January 26, 2004
 
December 2001 - Did They Really Say That?

From Judge Ralph H. Walton, Jr., of Granbury, 355th Judicial District), this excerpt “from the direct examination by the prosecutor in a recent driving-while-intoxicated case in [his] court in which the elderly, hard-of-hearing ‘Uncle Billy’ was called to testify.”

Q. Do you know Mr. Rinard?

A. Rinard?

Q. Rinard. He’s your neighbor.

A. Oh, yes.

Q. You might know him as Elias.

A. No, sir, he seems like a real respectable man.

Q. Not a liar, but Elias. Do you know his first name?

A. No, I don’t.

Q. You just know him as Mr. Rinard?

A. Actually, I know him as Mr. Bradshaw’s brother-in-law.

Q. Fair enough.

January 23, 2004
 
June 1987 - Did I Really Ask That?

Examination of a plaintiff in a personal injury case:

Q. Did you have any - were you having any problem at the time you had your right knee replaced with your left knee?

A. No.

Q. Have you had any problem with it since?

A. No.

Q. Have you had any further surgery on your left knee since?

A. It's my right knee.

Q. I'm sorry, have you had any further surgery?

January 22, 2004
 
February 2003 - Don’t Leave Me Out

From Donald J. Drago of Austin, upon the review of a document shown as an exception on a commitment for title insurance covering a tract of land in Harrison County, this “restrictive covenant” found in a Warranty Deed from the Smiths (the sellers) to an investment entity:

Item No. 11 — Buyers must invite the Smiths over for BBQ or party at least twice yearly. Smiths will bring beer.

January 21, 2004
 
June 1987 - Did I Really Ask That?

Court Jesters records this question asked by a Vancouver lawyer: "what colour were the blue jeans?" As well as the Canadian lawyer who single-handedly (or mouthily) asked these immortal questions:

Q. How long have you known your brother?
Q. Were you alone or by yourself?
Q. How long have you been a French Canadian?

January 20, 2004
 
December 2001 - Send it to Buchmeyer

Order To Retain On Docket
On this day came on to be heard the motion of William Robinson, Plaintiff in the above-entitled and numbered cause, seeking to retain this cause on this Court’s docket. The Court is of the opinion and finds that this cause should be retained.

IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED, that the above-entitled and numbered cause is retained until mañana is today!

January 16, 2004
 
April 1989- Did I Really Hear That?

Q. All right. Who else?

A. A man named Clyde Dodd.

Q. Dodd?

A. Yeah, he's dead.

Q. Dead?

A. He's very dead.

Mr. Clapp: He died, Dodd?

A. Clyde died.

Q. (By Mr. Ramsey) In degrees of death, he's at the extreme?

A. Yes, as a matter of fact - never mind.

Q. What is he, a bookie or a friend?

A. He was a bookie only.

January 15, 2004
 
February 2000 - Did They Really Do That?

From Trish Nasworthy of Grand Prairie, this mistake she spotted in an ad in the Dallas Morning News.

Litigation attorney needed immediately. Large plaintiff's personal injury firm seeks associate. Duties include depositions, medication, and trials...

January 14, 2004
 
Did They Really Say That? - June 2000

From Jaime M. Lynn of Austin, this excerpt from the deposition of a defendant truck driver in a multi-party automobile collision case.

Q. When was the next time you were arrested?

A. Approximately two years ago.

Q. What was that for?

A. Class C theft for stealing grease. That's my business.

Jamie adds: "the defendant truck driver was a sole-proprietor who hauled grease from restaurants to rendering plants."

January 13, 2004
 
June 2000 - Did They Really Say That?

From Randall E. Turner of Fort Worth this exchange from the deposition of his client in a personal injury case:

Q. Do you know who performed that surgery?

A. I was in Florida. I can't recall.

Q. What were you doing in Florida at the time?

A. Having surgery.

January 12, 2004
 
May 2000 - Did They Really Say That?

From Sharon Emerson of Corpus Christi these answers to interrogatories in a carbon monoxide exposure case:

Interrogatory: Please describe in detail your employment history.

Answer: For three weekends in 1998, I made $7.00 an hour sampling cat and dog food, but I could no longer work because I developed stomach problems.

January 09, 2004
 
June 1990 - Did I Really Hear That?

From Sandi Fudge of Rowlett (Lyon & Lyon), this deposition excerpt from a worker's compensation case in which the plaintiff is being asked about doctors she has seen in the past.

Q. After delivery of your first child, did you see a gynecologist?

A. Dr. Matheson. She didn't pass away until like three or four years later. Brian is eight now.

Q. She passed away around 1983?

A. It may have been later, I just didn't - I can't give you an exact date.

Q. After she passed away did you not switch and start going to a new gynecologist?

A. No, I continued to see her for probably two years after that. I don't recall the exact dates.

January 08, 2004
 
June 1990 - I'm Glad We Cleared That Up

Judge: So this one time you used cocaine, how did you use it?

A. (No response).

Judge: I mean, how did you get this cocaine into your system?

A. Oh - sometimes with a spoon, sometimes with a straw.

January 07, 2004
 
June 1985 - How Did the Accident Happen?

Q. Can you tell me in your own words what happened as you were heading to collect the money and you were coming on Memorial Dr.?

A. I have been trying to figure that our ever since it happened, Mister.

Q. In other words, you were just coming down Memorial Dr. -

A. And the next news I know, it was Sunday.

January 06, 2004
 
June 1989 - Did I Really Say That?

This deposition excerpt comes from Robert N. Eames of Denton (Philips & Hopkins); Bob's partner who took this deposition will remain unnamed in this column - but, based on the talent shown by these penetrating questions, we may well hear from him again.

Q. Thank you. What other activities are you presently involved in, Mr. Humes?

A. The church. I go to school.

Q. Let me be specific. I won't beat around the bush. Are you going to school?

A. Yes, sir.

January 05, 2004
 
March 2003 - Billable Hours

From Michael Foster of Dallas (Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr), this excerpt “from the deposition of the plaintiff’s expert in a suit in which the plaintiff claimed that the machining centers purchased from Toshiba Machine Co. would not machine plaintiff’s products as fast as promised. In support of its case, plaintiff produced thousands of pages of manufacturing records, including records showing that plaintiff operated the Toshiba machines more than 24 hours in a single day!” This lead to the following exchange:

Q. You can’t possibly work a machine 38 hours in a single day, can you?

A. Not unless you’re a lawyer.

This, Michael says, “halted the deposition until we could stop laughing and get back in our chairs.”

 
July 2002 - A Senior Moment

From Patricia B. Lehtola (Lehtola & Associates) of Dallas, this excerpt from a deposition.

Q. Okay. And how old are you, ma’am?

A. 50 —

Q. Two?

A. 52, I think —

Q. One?

A. — 51. I was born in ‘49.

Q. I thought you were 51 or 52. I wasn’t sure. I’ll add it up.

A. I think I’m 51.

Q. I do that sometimes.

A. I can’t believe that.

MR. GASWIRTH: It’s 2002.

A. That’s what I call a senior moment.


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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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