February 28, 2003
 
January 2000 - Did They Really Say That?
From W. Marc McDonald of Fort Worth (Bourland, Smith, etc.), this "classically confused" statement made by one of his partners, William R. Korlo, Jr. during a recent deposition.

Mr. Korlo: All right. Let me turn your attention to Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 3. I'm sorry. For purposes of the record, I've been messing up. I keep saying Plaintiff's Exhibits and I'm actually Defendant's.

So let the record reflect that I don't know who I represent.

 
January 1989 - What Was That Again?
From Judge David G. Lewis of Dumas (Moore County Court of Law), this excerpt from a recent divorce custody trial in Moore County.

Q. And what did you do that night?

A. We made and sent out some fliers. [Being the West Texas pronunciation of "flowers"]

Q. What kind of flowers?

A. No flowers. Fliers!

Q. Well then, what were they made of?

A. Paper.

Q. So you made some paper flowers and sent them out?

A. No. Not flowers! Fliers! Paper fliers!

Judge Moore adds that the legal assistant elbowed her confused boss in the ribs and said just loud enough for the jury to hear. "You know, dummy, pamphlets!"

February 27, 2003
 
January 1996 - East Texas Slang
From Raymond W. Cozby, III of Tyler (Cowles & Thompson), this closing argument made by his brother, Andrew J. Cozby, the prosecutor in a criminal trial in Houston:

Mr. Cozby: Members of the jury, I appreciate your patience during this trial. I'm going to be talking quick because my time is limited. If you can follow this East Texas slang I appreciate it because I'm going to be going over some important points.

Number One: What we call in East Texas — if you've ever seen a dog chasing a rabbit, sometimes they will get off on some rabbit's trail. That's a false trail that leads off in a circle. And a dog will get off on a false trail from where the rabbit really is.

Defense Attorney: Your Honor, I object to being called a dog.

Mr. Cozby: Your Honor, I except to that, I was calling him a rabbit.

February 26, 2003
 
April 1985 - But I'll Try To Do Better
Some Kinda Guy
From Judge Stephen B. Ables of Kerrville (216th District Court), this excerpt from an arraignment held in June 1989. The defendant, who was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, asked for an appointed attorney — and Judge Ables began the "routine" inquiry concerning the indigent status of the defendant.

Q. (By the Court) Mr. Jones, how long have you been in custody?

A. A month and a half.

Q. What did you do before you were incarcerated?

A. I manufactured methamphetamine.

[At this point the district attorney almost incurred a hernia trying to suppress a guffaw.]

Q. You did what?

A. I cooked at McDonald's.

COURT: Thank you Mr. Jones. [Aside to the court reporter] You didn't miss any of that did you?

COURT REPORTER: Absolutely not.

February 24, 2003
 
April 1985 - Some Kinda Guy
From Jessica Stettler of Dallas (Office of the City Attorney), this deposition in a personal injury case, Jessica explains: "The deponent [being cross examined] is a biker who drove "Blue," his Harley Davidson, into a city curb on a Saturday night and injured himself and the girl bartender on the back of his bike. They have mostly recovered, but I believe Old Blue is still in a coma. The case is set for trial.

Q. But as far as my original question, you don't know of any medical reason or any reason why your memory got worse the longer you stayed in the hospital?

A. I don't know unless it was something the hospital was feeding me.

Q. Are you currently taking any medication?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. What are you taking?

A. I have never had nor will I ever have an epileptic attack, but part of my brain is missing so the doctor for insurance purposes gives me Dilantin because the back side of my brain is missing. Einstein only used eight percent of his brain. What do I care if a fourth of it is missing?

Q. Did you really lose a fourth of your brain?

A. Yes.

February 20, 2003
 
March 1998 - But I'll Try To Do Better
Emmett Colvin of Dallas (Of Counsel to Bruner, McColl) admists that "the late Jim Bowie — of Dallas, not the Alamo — and I told this story so many times with embellishments, that the truth may been lost in the process." Nevertheless, "the complaining witness in an attempted murder case came to the D.A.'s office for questioning," and this took place:

Q. O.K. Henry, tell us what happened.

A. Well, I was in this bar and this other dude and I got into a tussle and he said that he was going home to get his gun and shoot me!

Q. What happened then?

A. Well, that's exactly what happened. He came back in with his gun and I was standing in front of the bar. He shot me in the stomach and I fell back, flat on my back. Then he looked down at me and said, "You ain't dead yet — I'm gonna shoot you again!"

Q. What did you do, Henry?

A. Well, I didn't do nothing. I just looked at him and said, "Wait a minute man — gimme time — I'm dying as fast as I can."

February 19, 2003
 
Sept 1987 - Do You Mean Literally, Or What?
John Wright of Grand Prairie (Wright & Associates) submitted the standard "identify everybody and everything" interrogatories in a case in which is client had been sued in JP Court. Fortunately for all of us, these were the handwritten answers to questions 3 and 11 by the plaintiff, Tammy Sue Porter.

Interrogatory No. 3: Please identify all persons whom you intend to call as witnesses in a trial of this cause of action.

Teresa dark hair
Jesus dark
Susan light complexion
Cristine light
Caroline dark

Interrogatory No. 11: List, identify and describe all documents reviewed or relied upon by you in preparation of these answers.

White black ink as is
Yellow black ink receipt
Blue black ink ?


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About the Judge


In Memory of Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, 1933-2009
Real life Texas Courtroom Humor.
From 1980 to 2008, U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer entertained lawyers far and wide with his "et cetera" column in the Texas Bar Journal. For this page, we've reached into the vault to bring you classic material spanning two decades of courtroom humor, most of which comes straight from actual depostions and trials.


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Buchmeyer's First Podcast

In June 2006, Judge Buchmeyer was interviewed by the Legal Talk Network.

Click here to listen (Windows Media format)


Classic Articles

Labor Relations: The Wututtut Review Brimelow v. Casson (& A Strike)
June 1983

Jurisdiction: Serving Satan Mayo v. Satan & His Staff
February 1984

Judicial Reasoning: "The Law Is A Ass"
December 1983

'Tis the Season
December 1984

A Fable
March 1985

Classic Article Archive

Links

Order Buchmeyer's new book, Texas Courtroom Humor (pdf format)

Ernie The Attorney Searching for Truth & Justice (in an unjust world)

Inter alia An internet legal research weblog

Lawhaha Andrew McClurg's Legal Humor Headquarters




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