the fly between two fingers, shakes the fly hard while yelling, "Spit it out, ya bastard! Spit it out!"

Definition: Proctologist: A brain surgeon for lawyers.


Just as a young man was about to get a chest X-ray, the equipment slipped and his pelvic region was X-rayed instead.

Oh, no!" cried the lab technician.  "Your reproductive organs just received a dose of radiation!"

"What does that mean?" asked the worried young man.

"It's serious," replied the technician. "All your children will be lawyers."


It had to happen sooner or later. Lawyer Kanis was wheeled into the emergency room on a stretcher, rolling his head in agony.  Doctor Green came over to see him. "Kanis," he said, "What an honor. The last time I saw you was in court when you accused me of malpractice."

"Doc, Doc. My side is on fire. The pain is right here. What could it be?"

"How would I know? You told the jury I wasn't fit to be a doctor."

"I was only kidding, Doc. When you represent a client you don't know what you're saying. Could I be passing a kidney stone?"

"Your diagnosis is as good as mine."

"What are you talking about?"

"When you questioned me on the stand you indicated you knew everything there was to know about the practice of medicine."

"Doc, I'm climbing the wall. Give me something."

"Let's say I give you something for a kidney stone and it turns out to be a gallstone. Who is going to pay for my court costs?"

"I'll sign a paper that I won't sue."

"Can I read to you from the transcript of the trial? Lawyer Kanis: 'Why were you so sure that my client had tennis elbow?' Dr. Green: 'I've treated hundreds of people with tennis elbow and I know it when I see it.' Kanis: 'It never occurred to you my client could have an Excedrin headache?' Green: 'No, there were no signs of an Excedrin headache.' Kanis: 'You and your ilk make me sick.'"

"Why are you reading that to me?"

"Because, Kanis, since the trial I've lost confidence in making a diagnosis. A lady cane in the other day limping  . . ."

"Please, Doc, I don't want to hear it now. Give me some Demerol."

"You said during the suit that I dispensed drugs like a drunken sailor. I've changed my ways, Kanis. I don't prescribe drugs anymore."

"Then get me another doctor."

"There are no other doctors on duty. The reason I'm here is that after the malpractice suit the sheriff seized everything in my office. This is the only place that I can practice."

"If you give me something to relieve the pain I will personally appeal your case to a higher court."

"You know, Kanis, I was sure that you were a prime candidate for a kidney stone."

 "You can't tell a man is a candidate for a kidney stone just by looking at him."

"That's what you think, Kanis. You had so much acid in you when you addressed the jury I knew some of it eventually had to crystallize into stones. Remember on the third day when you called me the 'Butcher of Operating Room 6'?  That afternoon I said to my wife, "That man is going to be in a lot of pain.' "

"Okay, Doc, you've had your ounce of flesh. Can I now have my ounce of Demerol?"

"I better check you out first."

"Don't check me out, just give the dope."

"But in court the first question you asked me was if I had examined the patient completely.  It would be negligent of me if I didn't do it now.   Do you mind getting up on the scale?"

"What for?"

"To find out your height and weight.  I have to be prepared in case I get sued and the lawyer asks me if I knew how tall you were."

"I'm not going to sue you."

"You say that now. But how can I be sure you won't file a writ after you pass the kidney stone?"


Scott's Rule of Supply

There is a finite number of physicians that a population of fixed size will support. 

The same theory holds for teachers and engineers. 

However, this principle does not seem to apply to lawyers. 

The more you have, the more you need. 


At the rate law schools are turning them out, by the year 2100 there will be more lawyers than humans


The new doctor hangs up his shingle and waits nervously. A man enters and gives the doctor his list of symptoms. The doc is nonplused. He says, "Wait here," and goes into his office. He pores through his medical texts but can come up with nothing. He goes out the man and quizzes him for more information, goes into his office and repeats the search, all to no avail. Finally he goes out and says to the patient, "Have you ever had these exact same symptoms before?" "Yes, sir, Doc," he says, "about six months ago." The doctor replies, "Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but you have the same thing again."


A woman went to her doctor for advice.  She told the physician that her husband had developed a penchant for anal sex, and she was not sure that it was such a good idea.  The doctor asked, "Do you enjoy it?"  She said that she did.  He asked, "Does it hurt you?"  She said that it didn't.  The doctor then told her, "Well, then, there's no reason that you shouldn't practice anal sex, if that's what you like, so long as you take care not to get pregnant."  The woman was mystified.  She asked "You can get pregnant from anal sex?"  The doctor replied, "Of course.  Where do you think attorneys come from?"


Week of December 10, 2012

Medicine vs. the Law

 A cannibal walked into his neighborhood butcher store and was trying to decide what he wanted for dinner.  He saw sign that said Doctors' Brains -  $5 a pound.  Then another that read, Lawyers' Brains - $1500 per pound.             

"Say, mister," asked the cannibal, "how come lawyers' brains are so expensive?"

"Well", said the butcher, "do you realize how many lawyers we have to kill to get a pound of brains?"


(-- and a variation on the above story)


A group of headhunters sets up a small stand near a well-traveled road.  

The bill of fare was as follows:


Sautéed Tourist $10

Braised Reporter $12

Fried Diplomat   $15

Fricasseed Lawyer $110


One of the group called over the waiter to inquire about the large price difference for the lawyer.

The waiter answered, "If you ever had to clean one of those suckers, you'd understand."

Six surgeons were sitting around discussing their favorite patients when the first stated that he especially enjoyed operating on poets and artists because ...

"When I cut them open, they are filled with beautiful colors and the operating room is bathed in wonderful light."        

"No way!"  said the second surgeon,  "I prefer operating on accountants.  Inside everything is neat and orderly and all the parts are numbered."

 "Nah," said the third surgeon, "librarians are the best.  Everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth responds: "Try electricians, man!  Everything inside them is color coded!"

The fifth intercedes: "Personally, I prefer engineers.   They always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end."

"You're all wrong," said the sixth surgeon,  "The best are lawyers. No guts, no heart, no spine.  They only have two parts -- their mouths and their rears, and both of these are interchangeable!"

A man in a movie theater was minding his own business when the man seated behind him began massaging the first man's neck.

 "What the hell are you doing?" said the first man.

 "Oh, I'm sorry.  You see, I'm a chiropractor and I'm so used to doing this all day that I didn't realize I was doing it to you."

 "Likely story," said the first man, "I'm a lawyer, and you don't see me screwing the guy in front of me!"


A doctor, an architect, and an attorney were dining at the country club one day, and the conversation turned to the subject of their respective dogs, which were apparently quite extraordinary.  A wager was placed on which of them had the most intelligent dog. 


The physician offered to show his dog first, and called to the parking lot, "Hippocrates, come!" Hippocrates ran in, and was told by the doctor to do his stuff.  Hippocrates ran to the golf course and dug for a while, producing a number of bones.  He dragged the bones into the country club, and assembled them into a complete, fully articulated human skeleton.  The physician patted Hippocrates on the head, and gave him a cookie for his efforts. 


The architect was only marginally impressed, and called for his dog, "Sliderule, come!"  Sliderule ran in, and was told to do his stuff.  The dog immediately chewed the skeleton to rubble, but reassembled the fragments into a scale model of the Taj Mahal.  The architect patted his dog and gave him a cookie. 


The attorney watched the other two dogs, and called "Bullshit, come!"  Bullshit entered and was told to do his stuff.  Bullshit immediately sodomized the other two dogs, stole their cookies, auctioned the Taj Mahal replica to the other club members for his fee, and went outside to play golf. 



See more below:


Week of December 3, 2012

The Devil and the Legal Profession (Part 3)

Having passed on to her appropriate award in the after life, a lawyer found herself with the devil in a room filled with clocks.  Each clock turned at a different speed and was labeled with the name of a different profession or occupation.  After examining all the clocks, the lawyer turned to the devil and said, "I have two questions.  First, why does each clock move at a different speed?"

"They turn at the rate that practitioners of that profession sin on earth," replied the devil.  "What's your next question?"

"Well," said the lawyer, "I can't seem to find the legal profession.  Where is the lawyer's clock?"

Puzzled the devil scanned the room, "Oh yes!" he finally exclaimed.  "I keep that clock in my office and use it for a fan!"


Or the "Southern" version of the same joke --


St. Peter informed everyone who arrived at the pearly gates that each person on earth had a clock in heaven.  He also said that each clock advanced one minute for each lie that the person told.  The new arrival saw clocks for many of the state's residents.  However, he was dismayed when he couldn't find the lawyer's clock and asked St. Peter why he couldn't find the clock. St. Peter replied, "Oh, his clock. We have it in the den.  We use it for a ceiling fan."

One day a lawyer died and found herself at the pearly gates of heaven.   St. Peter asked, "Who are you?"  The woman answered, "I was a Hollywood divorce lawyer."

Nodding ominously, St. Peter asked, "What have you done to earn an eternal reward in heaven."

The lawyer thought about it long and hard, searching her mind for the one good deed that might gain her entrance to heaven.  "As a matter of fact, the other day I passed a panhandler in the street and I gave him fifty cents," she said beamingly.

St. Peter nodded grimly, looking over at his assistant Gabriel, and asked, "Is that in the records?"

Gabriel nodded his assent.  St. Peter than said, "That's not very impressive, nor is it enough.  I'm sorry," and started to close the gates.

"Wait, wait!  There's more," shouted the woman.  "The other night, as I was walking home, I almost tripped over a homeless child in the street.  I gave him fifty cents too!"

Peter again checked with Gabriel who confirmed the incident.  "Is there anything else?"

The lawyer again thought and thought and sadly said, "Not that I can remember."

St. Peter contemplated for a long time and then asked Gabriel, "What do you think I should do?"

Gabriel glanced at the lawyer disgustingly and said,

"I'd give her back her buck and tell her to go to hell!"

A stingy old lawyer who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness was determined to prove wrong the saying, "You can't take it with you."


After much thought and consideration, the old ambulance-chaser finally figured out how to take at least some of his money with him when he died.  He instructed his wife to go to the bank and withdraw enough money to fill two pillowcases.  He then directed her to take the bags and of money to the attic and leave them directly above his bed.  His plan: When he passed away, he would reach out and grab the bags on his way to heaven.


Several weeks after the funeral, his widow was up in the attic cleaning, and came upon the two forgotten pillowcases stuffed with cash.


"Oh, that darn fool," she exclaimed, "I knew he should have had me put the money in the basement."



Week of November 26, 2012

The Devil and the Legal Profession (Part 2)

From "A Man for All Seasons," by Robert Bolt ©1962


William Roper (More's son-in-law) speaking to Thomas More who has just been summoned to appear before Thomas Cromwell, More's successor as Chancellor of England, to answer "certain charges":


                Roper -- "While we are witty, the Devil may enter us unawares."

            More -- "He's not the Devil, son Roper, he's a lawyer! ..."

Recently a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer wound up together at the Pearly Gates.  St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven, they would each have to answer one question.

St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, "What was the name of the ship that crashed into the iceberg?  They just made a movie about it."

The teacher answered quickly, "That would be the Titanic."  St. Peter let him through the gate.

St. Peter turned to the garbage man and, figuring Heaven didn't "really" need all the odors that this guy would bring with him, decided to make the question a little harder: "How many people died on the ship?"

Fortunately for him, the trash man had just seen the movie. "1,228," he answered.

"That's right!  You may enter."

St. Peter turned to the lawyer.  "Name them."



An attorney passed on and found himself in Heaven, but not at all happy with his accommodations.  He complained to St. Peter, who told him that his only recourse was to appeal his assignment.  The attorney immediately advised that he intended to appeal, but was then told that he would be waiting at least three years before his appeal could be heard.  The attorney protested that a three-year wait was unconscionable, but his words fell on deaf ears.  The lawyer was then approached by the devil, who told him that he would be able to arrange an appeal to be heard in a few days, if the attorney was willing to change venue to Hell.  When the attorney asked why appeals could be heard so much sooner in Hell, he was told, "We have all of the judges."



Abraham Lincoln was fond of telling "lawyer stories" -- According to legend one of his favorites involved his days back in Springfield, Illinois.  On one particularly cold and dank wintry eve, Lincoln had to travel to Salem and stay overnight on one of his client's cases.  Arriving at the local inn, he found several other lawyers interested in the case already arrived and huddled around the tavern fireplace for warmth.

"Really cold out there, heh?" asked one of the bystanders.

"Colder than hell," replied our future president.

"You've been to hell then, Mr. Lincoln?" asked the innkeeper.

"Oh yes," Abe Lincoln smiled, "... and just like here, all the lawyers are nearest the fire."


Week of November 19, 2012

The Devil and the Legal Profession

One evening a lawyer was working late when the Devil, in all of his majesty, suddenly materialized in front of her desk.

"Tired of working these long hours?  Tired of not making the money you deserve, -- of not having your talents recognized?" asked the Devil solicitously.

The lawyer nodded.

"I thought as much.  So I'd like to offer your dreams come true; a seven-figure income, the corner office, a limousine at your beck and call, a house in the country, and month-long vacations whenever you want them.  I'll throw in legions of young associates to do your work and a senior partnership in a prestigious law firm." 

Noting the gleam in the attorney's eye, the Devil leaned forward and slyly continued,

                "And in payment, all I ask for -- is your eternal soul.  Think it over!"

The lawyer sat back, her faced screwed in intense concentration, and considered for several minutes.

                "Okay," she finally demanded, "What's the catch?"


What do you call the devil and a lawyer? ... Twins!




From an exchange of letters between God and the Devil --

"Dear God, My attorneys have advised me that you are responsible for the recent damage to the fence between Heaven and Hell ...."

"Dear Devil, Lacking legal counsel ..."

A certain lawyer died and went straight to Hell for his sins.  As the Devil was leading the poor soul off to the pool of fire and brimstone that he was to fry in for all eternity, he caught sight of a fellow attorney passionately making love to a gorgeous woman. Under his breath, the unfortunate lawyer cursed the injustice of it all. 

"Here I am, soon to be roasting in agony, and that guy gets to dally with a beautiful babe."

The Devil turned him and roared, "And just who are you to question that woman's punishment!”"


Week of November 12, 2012


A rabbi, Hindu lama and a lawyer were driving long distance by back roads in unfamiliar country.  Toward dusk, with daylight almost gone, they realized they were hopelessly lost and almost out of gas.  At that very moment they noticed a ramshackle farmhouse just off the road with a single light lit over the stoop.  They pulled into the weed-invested driveway, got out and knocked on the door.


The farmer welcomed them warmly, advising them that it was indeed fortunate that they had stopped, because the road became particularly treacherous just ahead.  In the morning, he would give them some gas and see them out, but for now it was best to stay put.


"There's one problem," said the farmer, "I only have beds for two.  One of you will have to sleep in the barn."


Being a religious man, concerned for the comfort and well being of his friends, the rabbi quickly volunteered to go to the barn.   Soon thereafter, they all retired for the night.


It wasn't twenty minutes later that there was a knock at the door.  There stood the rabbi, terribly embarrassed and noting: "There are pigs in the barn.  Pigs are forbidden in my religion and I find it impossible to stay the night in the barn."


Immediately the Hindu lama volunteered to sleep in the barn, comforting his brother minister with understanding of the awkward situation.


Again they all retired only to be awakened fifteen minutes later with another knock at the door.  There stood a red-faced and humiliated lama, who with tears in his eyes said: "I know I volunteered to sleep in the barn, but when I got there to my terrible chagrin, I discovered there were cows in the barn.  Cows are sacred to my religion and I cannot spend the night in their presence."


For a few embarrassing moments there was silence.  Finally the lawyer realized he was the only choice left.  "All right,: said the lawyer reluctantly, "I'll sleep in the barn."


Once more they retired until only minutes later there was yet another knock at the door.


There stood all the pigs and the cows.



The parish priest was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his pastorate.  A leading local lawyer, a member of the priest's congregation, was to give the keynote speech at the dinner, but found himself delayed in Court.  The toastmaster decided to proceed without him.

After all the laudations had been heaped upon the venerable priest, he rose to acknowledge the tributes given him.

"The seal of the confessional," he said, “can never be broken, and so I can only hint gently of my impressions when I first came here twenty-five years ago.  Oh, I thought I had been assigned a terrible place.  The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had stolen a television set, and when stopped by a policeman, had almost murdered the officer.  But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, a fine parish full of understanding and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his thanks, the lawyer arrived full of apologies and rushed to the dais to make the gift presentation speech.

"I'll never forget the first day our pastor arrived in this parish," said the lawyer.  "In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to go to him in confession."



"Wife," announced the puritanical New England minister, "I am going to find out what our son wants to be when he grows up.  Watch."

The minister put a twenty-dollar bill on a table -- that stood for the banking business.  Next to it, he laid a Bible, representing the ministry.   Finally, he placed a bottle of whiskey, to symbolize a life of dissolution and immorality.  Both parents then hid behind the drapes. 

Their 12-year old son entered the room, picked up the bill, held it in the light, and replaced it.  He fingered the pages of the Bible.  Then he uncorked the bottle of booze and sniffed the contents.

Suddenly the boy stuffed the twenty-dollar bill in his pocket, tucked the Bible under his arm, grabbed the whiskey and ran out of the room.

 "eaven help us!" exclaimed the minister, "he's going to be a lawyer!"



The Reverend Kilgore and Werner, an attorney, sat next to each other on a jet to Phoenix.

"Do you ever make mistakes in pleading?" asked the minister.

"Sometimes I do," replied Werner.

"And what do you do about them?" inquired Reverend Kilgore.

"Why, if large ones, I mend them; if small ones, I let them go," said the lawyer. 

"Do you ever make mistakes in preaching?"

"Yes, I have."

"And what do you do?" asked Werner.

I dispose of them in the same manner as you do," answered the holy man.

"Recently, as I was preaching, I meant to say that the devil was 'the father of liars,' but instead I said, 'the father of lawyers.'  The mistake was so small that I let it go."


Why has the Baptist church quit baptizing lawyers?

---  Because they can't get the ring out of the baptismal tub.


Week of November 5, 2012


Through my nearly 50 years of law practice, I've seen plenty of disclaimers -- everything I touch comes with a disclaimer. (If it didn't have one before, it will after I'm done with them.) Here are a few actual disclaimers that I've come across through the years: (Note: See also "fine print" disclaimers above)

Electric Toaster:  Not for underwater use

Christmas lights: For indoor or outdoor use only

Pencils: May be sharp after sharpened

Can of nuts: May contain traces of nuts

Hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping; Keep away from water

Sleeping pills: May cause drowsiness

Iron: May be hot during use; WARNING: Never iron clothes on the body

TV remote control: Not dishwasher safe

Chainsaw: Do not attempt to stop chain with hands.

Instant noodles: Best used before expiration date; Will be hot after heating

Various household cleaners: CAUTION: contains cleaning agents; Do not ingest; Avoid spraying in face or eyes

But as we move deeper into the 21st century and with the recent discovery of the Higgs boson and with further advances in nanotechnology and subatomic particle physics, it is time to update the LEGAL DISCLAIMERS AND WARNINGS file with some new ones for the 21st century. ...

WARNING: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.

WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between them.

CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.

HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.

CONSUMER NOTICE: Because of the "Uncertainty Principle," It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving.

ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Non-zero Chance That Through a Process Know as "Tunneling" This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.

THIS IS A 100% MATTER PRODUCT: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result.

PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a "Gluing" Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.

ATTENTION: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.99999999999% Empty Space.

NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects Since the Seven New Dimensions Are "Rolled Up" into Such a Small "Area" That They Cannot Be Detected.

PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State.

COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be Expressed or Implied.

HEALTH WARNING: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Re-emerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot Be Guaranteed.

Note: Of course, it need not be mentioned that once these warnings are given, the natural tendency of the population is to seek ways to get around the implications and predictions suggested by the warnings ... which will result in an inevitable increase in accidents and injuries thereby creating more lawsuits and opportunities for the members of our august profession. But keep that a secret just among us lawyers.



Week of October 29, 2012

The Honorary Degree

A rich man walks into the Dean's Office at a small college.

 "I'd like to donate several million dollars to the institution."

 "Why, that's very generous of you."

"But there is one condition:

 I'd like you to bestow an honorary degree."

"That's no problem; no problem at all."

"I haven't finished.

 I want an honorary degree for my horse."

"Your horse?"

"Yup, you bet. She carried me for many a year and I owe her a lot.

I'd like her to receive her Tr.d. - Doctor of Transportation."

"I'm sorry, we can't give a degree to a horse.

 What will people think?"

"Well, I'll just take my donation to another educational institution."

"Wait, wait! Let me consult with the school trustees."

The dean calls a hurried trustee meeting and relays the details of the deal.

 All of the board except the oldest member reacts with shock and dismay.

 The oldest trustee looks like he's sleeping through the meeting.

 After all the arguments, the old man says,

 "Take the money and give the horse the degree."

"What? Don't you think that would disgrace the college?"

"We give honorary degrees to lawyers, don't we?"

"Yes, but ..."

"We give honorary degrees to politicians, don't we?"

"Yes ..."

"So what's wrong with giving an honorary degree to the entire horse?"





Week Beginning October 22, 2012

Lawyer Addiction Can Be Overcome

I am the parent of a child who became an attorney.  It all started innocently enough when Cecil (not his real name) gave up his dope habit and said he was thinking of becoming a lawyer.


I'd heard that dope smoking led to kids experimenting with stronger more dangerous things but I never thought that Cecil would take to legal studies. Like all parents I believed that it would never happen to me. My husband and I forbade him to take a "civics" course at his high school. We spoke to the School Principal. Nothing helped.


In desperation we took him to a drug pusher. He tried to get Cecil into amphetamines. He even tried heroin. It failed. By the time he went to the university Cecil was a confirmed legal addict.  Nothing interested him anymore. When my husband died all he could talk about was the tax implications and estate duties.


Finally I gave up. Cecil wrote and passed his Bar exam and was soon a partner in a large law firm. He was eternally lost to humanity. There was nothing I could do.


It was then that I started Attorneys Anonymous, a worldwide organization which has among its goals the early detection of possible attorneys and, with careful training and rehabilitation, the eradication of this menace to society.




* Personality change: children who are dynamic, witty, exciting and adventurous become dull and boring. Apathy pervades their waking hours.

* They drink more coffee.

* Money problems arise, caused by miserable salaries paid by law firms to their associates, who are forced to work long periods before becoming eligible to join the "Club."

* Look out for increased expenditure on pens, erasers and calculators.

* Monitor friends carefully: in particular, watch out for equally dull, lifeless and boring individuals clad in 3 piece pin-stripe suits with thinning material in the seat of the trousers.



"Pass Rate" Never above 15% -- tends to induce a cold sweat and hypertension at least twice a year.

"GAAP"  What you do when in the company of an attorney.

"Bored Exam" The final test to check whether an individual is sufficiently boring and uninteresting to be called "to the Bar". (If attorneys pass this, there is no going back).




If you think your child is on the way to becoming an attorney, then rehabilitation is the only answer. With care and professional help attorneys can be cured, detoxified and allowed to resume their rightful place in society. Try using drugs like cocaine, LSD or amphetamines -- any drug which induces euphoria reminiscent to that felt before taking to the law will sometimes shock an legal addict into seeing the error of his ways.


Aversion techniques have been proved effective in tests on male subjects. Through auto-suggestion the patient learns to associate law practice with having his willy cut off with an axe.


It is essential to detect legal addiction in its early stages and a calm and sympathetic discussion with your child could probably go a long way to curing him. Take him to a firm of lawyers and let him see for himself the effects of legal practice. Never give up. Lawyers can be cured.


FACT: Not only hemophiliacs and alcoholics fall prey to lawyering.

Set aside all