For these books on Legal humor, go to Amazon.com
Crime and Criminal Humor are on the Criminal Humor page
Lawyer Jokes can be found on the Lawyer Jokes page
Humor in the Court
Mary Louise Gilman, the venerable editor of the National Shorthand Reporter has collected many of the more hilarious courtroom bloopers in two books - Humor in the Court (1977) and More Humor in the Court, published a few months ago. From Mrs. Gilman's two volumes, here are some of terrific transquips, all recorded by America's keepers of the word:
Q. What is
your brother-in-law's name?
Q. Did you
ever stay all night with this man in New York?
Q. Now, Mrs.
Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?
did you say he was shot in the woods?
Q. What is
Q. Are you
Q. And who
is this person you are speaking of?
Q. How did
you happen to go to Dr. Cherney?
Q. Do you
know how far pregnant you are right now?
Q. Mrs. Smith,
do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?
how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
Q. Were you
acquainted with the deceased?
what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?
Q. What happened
Q. Mrs. Jones,
is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which
I sent to your attorney?
THE COURT: Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any.
Q. Did he
pick the dog up by the ears?
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?
Q. And lastly,
Gary, all your responses must be oral. O.K.? What school do you go to?
Q. What is
your relationship with the plaintiff?
Q. Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?
what did he do then?
Q. Did you
tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?
Q. So, after
the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect
to your scalp?
you see him from where you were standing?
Q. What can
you tell us about he truthfulness and veracity of this defendant?
Q. Do you
drink when you're on duty?
suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead
of an attempted murder trial?
Q. Are you
Q. Are you
qualified to give a urine sample?
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?
Q. What is
the meaning of sperm being present?
man picture.) That's you?
Q. Was that the same nose you broke as a child?
Q: Do you
recall the time that you examined the body?
Q: Can you
describe the individual?
Q: She had
three children, right?
Q: You say
the stairs went down to the basement?
Q: Mr. Slatery,
you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you?
taken from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office publication "The
Point of View".
The following portion of a transcript, which was confirmed with one of the counsel involved (Ms. Olschner) and subsequently was posted on Lexis Counsel Connect. The transcript is from Birmingham, Alabama, although the use of a deposition of a party opponent "for any purpose" is also in the federal rules. We have no word on what had happened immediately prior to this exchange:
*The Court:* Next witness.
*Ms. Olschner:* Your Honor, at this time I would like to swat Mr. Buck in the head with his client's deposition.
*The Court:* You mean read it?
*Ms. Olschner:* No, sir. I mean to swat him [in] the head with it. Pursuant to Rule 32, I may use the deposition "for any purpose" and that is the purpose for which I want to use it.
*The Court:* Well, it does say that.
*The Court:* There being no objection, you may proceed.
*Ms. Olschner:* Thank you, Judge Hanes.
(Whereupon Ms. Olschner swatted Mr. Buck in the head with a deposition.)
*Mr. Buck:* But Judge...
*The Court:* Next witness.
*Mr. Buck:* We object.
*The Court:* Sustained. Next witness.
and nervous witness was being cross-examined. The lawyer thundered, "Have
you ever been married?"
A defense attorney was cross-examining a Chicago police officer during a felony trial -- it went like this:
did you see my client fleeing the scene?
who provided this description?
Q. A fellow
officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust
your fellow officers?
Q. With your
life? Let me ask you this then officer -- do you have a locker room in
the police station -- a room where you change your clothes in preparation
for your daily duties?
Q. And do
you have a locker in that room?
Q. And do
you have a lock on your locker?
Q. Now why
is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that
you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those
the courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.
And Still More:
LAWYER: Did you ever sleep with him in New York?
WITNESS: I refuse to answer that question.
LAWYER: Did you ever sleep with him in Chicago?
WITNESS: I refuse to answer that question.
LAWYER: Did you ever sleep with him in Miami?
CLERK: Please repeat after me: "I swear by Almighty God..."
WITNESS: "I swear by Almighty God."
CLERK: "That the evidence that I give..."
WITNESS: That's right.
CLERK: Repeat it.
WITNESS: "Repeat it".
CLERK: No! Repeat what I said.
WITNESS: What you said when?
CLERK: "That the evidence that I give..."
WITNESS: "That the evidence that I give."
CLERK: "Shall be the truth and..."
WITNESS: It will, and nothing but the truth!
CLERK: Please, just repeat after me: "Shall be the truth and..."
WITNESS: I'm not a scholar, you know.
CLERK: We can appreciate that. Just repeat after me: "Shall be the truth and..."
WITNESS: "Shall be the truth and."
CLERK: Say: "Nothing...".
CLERK: No! Don't say nothing. Say: "Nothing but the truth..."
CLERK: Can't you say: "Nothing but the truth..."?
CLERK: Well? Do so.
WITNESS: You're confusing me.
CLERK: Just say: "Nothing but the truth...".
WITNESS: Is that all?
WITNESS: Okay. I understand.
CLERK: Then say it.
CLERK: "Nothing but the truth..."
WITNESS: But I do! That's just it.
CLERK: You must say: "Nothing but the truth..."
WITNESS: I WILL say nothing but the truth!
CLERK: Please, just repeat these four words: "Nothing", "But", "The", "Truth".
WITNESS: What? You mean, like, now?
CLERK: Yes! Now. Please. Just say those four words.
WITNESS: "Nothing. But. The. Truth."
CLERK: Thank you.
WITNESS: I'm just not a scholar.
LAWYER: On the morning of July 25th, did you walk from the farmhouse down the footpath to the cowshed?
WITNESS: I did.
LAWYER: And as a result, you passed within a few yards of the duck pond?
WITNESS: I did.
LAWYER: And did you observe anything?
WITNESS: I did.
LAWYER: Well, could you tell the Court what you saw?
WITNESS: I saw George.
LAWYER: You saw George *******, the defendant in this case?
LAWYER: Can you tell the Court what George ******* was doing?
LAWYER: Well, would you kindly do so?
WITNESS: He had his thing stuck into one of the ducks.
LAWYER: His "thing"?
WITNESS: You know... His thing. His di... I mean, his penis.
LAWYER: You passed close by the duckpond, the light was good, you were sober, you have good eyesight, and you saw this clearly?
LAWYER: Did you say anything to him?
WITNESS: Of course I did!
LAWYER: What did you say to him?
WITNESS: "Morning, George."
Q: Sir, what is your
Q: Did you
blow your horn or anything?
"I object to
your calling me a person, your honor."
"What are you
talking about, some 'witness,' man, There was only me and her in the store."
"I enjoyed drinking
while driving. It's one of the most pleasurable habits I've had.
"I sued for $2,500
and the judge gave me $837.29. I don't think he realizes how much a girl's
hair means to her.
And From Canada:
are excerpts from a book called "Disorder in the Court."
These are things people in Canada actually said in court, word for word,
taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of
staying calm and keeping a straight face while these exchanges were actually
Idaho Iowa Illinois Indiana
A wedding ring is exempt from inclusion among the assets in a bankrupt estate, no matter how much the bankrupt person owes.
Private automobiles were forbidden on the island of Bermuda until 1948. This is why there are still so many bicycles there today.
In Idaho it is forbidden to give another person a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds.
Until 1834, it was forbidden for any soldier or unit of the Army to carry the American flag into battle. The privilege was awarded to artillery units only.
A Venetian law states that all gondolas must be painted black.
The only exceptions are gondolas belonging to public officials.
In San Salvador drunk driving is punishable by death before a firing squad.
In 1976 Cecilia Pizzo filed a lawsuit against the United States to nullify the Louisiana Purchase. A New Orleans federal judge ruled that Ms. Pizzo filed her case 167 years after the statute of limitation had run out.
It is against the law to "frown" at a police officer.
If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated, you may never again apply for personalized license plates.
It is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.
You may not slurp your soup.
To keep them from forming bad habits, it is illegal to feed whiskey or offer cigarettes to animals at the zoo in Manville, New Jersey.
In Maine, it is illegal for a Police Officer to tell a person to have a nice day after pulling that person over in a car and issuing them a ticket.
After January 14th you can be charged a fine for still having your Christmas decorations displayed.
You may not step out of a plane in flight.
It is legal to bring shotguns to church in the event of an American Indian attack.
A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence.
You cannot have sex in the back of an ambulance if it is responding to an emergency call.
It is illegal not to drink milk.
Throwing snowballs is a fineable offense in Provo.
Women are prohibited from swearing in Logan.
Alcohol may not be sold during an emergency.
Individuals may not possess beer in containers larger than two liters unless they are a retailer.
It is illegal to cause a catastrophe.
It is against the law to fish from horseback.
It is illegal to detonate any nuclear weapon. You can have them, but you just can't detonate them.
Birds have the right of way on all highways.
It is a felony to persistently tread on the cracks between paving stones on the sidewalk of a state highway.
It's legal for restaurants to serve wine with meals, but only if you ask for the wine list.
It is considered
an offense to hunt whales.
Cars may not be driven in reverse.
Cards may not be played in the street with a Native American.
Women may not wear pants.
A decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.
It is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.
There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.
Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs.
It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water.
Hunting camels is prohibited.
Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony (This goes back to the days of the Wild West).
You may not have more than two dildos per household.
It is legal to smoke marijuana on your own property! You just can't sell it or buy it.
The "Peer Review Statute" prohibits you from finding out details of any written or oral discussion about your medical treatment. Not even a court of law can. All you can access is what the doctor or nurse voluntarily records in your chart.
One may not bathe without wearing "suitable clothing," i.e., that which covers one's body from neck to knee.
It is illegal to use foul or suggestive language during sex.
You may not pump your own gas in service stations.
Canned corn is not to be used as bait for fishing.
Ice cream may not be eaten on Sundays.
Dishes must drip dry.
It is a capital offense to inadvertently kill someone while attempting suicide.
No work may be done on Sunday.
Two exceptions to the above law is the sale of light bulbs and tobacco.
It is perfectly legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sundays.
Merchandise may not be sold within a half mile of a church unless fruit is being sold.
By law, if a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, the marriage must take place.
All schools must prepare a suitable program for Francis Willard Day so that children may be taught the evils of intemperance.
The Fire Department in Charleston may blow up your house to create a fire brake.
It is illegal to have the hind legs of an farm animal in your boots.
It's statutory rape for a man over 18 to have sex with a female under the age of 18, provided she's a virgin. If she's not a virgin, it is permissible, but the said person must be over 16. If both parties are under 18, the law does not apply.
Tattoos are illegal.
Whaling is illegal.
Women are forbidden from doing their own hair without being licensed by the state.
Women may not gamble in the nude, in lingerie, or while wearing a towel in Schulter, OK.
Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property.
Oklahoma will not tolerate anyone taking a bite out of another's hamburger.
People who make "ugly faces" at dogs may be fined and/or jailed.
Cars must be tethered outside of public buildings.
Oral sex is a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Anyone arrested for soliciting a hooker must have their name and picture shown on television.
Fish may not be contained in fishbowls while on a public bus.
Tissues are not to be found in the back of one's car.
It is illegal
for the owner of a bar to allow anyone inside to pretend to have sex with
You may not tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe.
You cannot sell the clothes you are wearing to pay off a gambling debt.
It is an offense to check into a hotel under an assumed name.
It is illegal to pick seaweed up off of the beach.
On Sundays citizens may not relieve themselves while looking up.
If a person is caught raking the beaches, picking up litter, hauling away trash, building a bench for the park and many other activities without a permit, he/she may be fined $150 for "maintaining the national forest without a permit."
You may be arrested for vagrancy if you do not have at least one dollar bill on your person.
It is a felony offense to eavesdrop on your own conversation.
You must contact the police before entering the city in an automobile.
The English language is not to be spoken.
Law forbids eating in a place that is on fire. Chicago, Il.
It is an offense to feed whiskey to a dog. Chicago, Il.
It is legal to protest naked in front of city hall as long as you are under seventeen years of age and have legal permits. Chicago, Il.
It is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals kept as pets. Zion, Il.
Bees entering Kentucky must have a certificate of health.
Any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than fifty dollars.
Any person who appears on a highway, or the street of any city that has no police protection, when clothed only in ordinary bathing garb, shall be fined not less than five dollars.
No person shall sell, exchange or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor sell or exchange baby chicks or other fowl under two months of age in any quantity less than six, except that any rabbit weighing three pounds or more may be sold at an age of six weeks.
It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing more than fifty pounds.
You may not fish on a camel's back.
It is an offense to ride on a merry-go-round on Sundays.
If a police officer approaches a vehicle and suspects that the occupants are engaging in sex, he must either honk, or flash his lights and wait three minutes before approaching the car. Coeur d' Alene, ID
A man and a woman cannot have sex in any position other than missionary style. (Repealed)
Movies that depict acts of felonious crime cannot be shown.
A wife may not open her husband's mail. Sheep may not be in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.
Balls may not be thrown within the city limits.
Citizens are not allowed to draw funny faces on their window shades.
Vehicles may not be operated with ice picks attached to the wheels.
Unrestrained giggling while walking on city street is forbidden by law.
In Montana, it is illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sundays, and illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at all.
The Arkansas River can rise no higher than to the Main
Street bridge in Little Rock.
Arkansas must be pronounced "Arkansaw"
A law provides that school teachers who bob their hair will not get a raise.
A man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month.
Oral sex is considered to be sodomy.
Alligators may not be kept in bathtubs.
aliens, the insane and women..."
It is "illegal
to discharge a fire arm while performing intercourse."
Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public.
It is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday.
It is illegal to get a fish drunk.
Participating or conducting a duel is prohibited.
It is illegal to mistreat anything of great importance.
Owners of tigers must notify authorities within one hour if the tiger escapes.
It is illegal for a woman to strip off her clothing while standing in front of a man's picture. Oxford, OH.
In Bexley, OH, ordinance number 223 prohibits the installation and usage of slot machines in outhouses.
Mustaches are illegal
if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.
You may not pay for a fifty-cent item with only pennies.
Citizens may not publicly remove bandages.
In British Columbia, it is illegal to kill a sasquatch.
In New Brunswick, driving on the roads is not allowed.
In Montreal, you may not swear in French.
Also in Montreal, citizens may not relieve themselves or spit on the street. Punishable by a fine of over 100 Canadian dollars.
In Beaconsfield, it is considered an offense to have more than two colors of paint on your house.
In Toronto, you can't drag a dead horse down Yonge St. on a Sunday.
The city of Guelph is classified as a no-pee zone.
One-armed piano players must perform for free.
A man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.
It is a violation of the law to sell or distribute drugs or narcotics without having first obtained the appropriate Iowa drug tax stamp.
In Indianola, the "Ice Cream Man" and his truck are banned.
In Fort Madison, the fire department is required to practice fire fighting for fifteen minutes before attending a fire.
In Marshalltown, horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.
Within the city limits of Ottumwa, a man may not wink at any woman he does not know.
Men may not be seen
publicly in any kind of strapless gown.
You may not fart in
a public place after 6 P.M. on Thursdays.
Women may be fined
for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.
It is illegal to skateboard
without a license.
Oral sex is illegal.
In Victoria, it is
illegal to wear hot pink pants after midday Sunday.
may not be impersonated.
Chewing gum on subways
may result in fines and/or jail time.
In Jasper, it is illegal
for a husband to beat his wife with a stick larger in diameter than his
Dominoes may not be played on Sunday.
have windshield wipers on your car.
Men may not spit in front of the opposite sex.
You may not drive barefooted.
It is illegal
to impersonate a person of the clergy
Clothes may not be
hung to dry on Sunday.
If you leave
your car-keys inside the car with the car door open, you will be punished.
Sunshine is guaranteed
to the masses.
It is illegal to shoot
at a rabbit from a moving trolley.
Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used as a business.
You may not smoke within 100 feet of the entrance to a public building.
It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing "body hugging clothing."
A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her
In China, you must be intelligent in order to go to college.
In Denmark, no one
may start a car while someone is underneath the vehicle.
Michigan takes their
rats seriously. You can collect a 10 cent bounty on every rat you bring
into a town office.
After a two-week criminal trial in a very high profile bank robbery case, the judge turns to the jury foreman and asks, "Has the jury reached a verdict in this case?"
"Yes, we have, your honor," The foreman responded.
"Would you please pass it to me," The judge declared, as he motioned for the bailiff to retrieve the verdict slip from the foreman and deliver it to him.
After the judge reads the verdict himself, he delivers the verdict slip back to his bailiff to be returned to the foreman and instructs the foreman, "Please read your verdict to the court." "We find the defendant Not Guilty of all four counts of bank robbery." stated the foreman. The family and friends of the defendant jump for joy at the verdict and hug each other as they shout expressions of divine gratitude.
The man's attorney turns to his client and asks, "So, what do you think about that?"
The defendant, with
a bewildered look on his face turns to his attorney and says, "I'm
real confused here. Does this mean that I have to give all the money back?"
A prospective juror in a Dallas District Court was surprised by the definition of voluntary manslaughter given the panel: "An intentional killing that occurs while the defendant is under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause, such as when a spouse's mate is found in a 'compromising position.'"
"See, I have a problem with that passion business," responded one jury candidate. "During my first marriage, I came in and found my husband in bed with my neighbor. All I did was divorce him. I had no idea that I could have shot him."
She wasn't selected
for the jury.
KENTUCKY - Five men
and seven women jurors of the Jefferson County Circuit Court could not
come to a decision in the trial of murder suspect Phillip J. Givens II.
So instead of wasting the tax-payers valuable dollars they decided to
flip a coin. It was tails. Shortly before he was about to pass his sentence,
Judge Kenneth Conliffe learned how the jury had reached its verdict and
declared a mistrial. "I didn't think we had anything to lose,"
jury foreman David Melton said. "We were going to be hung without
it." The coin used was a silver dollar.
When one county judge
wanted to remedy the missed court appearance by the defense attorney,
he first asked for a reasonable explanation for the absence. The lawyer
replied that he, "had the screaming itches of the crotch. I wasn't
here because I would have been scratching my testicles constantly."
The judge was not satisfied by this explanation so he held him in contempt;
then doubled his fine for what he felt was a "degrading" excuse.
A former insurance official in Kansas hurt himself trying to life his briefcase from his car trunk. Even though he missed no work or even a golf game on account of the injury, he was awarded $95,000 because of the work-related injury.
A law firm in New Orleans routinely billed four hours of work for letters that were only one sentence in length.
a Chicago lawyer charged $25,000 for "ground transportation" while on business in San Francisco.
A Kansas lawyer received close to $35,000 in workman's compensation because he hurt his shoulder reaching into the backseat of the car for his briefcase.
A lawyer while working
on a government contract, wrote a definition of the words "and/or"
that was over 300 words in length.
Frustrated by the routine release of women convicted of misdemeanor prostitution, one judge in San Francisco set a hooker's bail at $5 billion.
In 1981 Deuel Wilhelm Davies of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was sentenced to 10,000 years in prison for a triple murder, one of his victims being his mother-in-law.
A man in Winthrop, Maine, divorced his wife because she "wore earplugs whenever his mother came to visit."
In 1995 Leon
Taylor, convicted of murdering a man during a 1994 robbery in Kansas City,
Missouri, was sentenced to death, PLUS life in prison, with an additional
315 years tacked on for good measure.
FAYETTEVILLE, NC -
Francisco Tirado was recently found guilty of the murder of two women
as part of a gang initiation ritual. When the judge asked for testimony
to mitigate a death sentence, Tirado’s mother was supposed to appear.
She was not allowed to act as a character witness because she was drunk
and not allowed to enter the courtroom. He is presently serving a life
It's said that Abraham Lincoln once sized up the case of a prospective client as follows:
have a good case, technically, but in terms of justice and equity, it's
got problems. So you'll have to look for another lawyer to handle the
case, because the whole time I was up there talking to the jury, I'd be
thinking, 'Lincoln, you're a liar!' and I might just forget myself and
say it out loud."
BOSTON - A woman escaped police by urinating on the floor during a court hearing and claiming that her "water had broken".
Police caught up with
Cristal Campbell, 29, a few days later at a friend's apartment. Here's
how Cristal pulled off her escape. she announced during a hearing on identity-fraud
charges that she was about to have a baby. A puddle of liquid formed at
her feet, convincing paramedics that a baby was on the way. They rushed
her to a hospital, where she slipped out of her room. Authorities believe
Campbell simply urinated to fool officials. It gets better... she was
caught a little later but she escaped from her hospital room a second
TEXAS - What defendant
wouldn't feel a little intimidated when the trial judge begins to clean
his guns at the bench? During a public reprimand Thursday, the State Commission
on Judicial Conduct stated that visiting state District Judge Lon Harper
"failed to act in a dignified manner" when he unsheathed two
Colt Model 1873 revolvers, took them apart and wiped them clean during
jury selection in a 1999 trial. Harper, who lost his judicial seat in
a 1998 election but occasionally presides over cases as a visiting judge,
told the commission he thought nobody saw him cleaning the guns and that
it did not interfere with court proceedings. "I guess I won't do
any more handgun repair on the bench," he concluded.
URBAN SURVIVAL SYNDROME - A fear that inner-city residents have of other people in their same area. Used in a case where a black 18-year-old shot two blacks in a Fort Worth parking lot in 1993.
THE TWINKIE DEFENSE - High sugar levels caused by too much junk food consumption compounded by manic depression. Defense used by Dan White to explain why he killed city mayor George Moscone and gay board member Harvey Milk.
BLACK RAGE - A type of insanity caused by prolonged racial prejudice in the United States. Used to defend Colin Ferguson, who is black, for killing four whites and two Asian-Americans on a Long Island Railroad train.
ANAL RETENTIVENESS - When highly ambitious, hypercritical people cannot relax and don't trust others to do work assigned to them. Considered to be a defense for professionals that fail to file their income taxes on time.
BILLINGS, Montana - A man after spending two years in prison for bank robbery filed an appeal for wrongful imprisonment. He claimed innocence even though his partner in crime clearly identified him. He had a unique defense which proved fatal to his cause. Transcripts of the appeal revealed a clever, if unconvincing argument. He thought that the tellers could not have possibly identified him correctly. Among his more unforgettable quotes were, "How could the people in the bank have identified me? I had a mask on when I did the job." His appeal was denied.
In 1996, a Californian
judge ruled against James Pflugradt's estate and in favor of the deceased's
former landlord. The judge allowed the landlord to keep Pflugradt's $825
security deposit because he died without giving 30 days notice.
WINNIPEG, Canada -
Didn't your mother ever tell you not to jingle your pocket change while
strolling through the ghetto? That's exactly the type of response a Canadian
mugging victim received from Judge Charles Rubin. The 46-year-old Winnipeg
resident was chastised by Judge Rubin for being a "stupid civilian,
who admits that he was stupid," after two men approached him late
one night. One of the men snatched the victim's money right out of his
hand. Judge Rubin compared walking around in a bad neighborhood with money
in your hand to "walking in the wolf enclosure at the city zoo with
a pound of ground beef in your hand." The victim responded to the
Judge's comments, saying that he was "insulted." The prosecutor
is considering an appeal.
AKRON, OH - According to 44-year-old Karen Kershaw of Akron, the price of a used truck is $600 cash plus two sexual favors and four cartons of cigarettes (yes, cigarettes). These were the amounts to be paid to Rick Remmy, 39, only in the end she didn't get the truck.
Now they're in Small
Claims Court, where Karen wants her money back. A handwritten agreement
outlined the values to be assigned to each item or act and bore what appeared
to be Remmy's name at the bottom. Kershaw is asking for her money back
and $14,700 in punitive damages because of the embarrassment she has suffered
in having to file the lawsuit. A Municipal Judge is expected to rule in
the next week whether the "contract" is legitimate and whether
Kershaw should be tried for prostitution.
A man in Tarritville,
Connecticut, filed for divorce because his wife left him a note on the
refrigerator which read: "I have gone to the bridge club. There'll
be a recipe for your dinner at 7 o'clock on Channel 2
BERLIN, Germany -
What do you do if the spark goes out of your marriage? After being married
69 years, Heidi Berger decided to call it quits from her husband Hans.
In papers filed in court, Heidi cited a lack of sex for grounds for divorcing.
Heidi is 100 and Hans is 101.
FRANCE - According
to the major of the small French Riviera resort town of Le Lavandou, it
is forbidden to anyone who does not have a burial plot to die within town
limits. Major Gil Bernardi reported that he knows that this is such a
strange request but says "it's no less absurd than the court order
which banned us from building a new cemetery on the grounds that the seaside
terrain where we want to build comes under rules protecting the environment."
Bernardi concluded by saying, "I issued the decree yesterday hoping
for official attention. No one has died since then and I hope it stays
appeals court has upheld an Alabama law banning the sale of artificial
penises. The law was challenged last year by six women who either sell
sex aids or said they need them to get the job done. A U.S. District Judge
agreed saying it was "overly broad" and in violation of due
process rights. But last week a three-judge 11th Circuit panel overturned
the ruling. They said the law, "is rationally related to the state's
legitimate government interest in public morality." The penalty for
selling or distributing rubber dicks in Alabama? Up to one year in jail
and a $10,000 fine.
N.M., - George Thomas Diesel and his wife filed a lawsuit against the
Levi Strauss Co. over a defective pair of 501 jeans. According to Diesel,
a rivet in one of the fly buttons was not completely fused, causing a
piece of metal to protrude, which severely lacerated his penis the first
time he put the jeans on. Diesel's wife wants money for the loss of her
husband's services. Also named in the suit is the department store where
Diesel bought the jeans.
Cited for Divorce
1996, a California judge ruled against James Pflugradt's estate and in
favor of the deceased's former landlord. The judge allowed the landlord
to keep Pflugradt's $825 security deposit because he died without giving
30 days notice.
Kentucky Legislature has realized in hindsight that granting the blind
the right to carry concealed weapons was not such a good idea. In 1996,
the state lawmakers passed a law allowing residents to obtain a concealed
weapons permit as long as they take eight hours of certified training,
pass a written test and can hit a body-like target 21 feet away 11 times
out of 20. A new bill was introduced this week that requires those seeking
a permit to submit a doctor's statement saying their sight is at least
I want to bring to your attention how unfair it is for my client to be
accused of theft. He arrived in New York City a week ago and barely knows
his way around. What's more, he only speaks a few words of English."
Illinois - In what is believed to be a precedent setting ruling, a judge
reduced a Chicago woman's sentence because of a shopping addiction. Elizabeth
Roach stole almost a quarter of a million dollars from a past employer
and claimed she went on spending sprees because she is a shopaholic. Instead
of the maximum 18-month jail term, Judge Matthew Kennelly gave her five
years probation. Additionally, she is prohibited from getting any credit
cards or incurring any new debt. Roach stole $241,061 over the course
of three years. Believing her addiction is the source of her problems,
the judge did not want a prison term to interrupt her therapy and chance
of recovery. He fined her $30,000.
banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. This also applies to
undertakers; the sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick
or piece of wood at all times.
- Apparently there was a good reason why this Philadelphia man's eyes
appeared glassy on the night he was arrested for drunk driving, and it
wasn't from booze. Michael McMillian was arrested when his car struck
a bicyclist on Broad Street. The arresting officer claimed his breath
smelled like alcohol, his speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy.
During a recent court hearing, public defender Kevin Birley reportedly
reached right into McMillian's eye socket and plucked his glass eye right
out of his head to demonstrate why his eyes appeared glassy. In spite
of such an in'sight'ful defense, Municipal Judge Morton Krase found McMillian
guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, simple assault and reckless
endangerment. He was sentenced to 90 days in prison.
British Columbia - Mary Braun, an 81-year-old member of the Christian
Sect Sons of Freedom, was found guilty last week of setting fire to a
community college. Braun has a history of using arson and public nudity
as part of religious protests. The fire at the community college was intended
as a "symbolic gesture" that apparently got out of hand. During
her two-day trial, Braun refused to wear clothes and showed little emotion.
Provincial Court Judge Mark McEwan ruled that there was no doubt the defendant
was guilty, and she will be sentenced in November. Braun is one of the
last members of this Russian Christian group. The sect believes in pacifism
and total equality.
Sentenced to Four Hours of Polka Music
Chuck Buckingham heard one of his favorites after pulling over someone
going more than 70 mph.
Just May Have Sued Herself
the jurors in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry
were ordered by the judge to not see the new movie 'The Insider', because
it might influence their verdict. He also ordered them not to see 'The
House on Haunted Hill'.
- When Norman and Melissa Cameron were accused of defaulting on a $54,000
mortgage debt, they appealed to a higher power. Now they may have to appeal
to a higher court. A judge has ruled against the Windsor couple, who claimed
God had forgiven them their debts. "It was our desire to be free
from this mortgage debt," the couple said in July, in response to
a lawsuit. "Therefore we asked God our Heavenly Father in the name
of Jesus Christ. He heard us and he freed us from this mortgage bondage."
Ahh, but the Judge hears a different message.. Judge Samuel Freed last
week approved Fannie Mae's request to foreclose on the property based
on the Camerons' failing to make the monthly $425 loan payments since
April. Fannie Mae assumed ownership of the property last week and has
the power to sell it under Freed's ruling.
LUCIE, Florida - James Lundy III made a lot of "cents" the day
he paid his $1,050 traffic fine, literally. Lundy, 26, apparently felt
so "abused by the system" and unfairly treated during a traffic
stop, that he decided to pay his fine with 105,000 pennies. Officials
say it took Lundy several trips to carry in 17 cloth sacks full of coins
into the St. Lucie County courthouse. Lundy, who reportedly has an extensive
history of traffic violations, was ticketed for traveling 53 mph in a
35 mph speed zone and having expired tags. Each ticket carried a $525
fine, amounts he called "ridiculous." Court officials had no
choice but to accept the payment.
- There's nothing like a limited-edition sports car to incite a heated
custody battle. A judge recently awarded joint custody of a $200,000 911
GT2 Porsche to two men who both wanted to own it. A car salesman at Silver
Star Motor Sports wanted to keep the car for himself, but a customer had
already put down a $500 deposit to reserve it. Marc DiLorenzo, the customer,
took the salesman to court when he refused to give up the car. In turn,
the judge made DiLorenzo pay the entire amount due on the car, but the
salesman still gets to drive it for the first four months. The salesman
has agreed not to drive more than 2,500 miles on the car during his months
of custody. DiLorenzo wasn't completely happy with the outcome and said,
"I'd rather get it sooner than later, but this way everybody's happy
- or unhappy. I'm a little frustrated, but glad it all worked out."
The car has been called "the ultimate Porsche," and only 166
of this model will be sold in the United States in 2002.
in Traffic Court, a man who received an expensive parking ticket testified
that a uniformed Policeman had given his OK for the man to park there.
Ark. - A man recently gave graphic expression to his contempt of court
received 10 months in jail for mooning a judge. Robert White, 50, who
is unemployed, was representing himself on a disorderly conduct charge
Wednesday for allegedly causing a disturbance at a hospital. White objected
that he was being tried in a "kangaroo court" and began using
foul language, witnesses said. Then he dropped his pants, bent over and
gave Municipal Judge Dennis Sutterfield a view of his rear end. Sutterfield
cited White for contempt. The judge said it was the first time in his
14 years on the bench that he had been mooned.
Show up Drunk in Court
Throwing the Book at Second Graders
An Argentinean judge adjourned a hearing after the two defendants and
all of the defense witnesses turned up to court drunk. Defense lawyer
Jorge Miquelarena tried to convince the judge that his clients needed
a drink before the murder trial because it was so stressful.
Working for a Judge in a common pleas court, I saw many criminal defendants. One man facing drug charges proved unusually helpful.
To determine the exact quantity of the illegal substance allegedly sold, the judge asked the prosecutor how many grams there are in an ounce.
As both attorneys checked their notes, the defendant, who had not yet entered his plea, proudly announced, "There are 28.3 grams in an ounce, your honor."
advised him to plead guilty.