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Lest we forget where we are, we begin.
A man may as well open an oyster without a knife as a lawyer's mouth without a fee.
Those horrible, horrible words were uttered by Barten Holyday, an Englishman who died in 1661, protected, now, from a class action suit by the statute of limitations.
So, sadly, lawyer jokes have been around for centuries. This anonymous inscription was found on the sundial in the sacred Inner Temple Gardens, the law's Holy Land (Ground Zero for British barristers):
In vain poor sable son of woe, thou see'st the tender tear.
From cannibals thou fledst in vain, lawyers less quarters give.
The first won't eat you 'til you're slain, the first will do it alive.
Once again, to the funny Pennsylvania lawyer who filed a $13-million US class action suit against us in the Court of Common Pleas, we offer our sincere and public apology. We deeply regret any negative insinuation these jokes could cause against both you, individually, and to the honorable esquires, the members of your distinguished profession. If these words do not suffice to sufficiently prostrate ourselves, then we'd like a moment, alone, with the judge and then, if need still be, another moment, alone, with you.
Twenty Of Them
Once, in Dublin, a solicitor came up to a barrister to beg a subscription towards the funeral expenses of a brother solicitor who had died in distressed circumstances.
The barrister at once tendered a pound note.
"Oh, I only want a shilling from each contributor" said the solicitor.
"Take it, my dear fellow," replied the barrister. "And while you're at it, bury twenty of them!"
Most attorneys practice the law because it gives then a grand and glorious feeling.
You give them a grand and they feel glorious.
The local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. A local volunteer called to solicit his donation, saying "our research shows that even though your annual income is over a $1-million, you do not give one penny to charity! Wouldn't you like to give back to your community through The United Way?"
The lawyer thinks for a moment and says:
"First, did your research show that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and has huge medical bills far beyond her ability to pay?"
Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbles, "Uh, no."
"Secondly, that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children?"
The stricken United Way rep begins to stammer an apology but is cut off.
"Thirdly, that my sister's husband died in a dreadful traffic accident", the lawyers voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children?"
The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, says simply, "I had no idea."
The lawyer then says:
"...and if I don't give any money to THEM, why should I give any to you?"
A lawyer finds out he has an inoperable brain tumor. It's so large, they have to do a brain transplant.
His doctor gives him a choice of available brains. There's a jar of rocket scientist brains for $10 an ounce, a jar of regular scientist brains for $15 an ounce, and a jar of lawyer brains for the sum of $800 an ounce.
The outraged lawyer says:
"This is a ripoff! How come the lawyer brains are so damned expensive?"
The doctor replies:
"Do you know how many lawyers it takes to get an ounce of brains?"
"You're a high-priced lawyer! If I give you $500, will you answer two questions for me?"
"Sure", says the attorney. "What's the second question?"
The Surgeon, The Architect And The Lawyer
A surgeon, an architect an a lawyer are having a heated barroom discussion concerning which of their professions is actually the oldest profession.
The surgeon says:
"Surgery IS the oldest profession. God took a rib from Adam to create Eve and you can't go back further than that."
The architect says:
"Hold on! In fact, God was the first architect when he created the world out of chaos in 7 days, and you can't go back any further than THAT!"
The lawyer puffs his cigar and says:
"Gentlemen, Gentlemen...who do you think created the CHAOS??!!"
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals. The American President decided to give them a test. He released a rabbit into a forest and each of them had to catch it.
The CIA goes in. They placed animal informants throughout the forest. They questioned all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations they concluded that rabbits do not exist.
The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burned the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and they make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.
The LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling:
"Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!"
Bill Of Exchange
An old man was on his death bed. He wanted badly to take all his money with him. He called his priest, his doctor and his lawyer to his bedside.
"Here's $30,000 cash to be held by each of you. I trust you to put this in my coffin when I die so I can take all my money with me."
At the funeral, each man put an envelope in the coffin.
Riding away in a limousine, the priest suddenly broke into tears and confessed that he had only put $20,000 into the envelope because he needed $10,000 for a new baptistery.
"Well, since we're confiding in each other," said the doctor, "I only put $10,000 in the envelope because we needed a new machine at the hospital which cost $20,000."
The lawyer was aghast. "I'm ashamed of both of you," he exclaimed.
"I want it known that when I put my envelope in that coffin, it held my personal check for the full $30,000."
"It was so cold last week that I saw several lawyers with their hands in their own pockets."
As the lawyer woke up after surgery, he said" "Why are all the blinds drawn?"
The doctor answered:
"There's a big fire across the street, and we didn't want you to think the operation was a failure."
The Human Race
Two lawyers walking through the woods spotted a vicious-looking bear. The first lawyer immediately opened his briefcase, pulled out a pair of sneakers and started putting them on.The second lawyer looked at him and said, "You're crazy! You'll never be able to outrun that bear!"
"I don't have to," the first lawyer replied. "I only have to outrun you."
Q: How was copper wire invented?
A: Two lawyers were arguing over a penny.
Organs Of Sex
There was a young law student named Rex,
who had very small organs of sex.
When charged with exposure,
he said with composure:
"de minimis non curat lex."
Other LawFun Stuff:
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The following persons (lawyers, for the most part), for which names are displayed in the smallest possible characters for obvious reasons, have contributed to this pages: Alan Humbert (USA - the prime suspect), Rob Winter (Australia), James H. Smith, Toby Wilkinson, a mysterious woman named "Elaine" and the Nolo Press Self-Help Center. All names may be fictional (I also grabbed one from Kurt Guntheroth at www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/88old/bulb.html).
Suspected compiler, of no fixed address for service: Esquire John Doe unless, of course, you are with a national newspaper or television network or any person of substantial societal weight in Victoria, British Columbia in which case this is definitely the work of Lloyd Duhaime.