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Page history last edited by dm 15 years, 3 months ago

A blind rabbit was hopping through the woods, tripping over logs and crashing

into trees.  At the same time, a blind snake was slithering through the same

forest, with identical results.  They chanced to collide head-on in a clearing.

    "Please excuse me, sir, I'm blind and I bumped into you accidentally,"

apologized the rabbit.

    "That's quite all right," replied the snake, "I have the same


    "All my life I've been wondering what I am," said the rabbit, "Do

you think you could help me find out?"

    "I'll try," said the snake.  He gently coiled himself around the

rabbit. "Well, you're covered with soft fur, you have a little fluffy tail

and long ears.  You're... hmmm... you're probably a bunny rabbit!"

    "Great!" said the rabbit.  "Thanks, I really owe you one!"

    "Well," replied the snake, "I don't know what I am, either.  Do you

suppose you could try and tell me?"

    The rabbit ran his paws all over the snake.  "Well, you're low, cold

and slimey..."  And, as he ran one paw underneath the snake, "and you have

no balls.  You must be an attorney!"


A certain old cat had made his home in the alley behind Gabe's bar for some

time, subsisting on scraps and occasional handouts from the bartender.  One

evening, emboldened by hunger, the feline attempted to follow Gabe through

the back door.  Regrettably, only the his body had made it through when

the door slammed shut, severing the cat's tail at its base.  This proved too

much for the old creature, who looked sadly at Gabe and expired on the spot.

    Gabe put the carcass back out in the alley and went back to business.

The mandatory closing time arrived and Gabe was in the process of locking up

after the last customers had gone.  Approaching the back door he was startled

to see an apparition of the old cat mournfully holding its severed tail out,

silently pleading for Gabe to put the tail back on its corpse so that it could

go on to the kitty afterworld complete.

    Gabe shook his head sadly and said to the ghost, "I can't.  You know

the law -- no retailing spirits after 2:00 AM."


A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.

        -- Ben Franklin


A doctor was stranded with a lawyer in a leaky life raft in shark-infested

waters. The doctor tried to swim ashore but was eaten by the sharks. The

lawyer, however, swam safely past the bloodthirsty sharks.  "Professional

courtesy," he explained.


A Dublin lawyer died in poverty and many barristers of the city subscribed to

a fund for his funeral.  The Lord Chief Justice of Orbury was asked to donate

a shilling.  "Only a shilling?" exclaimed the man. "Only a shilling to bury

an attorney?  Here's a guinea; go and bury twenty of them."


A friend of mine won't get a divorce, because he hates lawyers more than he

hates his wife.


    A grade school teacher was asking students what their parents did

for a living.  "Tim, you be first," she said.  "What does your mother do

all day?"

    Tim stood up and proudly said, "She's a doctor."

    "That's wonderful.  How about you, Amie?"

    Amie shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, "My father is a


    "Thank you, Amie," said the teacher.  "What about your father, Billy?"

    Billy proudly stood up and announced, "My daddy plays piano in a


    The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to geography.

Later that day she went to Billy's house and rang the bell.  Billy's father

answered the door.  The teacher explained what his son had said and demanded

an explanation.

    Billy's father replied, "Well, I'm really an attorney.  But how do

you explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old child?"


    A housewife, an accountant and a lawyer were asked to add 2 and 2.

    The housewife replied, "Four!".

    The accountant said, "It's either 3 or 4.  Let me run those figures

through my spread sheet one more time."

    The lawyer pulled the drapes, dimmed the lights and asked in a

hushed voice, "How much do you want it to be?"


A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.

        -- Robert Frost


    A lawyer named Strange was shopping for a tombstone.  After he had

made his selection, the stonecutter asked him what inscription he

would like on it.  "Here lies an honest man and a lawyer," responded the


    "Sorry, but I can't do that," replied the stonecutter.  "In this

state, it's against the law to bury two people in the same grave.  However,

I could put ``here lies an honest lawyer'', if that would be okay."

    "But that won't let people know who it is" protested the lawyer.

    "Certainly will," retorted the stonecutter.  "people will read it

and exclaim, "That's Strange!"


A Los Angeles judge ruled that "a citizen may snore with immunity in

his own home, even though he may be in possession of unusual and

exceptional ability in that particular field."


    A Los Angeles judge ruled that "a citizen may snore with immunity in

his own home, even though he may be in possession of unusual and exceptional

ability in that particular field."


    A man walked into a bar with his alligator and asked the bartender,

"Do you serve lawyers here?".

    "Sure do," replied the bartender.

    "Good," said the man.  "Give me a beer, and I'll have a lawyer for

my 'gator."


    A New York City judge ruled that if two women behind you at the

movies insist on discussing the probable outcome of the film, you have the

right to turn around and blow a Bronx cheer at them.


A New York City ordinance prohibits the shooting of rabbits from the

rear of a Third Avenue street car -- if the car is in motion.


A Riverside, California, health ordinance states that two persons may

not kiss each other without first wiping their lips with carbolized rosewater.


A small town that cannot support one lawyer can always support two.


According to Arkansas law, Section 4761, Pope's Digest:  "No person

shall be permitted under any pretext whatever, to come nearer than

fifty feet of any door or window of any polling room, from the opening

of the polls until the completion of the count and the certification of

the returns."


According to Kentucky state law, every person must take a bath at least

once a year.


After 35 years, I have finished a comprehensive study of European

comparative law.  In Germany, under the law, everything is prohibited,

except that which is permitted.  In France, under the law, everything

is permitted, except that which is prohibited.  In the Soviet Union,

under the law, everything is prohibited, including that which is

permitted.  And in Italy, under the law, everything is permitted,

especially that which is prohibited.

        -- Newton Minow,

        Speech to the Association of American Law Schools, 1985


    After his Ignoble Disgrace, Satan was being expelled from

Heaven.  As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought,

and turned to God and said, "A new creature called Man, I hear, is soon

to be created."

    "This is true," He replied.

    "He will need laws," said the Demon slyly.

    "What!  You, his appointed Enemy for all Time!  You ask for the

right to make his laws?"

    "Oh, no!"  Satan replied, "I ask only that he be allowed to

make his own."

    It was so granted.

        -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"


An amendment to a motion may be amended, but an amendment to an amendment

to a motion may not be amended.  However, a substitute for an amendment to

and amendment to a motion may be adopted and the substitute may be amended.

        -- The Montana legislature's contribution to the English



An attorney was defending his client against a charge of first-degree murder.

"Your Honor, my client is accused of stuffing his lover's mutilated body into

a suitcase and heading for the Mexican border.  Just north of Tijuana a cop

spotted her hand sticking out of the suitcase.  Now, I would like to stress

that my client is *___not* a murderer.  A sloppy packer, maybe..."


An English judge, growing weary of the barrister's long-winded summation,

leaned over the bench and remarked, "I've heard your arguments, Sir

Geoffrey, and I'm none the wiser!" Sir Geoffrey responded, "That may be,

Milord, but at least you're better informed!"


And then there was the lawyer that stepped in cow manure and thought

he was melting...


Another day, another dollar.

        -- Vincent J. Fuller, defense lawyer for John Hinckley,

           upon Hinckley's acquittal for shooting President Ronald



Anti-trust laws should be approached with exactly that attitude.


Atlanta makes it against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole

or street lamp.


Attorney General Edwin Meese III explained why the Supreme Court's Miranda

decision (holding that subjects have a right to remain silent and have a

lawyer present during questioning) is unnecessary: "You don't have many

suspects who are innocent of a crime.  That's contradictory.  If a person

is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect."

        -- U.S. News and World Report, 10/14/85


Be frank and explicit with your lawyer ... it is his business to confuse

the issue afterwards.


Behold the warranty -- the bold print giveth and the fine print taketh away.


Being a miner, as soon as you're too old and tired and sick and stupid to

do your job properly, you have to go, where the very opposite applies with

the judges.

        -- Beyond the Fringe


Between grand theft and a legal fee, there only stands a law degree.


... but as records of courts and justice are admissible, it can easily be

proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge

to mankind.  The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women

were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still

unimpeachable.  The judges' decisions based on it were sound in logic and

in law.  Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than

the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death.  If

there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute

of value.

        -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"


Carmel, New York, has an ordinance forbidding men to wear coats and

trousers that don't match.


Certain passages in several laws have always defied interpretation and the

most inexplicable must be a matter of opinion.  A judge of the Court of

Session of Scotland has sent the editors of this book his candidate which

reads, "In the Nuts (unground), (other than ground nuts) Order, the expression

nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than ground nuts, as would

but for this amending Order not qualify as nuts (unground) (other than ground

nuts) by reason of their being nuts (unground)."

        -- Guiness Book of World Records, 1973


Chicago law prohibits eating in a place that is on fire.


Diogenes went to look for an honest lawyer. "How's it going?", someone

asked him, after a few days.

    "Not too bad", replied Diogenes. "I still have my lantern."


[District Attorneys] learn in District Attorney School that there are

two sure-fire ways to get a lot of favorable publicity:

(1) Go down and raid all the lockers in the local high school and

    confiscate 53 marijuana cigarettes and put them in a pile and hold

    a press conference where you announce that they have a street value

    of $850 million.  These raids never fail, because ALL high schools,

    including brand-new, never-used ones, have at least 53 marijuana

    cigarettes in the lockers.  As far as anyone can tell, the locker

    factory puts them there.

(2) Raid an "adult book store" and hold a press conference where you

    announce you are charging the owner with 850 counts of being a

    piece of human sleaze.  This also never fails, because you always

    get a conviction.  A juror at a pornography trial is not about to

    state for the record that he finds nothing obscene about a movie

    where actors engage in sexual activities with live snakes and a

    fire extinguisher.  He is going to convict the bookstore owner, and

    vote for the death penalty just to make sure nobody gets the wrong


        -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"


District of Columbia pedestrians who leap over passing autos to escape

injury, and then strike the car as they come down, are liable for any

damage inflicted on the vehicle.


Divorce is a game played by lawyers.

        -- Cary Grant


Doctors and lawyers must go to school for years and years, often with

little sleep and with great sacrifice to their first wives.

        -- Roy G. Blount, Jr.


Fights between cats and dogs are prohibited by statute in Barber, North



First there was Dial-A-Prayer, then Dial-A-Recipe, and even Dial-A-Footballer.

But the south-east Victorian town of Sale has produced one to top them all.


    It all began early yesterday when Sale police received a telephone

call: "You won't believe this, and I'm not drunk, but there's a wombat in the

phone booth outside the town hall," the caller said.

    Not firmly convinced about the caller's claim to sobriety, members of

the constabulary drove to the scene, expecting to pick up a drunk.

    But there it was, an annoyed wombat, trapped in a telephone booth.

    The wombat, determined not to be had the better of again, threw its

bulk into the fray. It was eventually lassoed and released in a nearby scrub.

    Then the officers received another message ... another wombat in

another phone booth.

    There it was: *Another* angry wombat trapped in a telephone booth.

    The constables took the miffed marsupial into temporary custody and

released it, too, in the scrub.

    But on their way back to the station they happened to pass another

telephone booth, and -- you guessed it -- another imprisoned wombat.

    After some serious detective work, the lads in blue found a suspect,

and after questioning, released him to be charged on summons.

    Their problem ... they cannot find a law against placing wombats in

telephone booths.

        -- "Newcastle Morning Herald", NSW Australia, Aug 1980.


For certain people, after fifty, litigation takes the place of sex.

        -- Gore Vidal


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 finally decided it would be

better to have a bastard in the family than a lawyer."


Fortune Documents the Great Legal Decisions:

It is a rule of evidence deduced from the experience of mankind and

supported by reason and authority that positive testimony is entitled to

more weight than negative testimony, but by the latter term is meant

negative testimony in its true sense and not positive evidence of a

negative, because testimony in support of a negative may be as positive

as that in support of an affirmative.

        -- 254 Pac. Rep. 472.


Fortune Documents the Great Legal Decisions:

We can imagine no reason why, with ordinary care, human toes could not be

left out of chewing tobacco, and if toes are found in chewing tobacco, it

seems to us that someone has been very careless.

        -- 78 So. 365.


Fortune Documents the Great Legal Decisions:

We think that we may take judicial notice of the fact that the term "bitch"

may imply some feeling of endearment when applied to a female of the canine

species but that it is seldom, if ever, so used when applied to a female

of the human race. Coming as it did, reasonably close on the heels of two

revolver shots directed at the person of whom it was probably used, we think

it carries every reasonable implication of ill-will toward that person.

        -- Smith v. Moran, 193 N.E. 2d 466.


Fortune's Law of the Week (this week, from Kentucky):

    No female shall appear in a bathing suit at any airport in this

State unless she is escorted by two officers or unless she is armed

with a club.  The provisions of this statute shall not apply to females

weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it

apply to female horses.


Fortune's nomination for All-Time Champion and Protector of Youthful

Morals goes to Representative Clare E. Hoffman of Michigan.  During an

impassioned House debate over a proposed bill to "expand oyster and

clam research," a sharp-eared informant transcribed the following

exchange between our hero and Rep. John D. Dingell, also of Michigan.

DINGELL: There are places in the world at the present time where we are

     having to artificially propagate oysters and clams.

HOFFMAN: You mean the oysters I buy are not nature's oysters?

DINGELL: They may or may not be natural.  The simple fact of the matter

     is that female oysters through their living habits cast out

     large amounts of seed and the male oysters cast out large

     amounts of fertilization ...

HOFFMAN: Wait a minute!  I do not want to go into that.  There are many

     teenagers who read The Congressional Record.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #18:

Q:  Are you married?

A:  No, I'm divorced.

Q:  And what did your husband do before you divorced him?

A:  A lot of things I didn't know about.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #19:

Q:  Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?

A:  All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #25:

Q:  You say you had three men punching at you, kicking you, raping you,

    and you didn't scream?

A:  No ma'am.

Q:  Does that mean you consented?

A:  No, ma'am.  That means I was unconscious.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #29:

THE JUDGE: Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present

       information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any ...


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #32:

Q:  Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?

A:  I will be three months November 8th.

Q:  Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?

A:  Yes.

Q:  What were you and your husband doing at that time?


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #37:

Q:  Did he pick the dog up by the ears?

A:  No.

Q:  What was he doing with the dog's ears?

A:  Picking them up in the air.

Q:  Where was the dog at this time?

A:  Attached to the ears.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #3:

Q:  When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were

    able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to

    go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with

    him to the station?

MR. BROOKS:  Objection.  That question should be taken out and shot.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #41:

Q:  Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?

A:  By death.

Q:  And by whose death was it terminated?


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #52:

Q:  What is your name?

A:  Ernestine McDowell.

Q:  And what is your marital status?

A:  Fair.


Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #7:

Q:  What happened then?

A:  He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."

Q:  Did he kill you?

A:  No.


Frankfort, Kentucky, makes it against the law to shoot off a policeman's tie.


"Gentlemen of the jury," said the defense attorney, now beginning

to warm to his summation, "the real question here before you is, shall this

beautiful young woman be forced to languish away her loveliest years in a

dark prison cell?  Or shall she be set free to return to her cozy little

apartment at 4134 Mountain Ave. -- there to spend her lonely, loveless hours

in her boudoir, lying beside her little Princess phone, 962-7873?"


Getting kicked out of the American Bar Association is liked getting kicked

out of the Book-of-the-Month Club.

        -- Melvin Belli on the occcasion of his getting kicked out

           of the American Bar Association


    God decided to take the devil to court and settle their differences

once and for all.

    When Satan heard of this, he grinned and said, "And just where do you

think you're going to find a lawyer?"


Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of

those who govern.  The machinery of government is always subordinate to the

will of those who administer that machinery.  The most important element of

government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.

        -- Frank Herbert, "Children of Dune"


He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.


"Hi, I'm Preston A. Mantis, president of Consumers Retail Law Outlet. As you

can see by my suit and the fact that I have all these books of equal height

on the shelves behind me, I am a trained legal attorney. Do you have a car

or a job?  Do you ever walk around?  If so, you probably have the makings of

an excellent legal case.  Although of course every case is different, I

would definitely say that based on my experience and training, there's no

reason why you shouldn't come out of this thing with at least a cabin


"Remember, at the Preston A. Mantis Consumers Retail Law Outlet, our motto

is: 'It is very difficult to disprove certain kinds of pain.'"

        -- Dave Barry, "Pain and Suffering"


    Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants in Marshalltown, Iowa.


    How do you insult a lawyer?

    You might as well not even try.  Consider: of all the highly

trained and educated professions, law is the only one in which the prime

lesson is that *winning* is more important than *truth*.

    Once someone has sunk to that level, what worse can you say about them?


HR 3128.  Omnibus Budget Reconciliation, Fiscal 1986.  Martin, R-Ill., motion

that the House recede from its disagreement to the Senate amendment making

changes in the bill to reduce fiscal 1986 deficits.  The Senate amendment

was an amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the House

amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill.  The original Senate amendment

was the conference agreement on the bill.  Agreed to.

        -- Albuquerque Journal


Humor in th Court:

Q: Do you drink when you're on duty?

A: I don't drink when I'm on duty, unless I come on duty drunk.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral.  O.K.? What school do

    you go to?

A.  Oral.

Q.  How old are you?

A.  Oral.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  And who is this person you are speaking of?

A.  My ex-widow said it.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?

A.  I refuse to answer that question.

Q.  Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?

A.  I refuse to answer that question.

Q.  Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?

A.  No.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?

A.  No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition

    notice which I sent to your attorney?

A.  No.  This is how I dress when I go to work.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  Mrs. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?

A.  I should be.

Q.  How many times have you comitted suicide?

A.  Four times.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?

A.  Because he was argumentary and he couldn't pronunciate his words.


Humor in the Court:

Q.  Were you aquainted with the deceased?

A.  Yes, sir.

Q.  Before or after he died?


Humor in the Court:

Q.  What is your brother-in-law's name?

A.  Borofkin.

Q.  What's his first name?

A.  I can't remember.

Q.  He's been your brother-in-law for years, and you can't remember his first


A.  No.  I tell you I'm too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and

    pointing to Mr. Borofkin.) Nathan, for God's sake, tell them your first



Humor in the Court:

Q: (Showing man picture.) That's you?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And you were present when the picture was taken, right?


Humor in the Court:

Q: ...and what did he do then?

A: He came home, and next morning he was dead.

Q: So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?


Humor in the Court:

Q: ...any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial

   instead of an attempted murder trial?

A: The victim lived.


Humor in the Court:

Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

A: Yes, I have been since early childhood.


Humor in the Court:

Q: Are you sexually active?

A: No, I just lie there.


Humor in the Court:

Q: Could you see him from where you were standing?

A: I could see his head.

Q: And where was his head?

A: Just above his shoulders.


Humor in the Court:

Q: Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?

A: He didn't offer me nothing; he just said I could have the furniture.


Humor in the Court:

Q: Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was

   a victim?


Humor in the Court:

Q: So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe

   with respect to your scalp?

A: I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.

Q: It was covered?

A: Yes, bandaged.

Q: Then, later on.. what did you see?

A: I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top

   of my head.


Humor in the Court:

Q: The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective

   witness, isn't it. You too were shot in the fracas?

A: No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval.


Humor in the Court:

Q: What can you tell us about the truthfulness and veracity of this defendant?

A: Oh, she will tell the truth. She said she'd kill that sonofabitch--and

   she did!


Humor in the Court:

Q: What is the meaning of sperm being present?

A: It indicates intercourse.

Q: Male sperm?

A. That is the only kind I know.


Humor in the Court:

Q: What is your relationship with the plaintiff?

A: She is my daughter.

Q: Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?


I need another lawyer like I need another hole in my head.

        -- Fratianno


I remember when legal used to mean lawful, now it means some

kind of loophole.

        -- Leo Kessler


I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the

country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which

I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving

are worth considering, to wit:


       "When traveling on a one-way street, stay to the right, so as not

        to interfere with oncoming traffic."


       "Learning to change lanes takes time and patience.  The best

        recommendation that can be made is to go to a Celtics [basketball]

        game; study the fast break and then go out and practice it

        on the highway."


       "Never bump a baby carriage out of a crosswalk unless the kid's really

        asking for it."


I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the

country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which

I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving

are worth considering, to wit:


       "Directional signals are generally not used except during vehicle

        inspection; however, a left-turn signal is appropriate when making

        a U-turn on a divided highway."


       "When paying tolls, remember that it is necessary to release the

        quarter a full 3 seconds before passing the basket if you are

        traveling more than 60 MPH."


       "When traveling on a one-way street, stay to the right, so as not

        to interfere with oncoming traffic."


I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the

country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which

I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving

are worth considering, to wit:


    "When competing for a section of road or a parking space, remember

        that the vehicle in need of the most body work has the right-of-way."


       "Although it is altogether possible to fit a 6' car into a 6'

        parking space, it is hardly ever possible to fit a 6' car into

        a 5' parking space."


       "Teenage drivers believe that they are immortal, and drive accordingly.

        Nevertheless, you should avoid the temptation to prove them wrong."


I value kindness to human beings first of all, and kindness to animals.  I

don't respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected

with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger,

the food cheaper, and old men and women warmer in the winter, and happier

in the summer.

        -- Brendan Behan


    Idaho state law makes it illegal for a man to give his sweetheart

a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.


If a jury in a criminal trial stays out for more than twenty-four hours, it

is certain to vote acquittal, save in those instances where it votes guilty.

        -- Joseph C. Goulden


If a man stay away from his wife for seven years, the law presumes the

separation to have killed him; yet according to our daily experience,

it might well prolong his life.

        -- Charles Darling, "Scintillae Juris", 1877


"If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think

little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and

Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination."

        -- Thomas De Quincey (1785 - 1859)


If reporters don't know that truth is plural, they ought to be lawyers.

        -- Tom Wicker


If there were a school for, say, sheet metal workers, that after three

years left its graduates as unprepared for their careers as does law

school, it would be closed down in a minute, and no doubt by lawyers.

        -- Michael Levin, "The Socratic Method"


    In "King Henry VI, Part II," Shakespeare has Dick Butcher suggest to

his fellow anti-establishment rabble-rousers, "The first thing we do, let's

kill all the lawyers."  That action may be extreme but a similar sentiment

was expressed by Thomas K. Connellan, president of The Management Group, Inc.

Speaking to business executives in Chicago and quoted in Automotive News,

Connellan attributed a measure of America's falling productivity to an excess

of attorneys and accountants, and a dearth of production experts.  Lawyers

and accountants "do not make the economic pie any bigger; they only figure

out how the pie gets divided.  Neither profession provides any added value

to product."

    According to Connellan, the highly productive Japanese society has

10 lawyers and 30 accountants per 100,000 population.  The U.S. has 200

lawyers and 700 accountants.  This suggests that "the U.S. proportion of

pie-bakers and pie-dividers is way out of whack."  Could Dick Butcher have

been an efficiency expert?

        -- Motor Trend, May 1983


In Blythe, California, a city ordinance declares that a person must own

at least two cows before he can wear cowboy boots in public.


In Boston, it is illegal to hold frog-jumping contests in nightclubs.


In Columbia, Pennsylvania, it is against the law for a pilot to tickle

a female flying student under her chin with a feather duster in order

to get her attention.


In Corning, Iowa, it's a misdemeanor for a man to ask his wife to ride

in any motor vehicle.


In Denver it is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor.


In Devon, Connecticut, it is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset.


In Greene, New York, it is illegal to eat peanuts and walk backwards on

the sidewalks when a concert is on.


In Lexington, Kentucky, it's illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.


In Lowes Crossroads, Delaware, it is a violation of local law for any

pilot or passenger to carry an ice cream cone in their pocket while

either flying or waiting to board a plane.


    In Memphis, Tennessee, it is illegal for a woman to drive a car unless

there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red

flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians.


In Ohio, if you ignore an orator on Decoration day to such an extent as

to publicly play croquet or pitch horseshoes within one mile of the

speaker's stand, you can be fined $25.00.


In Pocataligo, Georgia, it is a violation for a woman over 200 pounds

and attired in shorts to pilot or ride in an airplane.


In Pocatello, Idaho, a law passed in 1912 provided that "The carrying

of concealed weapons is forbidden, unless same are exhibited to public view."


In Seattle, Washington, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon that

is over six feet in length.


In Tennessee, it is illegal to shoot any game other than whales from a

moving automobile.


In the olden days in England, you could be hung for stealing a sheep or a

loaf of bread.  However, if a sheep stole a loaf of bread and gave it to

you, you would only be tried for receiving, a crime punishable by forty

lashes with the cat or the dog, whichever was handy.  If you stole a dog

and were caught, you were punished with twelve rabbit punches, although it

was hard to find rabbits big enough or strong enough to punch you.

        -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"


In Tulsa, Oklahoma, it is against the law to open a soda bottle without

the supervision of a licensed engineer.


In West Union, Ohio, No married man can go flying without his spouse

along at any time, unless he has been married for more than 12 months.


It has long been noticed that juries are pitiless for robbery and full of

indulgence for infanticide.  A question of interest, my dear Sir!  The jury

is afraid of being robbed and has passed the age when it could be a victim

of infanticide.

        -- Edmond About


It is against the law for a monster to enter the corporate limits of

Urbana, Illinois.


It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood

Boulevard at one time.


It is illegal to say "Oh, Boy" in Jonesboro, Georgia.


It is Mr. Mellon's credo that $200,000,000 can do no wrong.  Our

offense consists in doubting it.

        -- Justice Robert H. Jackson


It is Texas law that when two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing,

each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other

has gone.


    It seems these two guys, George and Harry, set out in a Hot Air

balloon to cross the United States.  After forty hours in the air, George

turned to Harry, and said, "Harry, I think we've drifted off course!  We

need to find out where we are."

    Harry cools the air in the balloon, and they descend to below the

cloud cover.  Slowly drifting over the countryside, George spots a man

standing below them and yells out, "Excuse me!  Can you please tell me

where we are?"

    The man on the ground yells back, "You're in a balloon, approximately

fifty feet in the air!"

    George turns to Harry and says, "Well, that man *must* be a lawyer".

    Replies Harry, "How can you tell?".

    "Because the information he gave us is 100% accurate, and totally


That's the end of The Joke, but for you people who are still worried about

George and Harry: they end up in the drink, and make the front page of the

New York Times: "Balloonists Soaked by Lawyer".


It shall be unlawful for any suspicious person to be within the municipality.

        -- Local ordinance, Euclid Ohio


It's illegal in Wilbur, Washington, to ride an ugly horse.


It's recently come to Fortune's attention that scientists have stopped

using laboratory rats in favor of attorneys.  Seems that there are not

only more of them, but you don't get so emotionally attached.  The only

difficulty is that it's sometimes difficult to apply the experimental

results to humans.

    [Also, there are some things even a rat won't do.  Ed.]


Judges, as a class, display, in the matter of arranging alimony, that

reckless generosity which is found only in men who are giving away

someone else's cash.

        -- P. G. Wodehouse, "Louder and Funnier"


Just remember: when you go to court, you are trusting your fate to

twelve people that weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty!


Kansas state law requires pedestrians crossing the highways at night to

wear tail lights.


Kirkland, Illinois, law forbids bees to fly over the village or through

any of its streets.


Know how to save 5 drowning lawyers?

-- No?



Laws are like sausages.  It's better not to see them being made.

        -- Otto von Bismarck


Legislation proposed in the Illinois State Legislature, May, 1907:

    "Speed upon county roads will be limited to ten miles an hour

unless the motorist sees a bailiff who does not appear to have had a

drink in 30 days, when the driver will be permitted to make what he can."


Let us remember that ours is a nation of lawyers and order.


Let's say your wedding ring falls into your toaster, and when you stick

your hand in to retrieve it, you suffer Pain and Suffering as well as

Mental Anguish.  You would sue:

* The toaster manufacturer, for failure to include, in the instructions

  section that says you should never never never ever stick you hand

  into the toaster, the statement "Not even if your wedding ring falls

  in there".

* The store where you bought the toaster, for selling it to an obvious

  cretin like yourself.

* Union Carbide Corporation, which is not directly responsible in this

  case, but which is feeling so guilty that it would probably send you

  a large cash settlement anyway.

        -- Dave Barry


... Logically incoherent, semantically incomprehensible, and legally ...



Loud burping while walking around the airport is prohibited in Halstead, Kansas.


Marijuana will be legal some day, because the many law students

who now smoke pot will someday become congressmen and legalize

it in order to protect themselves.

        -- Lenny Bruce


Men often believe -- or pretend -- that the "Law" is something sacred, or

at least a science -- an unfounded assumption very convenient to governments.


Minors in Kansas City, Missouri, are not allowed to purchase cap pistols;

they may buy shotguns freely, however.


Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  There might be a

law against it by that time.


NEVER swerve to hit a lawyer riding a bicycle -- it might be your bicycle.


New Hampshire law forbids you to tap your feet, nod your head, or in

any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe.


Of ______course it's the murder weapon.  Who would frame someone with a fake?


    Old Barlow was a crossing-tender at a junction where an express train

demolished an automobile and its occupants. Being the chief witness, his

testimony was vitally important. Barlow explained that the night was dark,

and he waved his lantern frantically, but the driver of the car paid

no attention to the signal.

    The railroad company won the case, and the president of the company

complimented the old-timer for his story. "You did wonderfully," he said,

"I was afraid you would waver under testimony."

    "No sir," exclaimed the senior, "but I sure was afraid that durned

lawyer was gonna ask me if my lantern was lit."


Once he had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his

roars.  Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the

forlorn pastors who belabor halfwits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind

the railroad yards."

        -- H. L. Mencken, writing of William Jennings Bryan,

           counsel for the supporters of Tennessee's anti-evolution

           law at the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in 1925.


... Our second completely true news item was sent to me by Mr. H. Boyce

Connell Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., where he is involved in a law firm.  One thing

I like about the South is, folks there care about tradition.  If somebody

gets handed a name like "H. Boyce," he hangs on to it, puts it on his legal

stationery, even passes it to his son, rather than do what a lesser person

would do, such as get it changed or kill himself.

        -- Dave Barry, "This Column is Nothing but the Truth!"


            Pittsburgh driver's test


(10) Potholes are

    (a) extremely dangerous.

    (b) patriotic.

    (c) the fault of the previous administration.

    (d) all going to be fixed next summer.

The correct answer is (b). Potholes destroy unpatriotic, unamerican,

imported cars, since the holes are larger than the cars.  If you drive a

big, patriotic, American car you have nothing to worry about.


            Pittsburgh driver's test

(2) A traffic light at an intersection changes from yellow to red, you should

    (a) stop immediately.

    (b) proceed slowly through the intersection.

    (c) blow the horn.

    (d) floor it.

The correct answer is (d). If you said (c), you were almost right, so

give yourself a half point.


            Pittsburgh driver's test

(3) When stopped at an intersection you should

    (a) watch the traffic light for your lane.

    (b) watch for pedestrians crossing the street.

    (c) blow the horn.

    (d) watch the traffic light for the intersecting street.

The correct answer is (d). You need to start as soon as the traffic light

for the intersecting street turns yellow. Answer (c) is worth a half point.


            Pittsburgh driver's test

(4) Exhaust gas is

    (a) beneficial.

    (b) not harmful.

    (c) toxic.

    (d) a punk band.

The correct answer is (b). The meddling Washington eco-freak communist

bureaucrats who say otherwise are liars.  (Message to those who answered (d).

Go back to California where you came from.  Your kind are not welcome here.)


            Pittsburgh driver's test

(5) Your car's horn is a vital piece of safety equipment.  How often should

you test it?

    (a) once a year.

    (b) once a month.

    (c) once a day.

    (d) once an hour.

The correct answer is (d). You should test your car's horn at least once

every hour, and more often at night or in residential neighborhoods.


            Pittsburgh Driver's Test

(7) The car directly in front of you has a flashing right tail light

    but a steady left tail light.  This means

    (a) one of the tail lights is broken; you should blow your horn

        to call the problem to the driver's attention.

    (b) the driver is signaling a right turn.

    (c) the driver is signaling a left turn.

    (d) the driver is from out of town.

The correct answer is (d).  Tail lights are used in some foreign

countries to signal turns.


            Pittsburgh Driver's Test

(8) Pedestrians are

    (a) irrelevant.

    (b) communists.

    (c) a nuisance.

    (d) difficult to clean off the front grille.

The correct answer is (a).  Pedestrians are not in cars, so they are

totally irrelevant to driving; you should ignore them completely.


            Pittsburgh driver's test

(9) Roads are salted in order to

    (a) kill grass.

    (b) melt snow.

    (c) help the economy.

    (d) prevent potholes.

The correct answer is (c). Road salting employs thousands of persons

directly, and millions more indirectly, for example, salt miners and

rustproofers.  Most important, salting reduces the life spans of cars,

thus stimulating the car and steel industries.


She cried, and the judge wiped her tears with my checkbook.

        -- Tommy Manville


Sho' they got to have it against the law.  Shoot, ever'body git high,

they wouldn't be nobody git up and feed the chickens.  Hee-hee.

        -- Terry Southern


Some men are heterosexual, and some are bisexual, and some men don't think

about sex at all... they become lawyers.

        -- Woody Allen


Some of the most interesting documents from Sweden's middle ages are the

old county laws (well, we never had counties but it's the nearest equivalent

I can find for "landskap").  These laws were written down sometime in the

13th century, but date back even down into Viking times.  The oldest one is

the Vastgota law which clearly has pagan influences, thinly covered with some

Christian stuff.  In this law, we find a page about "lekare", which is the

Old Norse word for a performing artist, actor/jester/musician etc.  Here is

an approximate translation, where I have written "artist" as equivalent of


    "If an artist is beaten, none shall pay fines for it.  If an artist

    is wounded, one such who goes with hurdie-gurdie or travels with

    fiddle or drum, then the people shall take a wild heifer and bring

    it out on the hillside.  Then they shall shave off all hair from the

    heifer's tail, and grease the tail.  Then the artist shall be given

    newly greased shoes.  Then he shall take hold of the heifer's tail,

    and a man shall strike it with a sharp whip.  If he can hold her, he

    shall have the animal.  If he cannot hold her, he shall endure what

    he received, shame and wounds."


Sometimes a man who deserves to be looked down upon because he is a

fool is despised only because he is a lawyer.

        -- Montesquieu


Texas law forbids anyone to have a pair of pliers in his possession.


The animals are not as stupid as one thinks -- they have neither

doctors nor lawyers.

        -- L. Docquier


    The Arkansas legislature passed a law that states that the Arkansas

River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.


The City of Palo Alto, in its official description of parking lot standards,

specifies the grade of wheelchair access ramps in terms of centimeters of

rise per foot of run.  A compromise, I imagine...


The difference between a lawyer and a rooster is that

the rooster gets up in the morning and clucks defiance.


The District of Columbia has a law forbidding you to exert pressure on

a balloon and thereby cause a whistling sound on the streets.


    The judge fined the jaywalker fifty dollars and told him if he was

caught again, he would be thrown in jail.  Fine today, cooler tomorrow.


The justifications for drug testing are part of the presently fashionable

debate concerning restoring America's "competitiveness." Drugs, it has been

revealed, are responsible for rampant absenteeism, reduced output, and poor

quality work.  But is drug testing in fact rationally related to the

resurrection of competitiveness?  Will charging the atmosphere of the

workplace with the fear of excretory betrayal honestly spur productivity?

Much noise has been made about rehabilitating the worker using drugs, but

to date the vast majority of programs end with the simple firing or the not

hiring of the abuser.  This practice may exacerbate, not alleviate, the

nation's productivity problem.  If economic rehabilitation is the ultimate

goal of drug testing, then criteria abandoning the rehabilitation of the

drug-using worker is the purest of hypocrisy and the worst of rationalization.

        -- The concluding paragraph of "Constitutional Law: The

           Fourth Amendment and Drug Testing in the Workplace,"

           Tim Moore, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, vol.

           10, No. 3 (Summer 1987), pp. 762-768.


The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor,

to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

        -- Anatole France


The lawgiver, of all beings, most owes the law allegiance.  He of all men

should behave as though the law compelled him.  But it is the universal

weakness of mankind that what we are given to administer we presently imagine

we own.

        -- H. G. Wells


The Least Successful Equal Pay Advertisement

    In 1976 the European Economic Community pointed out to the Irish

Government that it had not yet implemented the agreed sex equality

legislation.  The Dublin Government immediately advertised for an equal pay

enforcement officer.  The advertisement offered different salary scales for

men and women.

        -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"


The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it

were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.

        -- H. L. Mencken


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor

prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,

or to the people.

        -- U.S. Constitution, Amendment 10. (Bill of Rights)


The primary requisite for any new tax law is for it to exempt enough

voters to win the next election.


The state law of Pennsylvania prohibits singing in the bathtub.


The Worst Jury

    A murder trial at Manitoba in February 1978 was well advanced, when

one juror revealed that he was completely deaf and did not have the

remotest clue what was happening.

    The judge, Mr. Justice Solomon, asked him if he had heard any

evidence at all and, when there was no reply, dismissed him.

    The excitement which this caused was only equalled when a second

juror revealed that he spoke not a word of English.  A fluent French

speaker, he exhibited great surprised when told, after two days, that he

was hearing a murder trial.

    The trial was abandoned when a third juror said that he suffered

from both conditions, being simultaneously unversed in the English language

and nearly as deaf as the first juror.

    The judge ordered a retrial.

        -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"


There is a Massachusetts law requiring all dogs to have their hind legs

tied during the month of April.


There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law.

No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets truth.

        -- Jean Giraudoux, "Tiger at the Gates"


There is no doubt that my lawyer is honest.  For example, when he

filed his income tax return last year, he declared half of his salary

as 'unearned income.'

        -- Michael Lara


"There was an interesting development in the CBS-Westmoreland trial:

both sides agreed that after the trial, Andy Rooney would be allowed to

talk to the jury for three minutes about little things that annoyed him

during the trial."

        -- David Letterman


There's no justice in this world.

        -- Frank Costello, on the prosecution of "Lucky" Luciano by

           New York district attorney Thomas Dewey after Luciano had

           saved Dewey from assassination by Dutch Schultz (by ordering

           the assassination of Schultz instead)


This product is meant for educational purposes only.  Any resemblance to real

persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.  Void where prohibited.  Some

assembly may be required.  Batteries not included.  Contents may settle during

shipment.  Use only as directed.  May be too intense for some viewers.  If

condition persists, consult your physician.  No user-serviceable parts inside.

Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement.  Not responsible for direct,

indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error

or failure to perform.  Slippery when wet.  For office use only.  Substantial

penalty for early withdrawal.  Do not write below this line.  Your cancelled

check is your receipt.  Avoid contact with skin.  Employees and their families

are not eligible.  Beware of dog.  Driver does not carry cash.  Limited time

offer, call now to insure prompt delivery.  Use only in well-ventilated area.

Keep away from fire or flame.  Some equipment shown is optional.  Price does

not include taxes, dealer prep, or delivery.  Penalty for private use.  Call

toll free before digging.  Some of the trademarks mentioned in this product

appear for identification purposes only.  All models over 18 years of age.  Do

not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.  Postage will be

paid by addressee.  Apply only to affected area.  One size fits all.  Many

suitcases look alike.  Edited for television.  No solicitors.  Reproduction

strictly prohibited.  Restaurant package, not for resale.  Objects in mirror

are closer than they appear.  Decision of judges is final.  This supersedes

all previous notices.  No other warranty expressed or implied.


Virginia law forbids bathtubs in the house; tubs must be kept in the yard.


We may not like doctors, but at least they doctor.  Bankers are not ever

popular but at least they bank.  Policeman police and undertakers take

under.  But lawyers do not give us law.  We receive not the gladsome light

of jurisprudence, but rather precedents, objections, appeals, stays,

filings and forms, motions and counter-motions, all at $250 an hour.

        -- Nolo News, summer 1989


We should realize that a city is better off with bad laws, so long as they

remain fixed, then with good laws that are constantly being altered, that

the lack of learning combined with sound common sense is more helpful than

the kind of cleverness that gets out of hand, and that as a general rule,

states are better governed by the man in the street than by intellectuals.

These are the sort of people who want to appear wiser than the laws, who

want to get their own way in every general discussion, because they feel that

they cannot show off their intelligence in matters of greater importance, and

who, as a result, very often bring ruin on their country.

        -- Cleon, Thucydides, III, 37 translation by Rex Warner


Welcome to Utah.

If you think our liquor laws are funny, you should see our underwear!


What do you have when you have six lawyers buried up to their necks in sand?

Not enough sand.


When alerted to an intrusion by tinkling glass or otherwise, 1) Calm

yourself 2) Identify the intruder 3) If hostile, kill him.

Step number 3 is of particular importance.  If you leave the guy alive

out of misguided softheartedness, he will repay your generosity of spirit

by suing you for causing his subsequent paraplegia and seek to force you

to support him for the rest of his rotten life.  In court he will plead

that he was depressed because society had failed him, and that he was

looking for Mother Teresa for comfort and to offer his services to the

poor.  In that lawsuit, you will lose.  If, on the other hand, you kill

him, the most that you can expect is that a relative will bring a wrongful

death action. You will have two advantages: first, there be only your

story; forget Mother Teresa.  Second, even if you lose, how much could

the bum's life be worth anyway?  A Lot less than 50 years worth of

paralysis.  Don't play George Bush and Saddam Hussein.  Finish the job.

        -- G. Gordon Liddy's "Forbes" column on personal security


Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to

examine the laws of heat.

        -- Christopher Morley


Why does a hearse horse snicker, hauling a lawyer away?

        -- Carl Sandburg


Why does New Jersey have more toxic waste dumps and California have

more lawyers?

New Jersey had first choice.


With Congress, every time they make a joke it's a law; and every time

they make a law it's a joke.

        -- Will Rogers



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