(C) Lawyers in Heaven (or Hell)


Some lawyers are so dogmatic and stubborn that they won’t accept anything that everyone else in the world accepts — without proof.

And of course, proof is subject to their subjective interpretation and opinion.

Lawyers are like the donkey with blinders on. They can only see what is directly in front of them, and they’re very task motivated.

And most do not want to be confused by the facts. They prefer their own opinion.

Lawyers in Heaven (or Hell)

Perhaps lawyers have what has been called ‘The Titanic Philosophy.’

Surely you remember the Titanic. It was a large ocean liner that was dubbed…

‘The Unsinkable Ship.’

At least she was dubbed this before she sailed.


The Titanic was on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic when it sunk. It hit a huge ice berg while sailing, and went down, killing many hundreds of people.

It was very cold. Ice accumulated and caused hazardous conditions for ships. But the amazing thing is not so much that the so-called ‘unsinkable ship’ sank.\

The amazing thing is that the captain and crew ignored literally hours of broadcasted warnings about those ice-accumulations in the sea lanes. These broadcasted warnings were heard by the crew of the Titanic over and over and over again.

Yet, the Titanic crashed head-long into a huge ice berg, at full throttle.
They had the music blaring and the booze flowing —
totally oblivious to anything at all else going on around it.

This perfectly describes
most of the lawyers I know!

We lawyers are pretty straight when it comes to some things — like my mention of us not being required to take economics in law school. So when it comes to math, we’re pretty simple.

Some have said that the best lawyers seem to do can be compared to lining up the lounges on the Titanic.


But sometimes lawyers can learn to think like accountants.

A lawyer was asked how much 2 + 2 was, and he replied 4.

An engineer was asked the same question, and he said he agreed that it was 4, at least in most cases.

Finally, an accountant was also asked how much 2 + 2 was. He replied, “How much do you want it to be?”

In school we are taught to view such thinking as a winning mindset.

And winning is something we lawyers are taught to do at all costs — and at any price (realizing of course that our clients are paying the bill).

Let me reiterate we are people who will spend
your last cent to prove that we’re right —
and then we’re wrong half the time. 

The word ‘loss’ isn’t even part of a good lawyer’s vocabulary. We must win, at any cost. You see, our egos are at stake. Even if we do lose, we disguise it, rationalize it, minimize it or justify it in some way.

It might be said that we were trained under football coach Vince Lombardi. He was the one who said, “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” Of course he didn’t win all his games either.


For this reason, lawyers love what are called ‘loser jokes.’

This is because most lawyers visualize themselves as winners, not losers (even if they lose, they most often collect their fee).

So lawyers look at others as losers. They visualize others as losers who are afraid, and hide from them, and themselves as winners to be feared.

Thus lawyers love loser jokes.

If you really want to get on your lawyer’s good side, tell him a loser joke or two, and he’ll love you for it. I’ll help you out by sharing a few of my favorites.

A LOSER is a quarterback
who calls for a free catch
— from center.

A LOSER is an entrepreneur out looking for
seashells by the seashore so that he can sell them.
He finds one, puts it to his ear, and gets a busy signal.

A LOSER is a piano player in a marching band.

A LOSER is a guy who when he retires,
instead of getting a traditional gold watch,
gets $5 worth of quarters,
and a phone number to call to get the right time.
(I guess that’s dated to the era of pay phones).

A LOSER is a client who calls his landlord
to complain about roaches in his apartment —
and gets his rent raised for keeping pets.

A LOSER is the newcomer who comes to town
and gets run over by the welcome wagon.

A LOSER is the client who comes to a complete stop
at a stop sign, looks both ways,
and gets rear-ended.

A LOSER is the lady who stands on the edge of ‘Echo Cliff’
and yells, “Hello, my name is Milfred Merriweather.”
The echo comes back and says, “Jump.”

A LOSER is the client who goes to see his doctor
about a kidney transplant,
and gets a donor with a bed-wetting problem.

Lawyers in Heaven (or Hell)

In America we have lawyers in abundance. It is said we have more lawyers, per capita, than anyplace else in the world. We used to have buffalo running in abundance, but we killed most of them off. Now we have lawyers running in abundance, and people would like to kill them off too.


A medical doctor was giving a med school commencement address, and he said he wanted to conclude with one thought: “Be sure to get all the malpractice insurance that you can. For each of you graduating there are three lawyers graduating who are dying to sue you.”

Did you hear the story of the Cuban, Russia and American traveling with his lawyer, who were riding together in a coach on a train in Europe? The Cuban lit up a very expensive Cuban cigar, took a puff or two, and threw it out the window. The American was shocked and asked why he did that. The Cuban said there was an over-abundance of cigars in Cuba so they wasted them.

Then the Russian opened an expensive bottle of Russian vodka, took one drink and threw it out the window. The American again shocked, asked why he did that. The Russian said it was because they had an over-abundance of vodka in Russia, and didn’t mind wasting it.

The American grabbed his lawyer and threw him out the window.


Mark Russell’s books are great. He’s a political humorist who lives in Washington D.C., which he says stands for ‘Darkness and Confusion.’ He says there are more answering services, and fewer answers in Washington than anyplace else in the world. In one of his books he has a chapter called, “I Brake For Lawyers.” Here’s a few lines:

“It’s not that I don’t like lawyers, it’s just that there are so many of them.

We who dwell in the nation’s capital have learned to live side-by-side with those of the legal profession. We do so out of necessity. For Washington without lawyers would be like Rome without priests.

If they removed all the lawyers from Washington, then the city would become like a silent movie set.

“There are tax attorneys,
constitutional lawyers,
patent attorneys,
trial lawyers,
criminal lawyers
and lawyer criminals.

The whole town is infested with legal clerks, legal secretaries, legislative aides, legislative assistants, and assistant legislative aides, — all of which are lawyers!

Even the owner of the football team is a lawyer!

“They make up the multi-divisional army in pinstripes: ‘the Brooks Brothers Brigade,’ and if all those pinstripes were extended horizontally, they would encircle the globe many times.

The poor animals who unwillingly gave their hides to be turned into legal attaché cases carried in Washington is something I’d rather not think about.

The massive legal presence in Washington is unavoidable in the place where our laws are made, interpreted, enforced, and often broken —
all by the same people.

“Whenever a bar association convenes, the assemblage always observers a moment of silence for their dear-departed brothers — now serving in minimum security prisons. It is usually a prayer for those who are doing three years at hard tennis.”

Lawyers in Heaven (or Hell)

Now I want to say a word in defense of lawyers.

Lawyers, despite all the adverse publicity, are very important folks. I know because I overheard two people outside a court room talking about their lawyers. One was saying,

“You know, lawyers are very important people.
They help us get out of trouble:
the same trouble we wouldn’t have in the first place
if it weren’t for lawyers!”

Lawyers are important, and we are very well-trained in what we do.

But one thing I discovered about law school is that it didn’t teach me how to communicate, but only how to dogmatically argue my pre-determined position.

We are much like robots.


Some lawyers don’t like being lawyers, or else they get burned out of being lawyers like I did. After 25 years as a street lawyer, I simply had to do something else — both a legal mindset doesn’t always translate into other businesses and vocations.


One lawyer I know went to work as a life insurance salesman. His boss had been trying to sell some insurance to one particular president of a company for a long time, but wasn’t successful. When the lawyer came to work, the sales manager sent his new lawyer-employee out to deal with this company president.

And the lawyer was successful! He sold him on the very first call!

The lawyer came back to the office all excited. The boss was excited too, but he got a blank stare when he asked where the urine sample was that he told him to get.

The lawyer had completely forgotten to get the urine sample.

The lawyer had to go back to get it, and in three hours he came back with a bucket full of urine.

His boss was very confused, and looking at the lawyer with a dumb expression on his face, he asked what that was. The lawyer said, “Boss, you won’t believe it! I went back and they were having a board meeting, and I sold them a group policy.”


I call myself ‘a recovering lawyer.’ My office used to get so piled up with stuff I couldn’t even find the file I needed to work on.

I got tired of being referred to as a man
who earned his living by the sweat of his

But I truly respect lawyers who stay at their job until they’re so old they look like dried up prunes. As is said, “Old lawyers never die. They just lose their appeal.”

I personally got burned out and couldn’t stay in until the bitter end.

Law is very stressful — ranked third only behind operating room surgeons and policemen on the front lines. And no wonder it’s so stressful, with all the deadlines… the changing laws… changing court procedures… cranky clients… combative judges … and unpredictable witnesses. And… and… and.

This drives a lot of lawyers to drink.


There is a story about a lawyer driving home drunk after a long day at the office and in court. He went off the road and went down an embankment. His car flipped over twice.

At this moment, as luck would have it, a policeman drove by. He stopped and yelled down: “Sir, have you been drinking?”


The lawyer said, slurring his words:

“I should certainly hope so.
What do you think I am, a stunt driver?”

Lawyers don’t tend to like these stories because they usually don’t have a very big sense of humor — unless you’re telling them loser jokes, as I’ve said.


Have you hugged your lawyer today? Don’t forget we lawyers are people too. Well, at least most of the time.

And I know that most lawyers aren’t really the huggable type. Recall they have what is called dominant hostile personalities.

But it’s true that lawyers need hugs too.

But you especially don’t feel like hugging them when you get their bill, do you? You wonder how a lawyer can spend so much time on your case, when they have so many other cases too. They must have clones, right? They must work 24 hours a day, right?

Lawyers in Heaven (or Hell)

Saint Peter wondered the same thing. A lawyer died and went to heaven (which I’m told is quite a feat in itself).


He met Saint Pete at the Golden Gates, and the lawyer was complaining: “Why am I here? I’m only 42 years old!” Saint Peter looked into the Book of Life and said, “There must be some mistake — I was reviewing your fee time slips and I thought you were 82.”

With all the flack lawyers put up with, we really do need some strokes and kind words, if not outright hugs.

A lawyer friend of mine said he really took a double pot-shot in court recently. He said he’d spent all morning in jury selection, and one of the jurors had been nasty to him.

The juror told the judge, “I can’t serve on this jury because even the lawyer looks guilty to me.”

He then said that wasn’t the worst thing.

The worst was when the judge responded: “Well, he probably is, but that has nothing to do with this case.”

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