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November 02, 2005

Reviewing lawyer jokes

The TaxProf Blog briefly discusses a review of a book called Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture, by Marc Galanter. Among the TaxProf's favorite jokes are these:

Did you hear about the post office having to cancel its commemorative issue honoring lawyers? It seems that it was too confusing—people didn’t know which side of the stamp to spit on. (p.198)

[A lawyer explaining his fees to his client] “If you want justice, it’s two hundred dollars an hour. Obstruction of justice runs a bit more.” (p.238)

Hear the good news and the bad news? The good news is that a bus load of lawyers just ran off the cliff. The bad news is that there were three empty seats on the bus. (p.213)

There is an old story of a lawyer named Strange and his wife having a conference as to the things he wished done after he had departed this life. “I want a headstone put over me, my dear,” said the lawyer, “with the simple inscription—‘Here lies an honest lawyer.’” The wife expressed surprise that he did not wish his name put on the headstone. “It will not be needful,” he responded, “for those who pass by and read that inscription will invariably remark: ‘That’s Strange.’” (p. 36)
The bus-over-a-cliff joke is old, and it's mean-spirited without being funny -- which is unforgivable. But I like the one about obstruction of justice. When I was in private practice in New York, a partner at my firm once quipped, "Justice delayed is a client well served." He was speaking of normal dilatory tactics, not obstruction, but I always liked his aphorism.

The TaxProf also includes three of his own about tax lawyers.

Coincidentally, speaking of lawyer jokes, Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, has started a blog, and he writes about a recent cartoon of his in which a company lawyer is killed by a porpoise. I didn't realize this, but he wrote two versions of the cartoon because his editors thought that some newspapers wouldn't like the one in which the lawyer was discovered with a porpoise's head up his tuchis.
Apparently there’s an unwritten rule about showing a porpoise with his head in a lawyer’s ass.
Both versions are available at the Dilbert blog.