November 30, 2007
 
May 1994 - Did She Really Say That?

From Suzanne Saenz of Houston (Suzanne is a legal assistant with Ronald W. Ryan), this excerpt from the plaintiff's deposition in a medical malpractice case.

Q. Mr. Williams, are you on any medication today?

A. Yeah. No. Just a little old pain pill; but I'm not - I know what I'm doing ...

Q. What kid of pain pill is that?

A. Let's see. What did I Tell you the name of it was, a while ago?

Def. Attny: I think you said Vicodin.

A. Vicodin. That's what it is, and it doesn't really hurt my memory.

November 29, 2007
 
July 1993 - Bad Questions and Good Answers

From Thomas D. Paul of Houston (Fulbright & Jaworski), this excerpt from a deposition in a patent infringement case - where the questions are being asked by Bryan Medlock of Dallas (Richards, Medlock & Andrews):

Q. Okay. What did you do to prepare for your deposition today?

A. Took a shower.

Q. Well, that's a good answer to a bad question.

Mr. Paul: Best answer we got all day, right?

Mr. Gatto: We all appreciate it.

Mr. Medlock: Let me see if I can ask a better question.[1]
____

1. Thomas Paul adds this sideline: "After the deposition was over and we were off the record, Bryan again, in his inquisitive nature asked the witness what he was going to do now that the deposition was over and the witness replied, 'Take another shower.' "

November 28, 2007
 
October 1992 - Death and/or Taxes

From J. Mark Hansen of Dallas (Vial, Hamilton, etc.), this excerpt from "a deposition I took recently [which] comes under the heading "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Q. Have I named all the places you've lived in your life as best as you can remember?

A. In this life, yes?

Q. What do you mean by that?

A. Well, my greatest fear is reincarnation. You think God's going to up my deal?

Q. Do you think you're an older soul or a young soul?

A. I think this is my first try.

Q. So there wouldn't have been any other places you lived in your life before this, right?

A. I don't think so.

November 27, 2007
 
July 1992 - I'm Glad We Cleared That Up!

From Gary A. Walters of Denton (Milner & Walters), this excerpt from the deposition of the plaintiff in a personal injury case: Randy Stout of Denton is deposing, with Camille Milner representing the plaintiff. The deposition begins with questions about the plaintiff's "family background and her household inhabitants."

Q. Sandra Kay Lemlyn [lives with you]?

A. Yes, that's my daughter.

Q. How old is she?

A. Thirty-five.

Q. Is she employed?

A. No, sir. Not at this time.

Q. When was the last time she was employed?

A. Several months ago. She's expecting at this time.

Q. Okay. A child?

A. Yes, sir. I think that's what it is.

(Discussion off the record.)

November 26, 2007
 
July 2004 - The Winner: Most Confusing Document Title

Paul J. Van Osselaer of Austin (Van Osselaer, Cronin & Buchanan) and Robert Slovak of Dallas (Gardere Wynne Sewell) — who are opposing counsel in a case on my docket — jointly submitted the following:

“Paul Van Osselaer of Austin … was hoping that the alternative relief would be granted just to figure out what is going on. He submitted this entry as a potential winner as the most confusing document title, deleting the actual names of the parties to protect the guilty. It’s from a filing in the U.S. District Court in San Antonio:

“DEFENDANT’S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF’S REPLY TO DEFENDANT’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, APPLICATION FOR HEARING.”

November 16, 2007
 
June 1994 - Doing Pro Se

From a pro se pleading recently filed with Judge Eileen O'Neal of Houston (190th District Court), the "friendliest introduction" that she's ever received:

Now comes Plaintiff Ronald Dwayne Whitfield, and says to the honorable judge of this court, "Hello."

Judge O'Neill adds that she did not yield to the temptation to draft the following response:

Hello, Motion denied.

November 15, 2007
 
October 1997 - The Plea

Promises, Promises...
From Michael D. Valicek of San Antonio, this paragraph in a not-so-standard plea agreement in a criminal case in Comal County (22nd Judicial District).

3. My plea is entered without any persuasion, and I have not been promised nothing for entering this plea.

November 14, 2007
 
July 2005 - Ozzie and Harriett

These two contributions are from Stephen A. Doggett of Richmond from his examination of the husband in a divorce case:

Q. So, what are you saying? Are you saying she is not a good mother? …

A. I’m just saying that sometimes I may have felt that she did things I wouldn’t have done.

Q. Well, you are not supposing … that everybody is an Ozzie and Harriett kind of family situation, are you?

A. I don’t know who Ozzie and Harriet are.

Ms. Scardino: Can I ask Roger if he would take all of that out of the record?

The Court: No, Ms. Scardino. You have shot your own foot off about your age.

Ms. Scardino: Okay. I guess I will continue now.

November 13, 2007
 
June 2003 - I Can Now

From Joseph Jacobson, Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4 — April 1986.

Q. Isn’t it a fact that you have been running around with another woman?

A. Yes, it is, but you can’t prove it!

November 09, 2007
 
September 2007 - Typos (Classic & Otherwise)

Brent Clark of Fort Worth (Mellina & Larson) found this typo in a lease agreement:

This Lease shall be subordinated to any mortgages that may not exist or that may hereafter be placed upon the Premises. ...
--

Mickey Chandler of Center writes that "as an erstwhile expert witness in email spam, I try to keep up with significant spam-related cases by running a website which collects case documents for public display."

Candler came across the following in an affidavit filed in an Illinois case:

3. I do not now nor have I ever owned, used, or possessed any property, real or imagined, in Illinois ...

November 07, 2007
 
October 2007 - Tell Us How You Really Feel

This contribution and the title are from judge Weldon S. Copeland of McKinney (Collin County Probte Court 1), who writes:

A will recently probated modified the usual instruction to 'pay all just debts abd obligations.' Instead, the will provided: 'None of my debts and credit cards (to be) are to be paid. Let them all go bad and mail each creditor a death certificate.'

Among the instructions for his funeral were these: "I forbid that my ex-wife attend my funeral activities or any future things with the family! I personally hope her and her mother Rot in Hell. I want her to know publicly how much resentment I have for her.

November 05, 2007
 
December 1994 - Did He Really Say That?

From Michael J. Black of San Antonio (Burns & O'Gorman), this excerpt from a personal injury deposition taken by Sam Houston Knutson of Mike's firm:

A. We just really discussed the tests.

Q. Okay. And what did Dr. Castillo tell you about the test results?

A. I'm pretty normal. I'm not suicidal or anything.

Q. We're not going to find you up on the roof with a magnum or anything like that?

A. No. I'm scared of heights, so, no, I don't think so.

November 02, 2007
 
November 2007 - The Will Signing

This marvelous contribution is from Gene Majors of San Marcos (Majors Law Firm, P.L.L.C.), who writes, "Will signings are often somber occasions, but not this one." Gene was a witness at a will signing ceremony, where his daughter - partner Carrie Majors - was explaining the living will to the client," an attractive, early fifties woman."

Carrie said, "If you are terminal and you don't want to be on life support, initial here."

With her pen paused over the page, the client asked, "Can I stay on life suport until I'm a size 8?"

November 01, 2007
 
July 1991 - Did I Really Hear That?

From J. Michael Weston of Dallas (Alexander & Weston), this "objection, ruling and aftermath" from a case tried before Judge David Brooks (191st District Court):

Q. Mr. Tafacory, on that morning, did you see cars pull into the parking lot at the premises?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did those cars slow down and then drive through without stopping?

Plainttif's Attorney: Objection. He's leading.

The Court: I will overrule it. You may answer the question.

Plainttif's Attorney: I didn't hear the question. I'm sorry. I was busy objecting.


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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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