Legal Jokes

This is a sample of the old legal jokes I have included in my book Silence in Court: A Selection of Legal Humour

  • To Solicitors and Others. Why is an attorney like a cartwheel? Because he cannot proceed properly until he is on the roll.
  • A western editor wishes to know whether the law recently enacted against the carrying of deadly weapons, applies to doctors who carry pills in their pockets.
  • Mr. Butterworth gave evidence in a recent law case, and Sergeant Buzfuz wished to shake Butterworth's credit. So, cross-examining another witness, he asked him, "What is Butterworth?" "Thirteenpence a pound," was the answer, "although I have paid as much as -" A roar of laughter extinguished Sergeant Buzfuz.
  • Professional Duties. An attorney presenting a copy of a writ to an auctioneer, not long since apologised for his unfriendly visit, and concluded by hoping that the other would not be offended, as he was merely performing an unpleasant duty of his profession. "Certainly not," said the auctioneer, "you must attend to the duties of your profession, and so must I to mine;" and instantly knocked him down.
  • At a meeting of the Commissioners of the Watch, &c., at Bath, one of the extra watchmen was brought before them on a charge of having been asleep on duty. One of the commissioners, on being told that this was his second offence, exclaimed, "So, sir, I understand you are lethargic." The man replied with some warmth, "No, sir, I am not; I am a Protestant."
  • A man who had a case in court, said, "that if he lost in the Court of Common Pleas, he would appeal to the Supreme Court, and from thence to Heaven." "And there," replied a gentleman, "you will be sure to lose, for you will not be present to answer for yourself, and no attorney is ever admitted there."
  • "Jim," said a little boy who was boasting of his father's new house, "we have got such a fine portico, and mahogany doors, and plate-glass windows, and on the top is a cupola, and it's going to have something else." "What is it?" asked his interested companion. "Why, I heard father tell mother this morning that it's going to have a mortgage on it."
  • Clipping a Mayor! The other day an invalid pauper of the Colchester Union, who formerly got his living by horse-clipping, was informed that he must be examined as to his settlement, and that the clerk to the magistrates would wait upon him with the mayor. The sick man, misinterpreting the message, exclaimed with much surprise, "It's of no use bringing the mare to me; I can't clip her, I'm too ill."
  • A witness in court being asked if he had ever heard that Mrs. Wilkins was a naturalist, said he understood she had ten children! "If that doesn't constitute her a naturalist," exclaimed the witness, "then I should like to know what does!"
  • In the Court of Common Pleas on Saturday, in the course of an action in which a compromise had been sought, the defendant, an old lady and very deaf, was asked what she would take, when she replied, "A glass of warm ale."
  • During the sessions at Wakefield a witness was asked if he was not a husbandman, when he hesitated for a moment, then coolly replied, amid the laughter of the court, "No, sir, I'se not married."
  • Query. Does a landlord give up his right to a house entirely, when he re-leases it?
  • A soldier on trial for habitual drunkenness was addressed by the president - "Prisoner, you have heard the prosecution for habitual drunkenness, what have you to say in defence?" "Nothing, please your honour, but habitual thirst."
  • A Dodge. One day, a client being anxious to be informed on one or two subjects, and not wishing to go to the expense of sundry 6s. 8d. fees, just asked his lawyer in a friendly manner to drop in and dine with him. His kind offer was accepted. At dessert, while discussing various subjects over the wine, he managed artfully, and, as he thought, successfully, to wedge in his questions, which were duly answered by the sharp guest. In a few days in came a lawyer's bill, "for answering sundry questions on the instant," &c. The client saw he was completely done, but a bright thought struck him; he sent in an account for his dinner, no doubt thinking that he would thereby be completely sold. Not so; his account was paid, and in return the lawyer sent him a summons for selling wine without a licence.
  • A Scene for a Pantomime. Two policeman lately went to the Great Western Works at New Swindon to serve a summons on an operative, whom they found attending to a steam engine. No sooner was the operative aware of their intention than, raising the safety valve, the place was instantly enveloped in impenetrable mist. When the vapour had cleared away the operative was away also.
  • Why is necessity like a great many lawyers? Because it knows no law.