For What It’s Worth

Lawyers are not jokes, but there are lawyer jokes

While you might not be full agreement with the first half of the statement above, you will have to agree on the last half. No doubt, lawyers often are unfairly the brunt of jokes—some light-hearted, some less than light-hearted. So, what prompted this musing? Two news stories I read today on the Internet.

One was about settlement of a lawsuit and the other about what some folks would consider to be obnoxious behavior. The lawsuit was filed by a man now serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder which stemmed from his running over a police officer during a chase in which he hit a school bus and a patrol car. A video showed the man being hit and kicked by police as he lay on the ground after the chase. The man sued and in the settlement with the city of Birmingham received $1,000 and his attorneys were awarded $459,000 in expenses and fees.

The story on determined behavior was about a lawyer from Miami (some might suggest that this would explain a lot) who paid $8,000 for a seat behind home plate for the first game of the World Series in Kansas City. He is not a Kansas City Royals fan; he’s a Florida Marlins fan. “So what?” you might ask. Does that disqualify him from attending and enjoying the World Series game? No, but it did not sit well (pun intended) with certain people.

According to the news story, the lawyer makes a point of getting expensive seats to sporting events and wearing his Marlins gear. In Kansas City, the owner of the Royals was not pleased—“extremely upset,” the lawyer said—and asked the man to change his clothes. He even offered the man a private suite if he would move and tried to entice him with free World Series goodies if he would just get rid of the orange jersey. No way, the man said. He paid $8,000 for that prime seat and wasn’t about to give it up.

In a way, I can’t blame him. But, at the same time, I have a bit of a problem understanding why anyone would spend that amount of money and then go dressed in a way likely to stir up some folks. However, it is equally difficult for me to understand why so much effort would be made to move the man or to change his attire. Probably the public relations people thought it was a negative image for the Royals to have TV viewers seeing a fan wearing Marlins’ orange. I saw him in the background, but it never occurred to me to think negatively of the Royals because of it. Frankly, I just thought he was another of those nut cases often seen at a major sporting event and I ignored him.

Perhaps because I sometimes see humor where others don’t, reading the two stories involving lawyers brought lawyers mind. In turn, that stirred the pot on lawyer jokes.

  • You know you need a different lawyer when the prosecutors high-five each other when they see who your lawyer is.
  • Two small boys, Billy and Tommy, are talking. Billy: “My dad’s an accountant. What’s your dad?” Tommy: “He’s a lawyer.” Billy: “Honest?” Tommy: “No, just the regular kind.”
  • A lawyer has an inoperable brain tumor and his doctor offers the choice of having a brain transplant. He can choose from jars with nuclear scientist brains at $10 per ounce, chemist brains at $15 per ounce, and lawyer brains at $800 per ounce. Outraged, the lawyer says, “This is a ripoff, why are lawyer brains so expensive?” The doctor replies, “Do you know how many lawyers it takes to get an ounce of brains?”
  • A truck driver often amused himself by running over lawyers. He would swerve to hit them and enjoy the loud THUMP when he hit one. As he was driving one day he saw a priest hitchhiking and stopped to offer a ride. The priest thanked him and hopped into the cab. The truck driver saw a lawyer walking along side of the road and instinctively swerved. At the last second, he remembered the priest and swerved back, narrowly missing the lawyer. Still he heard a THUMP, but didn’t understand where the noise came from. He turned to the priest and said, “Sorry, Father, I almost hit that lawyer.” “That’s okay,” the priest replied, “I got him with the door.”
  • A plumber presented a lawyer a bill, charging $500 an hour. Outraged, the lawyer said, “I’m a lawyer and I don’t make that kind of money.” The plumber replied, “That’s what I thought when I was a lawyer.”

Oops, now plumbers, too, are going to want to flush me down the drain. So, it is best to close the lid on this. However, please know that, as a retired journalist, I know that journalists rank right up there with lawyers in polls showing least-liked occupations and regularly are the butt of jokes similar to what lawyers put up with. So, here’s this one:

  • If you see a journalist and a skunk dead in the highway, how do you know which one is the skunk and which one the journalist? Easy, the skunk will be the one where there are skid marks.

I’m not worried about journalists getting upset with me about this and not taking it as a joke. By the time most of them figure it out, they will have forgotten where they read it and who wrote it.

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