• Our collection of the DUMBEST & FUNNIEST THINGS EVER SAID IN COURT is presented over several pages:

The Acquittal Carries

According to the Indianapolis Journal, and at the turn of the 19th century, a certain political party is having difficulty finding a candidate to stand for election as a judge in Marion County, Indiana. They managed to find an old man few knew and who, to everybody's surprise was elected.

Then the problems started as he was convened to preside over a trial for some alleged criminal offense. The old man evidently had never been inside a courtroom but he accepted the highest chair and waited for the police officer, the defense lawyer and the prisoner to be seated before standing up and saying:

"Gentlemen, what is the object of this meeting?"

Luckily for the accused, the defense attorney quickly rose and said:

"Your Honor, I understand the meeting to be for the purpose of holding or discharging the prisoner at the bar. I moved that the prisoner be discharged."

The newly elected judge asked if there was a seconder to the motion and found that the accused himself quickly seconded it.

Thinking he was doing a marvellous job, the new judge repeated the motion and asked for a vote on the motion to which both the defense counsel and the prisoner emphatically stated "aye". The police officer feebly at almost questioningly peeped up with a faint "nay". The judge declared the motion carried and the accused was set free!

You For His Attorney

Lord Chancellor ThurlowA certain lawyer was having a hard time before Lord Chancellor Thurlow of England (image). Time and time again the lawyer would make a proposition of fact which was rejected by the judge with the words, "Sir, that is no proof."

That prompted this exchange:

LAWYER: "Really, my Lord, it is very hard and it is not right that you should not believe me. I knew the men well. I saw the man dead in his coffin. My Lord, the man was my client."

JUSTICE THURLOW: "Good God, sir! Why didn't you tell me that sooner? I should not have doubted the fact one moment for the nothing can be so likely to kill a man as to have you for his attorney!"

The Healing Judge

An English judge known as Lord George Bramwell (1808-1892), had before him a lawyer and the accused, the offence charged being shoplifting.

Lawyer: My Lord, my client is not a common thief. He is suffering from kleptomania.

Lord Bramwell: Why, counsellor, that is exactly the disease I am here to cure!


Mr. Justice William Henry Maule (England, 1788-1858) had this exchange with a witness in the Court of Common Pleas:

WITNESS: You may believe me or not, but I have stated not a word that is false, for I have been wedded to truth from my infancy!"

THE COURT: Yes, sir, but the question is, how long have you been a widower?"

The Donkeys

A barrister named Bushe was making final submissions somewhere in Ireland a few centuries ago.

braying donkeyHe was interrupted when from the open window of the courtroom came the shrill bray of a donkey. Justice O'Grady brought down the courtroom when he quipped:

"One at a time brother Bushe!"

Barrister Bushe felt like a jackass but he bit his lip and hoped for a chance at revenge.

It came when O'Grady was halfway through his summation to the jury. Again, a loud bray honked through the courtroom from the open windows and brought the proceedings to a sudden halt.

Bushe sprang to his feet, put his hand to his ear and said:

"I beg your Lordship's pardon but there is such an echo in the Court that I can't hear a word you say!"

Order, Any Order!

In another case the before Justice Maule, he was having a hard time not interfering, as judges are not supposed to, with the closing submissions of a lawyer.

Finally, he had had enough:

"I am sorry to interfere Mr. Counsellor, but do you not think that, by introducing a little order into your narrative, you might possibly render yourself a trifle more intelligible?

"It may be my fault that I cannot follow you - I know that my brain is getting old and dilapidated, but I should like to stipulate for some sort of order.

"There are plenty of them. There is the chronological, the botanical, the metaphysical, the geographical - even the alphabetical order would be better than no order at all!"


Our collection of the DUMBEST & FUNNIEST THINGS EVER SAID IN COURT is presented over several pages:


  • Re The Donkeys, George Morton & MacLeod Malloch, Law & Laughter (London: T. N. Foulis, 1913), page 118.
  • Re "You For His Attorney", "Widower" and "Order. Any Order.", George Morton and MacLeod Malloch, Law and Laughter (London: T. N. Foulis, 1913), pages 12-13 and 33-34.