This Is What Happens When Lawyers Try To Be Funny

Attempts at humor usually fall flat.

Guide for Counsel in Cases to Be Argued Before the Supreme Court of the United States, Part II, pg. 10 (October Term 2014).

So says the highest court in the land, but it hasn’t stopped lawyers from trying to be funny. This is what happens when they fail.

Knock-Knock Opening

Is starting your defense opening statement in a murder case with a knock-knock joke a good idea? George Zimmerman’s attorney thought so.

Knock-knock.

Who’s there?

Zimmerman.

Zimmerman who?

OK, you’re good for the jury.

Beauties And The Beast

No he didn’t…

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court. It’s an old joke, but when a man argues against two beautiful ladies like this, they are going to have the last word.

That was how Jay Floyd, an attorney for the state of Texas, opened his oral argument in front of the U.S. Supreme Court —in Roe v. Wade. He was referring to Plaintiff Norma McCorvey and her attorney, Sarah Waddington. Listen if you dare.

Not The Best Time For Sports Talk

In Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial, the defense attorney finished up his cross-examination of a car-crash reconstruction expert in this way:

Q.  Now you’ve been doing this for quite a while, is that fair to say?

A.  Yes.

Q.  And you’ve received a lot of specialized training?

A.  Yes.

Q. OK, and one of the things you received specialized training in is tire deflation … tire deflation devices. Right?

A.  A certain kind of tire deflation device, yes.

Q.  OK, did you ever receive training in football deflation devices?

A.  No.

The court wasn’t amused either.

If you want to see something funny, check out the best moments of Justin Bieber’s deposition.

Featured image: “On The Ship “mongolia”: Dr Nicholas, Ca. 1930-1939” by The State Library of New South Wales is licensed CC. The image has been modified.

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  • I actually chuckled at the football deflation one, although I skipped the heading and assumed it was for a Tom Brady hearing.

    • Brendan Kenny

      Yeah. That joke makes sense in the Tom Brady case. Not so much in a particularly disturbing 1st-degree-murder case.