Tag Archives: Funny


A2Yesterday, I ran into Bert King. He’s my adversarial friend—a defense lawyer with an honest, ethical, and realistic streak. Bert and I stood on the street and bullshitted. Here were two old guys reminiscing old times—who’s still in jail, who made parole—bitching about a stupidly screwed system and the hopelessly dysfunctional new breed of cops and counsels. Then our stuff turned to hilarious things we’d seen and heard within the hallowed halls of honor.

A3One of the great moments took place in our city’s old courthouse. It’s a beautiful stone building with maple woodwork and regal red carpeting. It was a hot summer day and the sheriff nodded off during a jury trial. He snapped awake, then gawked—the prisoner dock was vacant. “M’Lord!” he exclaimed. “The prisoner has escaped!” “Relax, Mister Sheriff,” the judge replied. “The accused has been testifying on his own behalf for the past twenty minutes.”

A5Then there was the time I was on the stand during one of the most vicious double murder trials of my career. I was under cross-examination by this big-shot, downtown lawyer who was grandstanding—waving his hands like a traffic cop on meth. Smack! He whacked his water pitcher, dumping the jug over his files and down the front of his pants. The guy looked like he’d been caught with porn. He stared open-mouthed as Kay, our wonderful sheriff, calmly got up, grasped a roll of paper towels, and purposely approached the spill. The mouthpiece looked mighty relieved. Then Kay stopped. Kay winked at the jury and she handed Mr. Barrister the roll.

A6I’ve seen melt-downs and make-ups, mockeries and manhandlings in the courtroom. I’ve heard a judge slurring words, seen a prosecutor quit, a clerk split his pants, and an accused do an impressive stand-up routine. I’ve seen and heard some crazy, funny things in that public place of prosecution and protection of personal rightsit’s not all pomp and pious.

So, I thought I’d lighten up the DyingWords blog this weekend and share some legalese gems I’ve dug up. Here are whacky words from wonderful wizards of warranted wisdom.

— — 

Judge addressing the jury: “Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man.”
  • Witness: “Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “This myasthenia gravis…does it affect your memory at all?
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “And in what ways does it affect your memory?
  • Witness: “I forget.”
  • Lawyer: “You forget. Can you give us an example of something you’ve forgotten?

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
  • Witness: “No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Do you know how far pregnant you are now?
  • Witness: “I’ll be three months on November 8.”
  • Lawyer: “Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “And what were you doing at that time?

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Have you lived in this town all your life?
  • Witness: “Not yet.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?
  • Witness: “I didn’t see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.”
  • Lawyer: “It was covered?
  • Witness: “Yes, bandaged.”
  • Lawyer: “Then, later on…what did you see?
  • Witness: “I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head.”

— — 

Lawyer: (realizing he was on the verge of asking a stupid question) “Your Honor, I’d like to strike the next question.

— — 

  • Lawyer: “You say that the stairs went down to the basement?
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “And these stairs, did they also go up?

— — 

Judge addressing the accused: “How do you plea before I find you guilty?

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Now, do you know if your daughter has been involved in voodoo?
  • Witness: “We both do.”
  • Lawyer: “Voodoo?
  • Witness: “We do.”
  • Lawyer: “You do?
  • Witness: “Yes, voodoo.”
  • Lawyer: “Who do…you do…voodoo…I seem to be confused…

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “What was he doing with the dog’s ears?
  • Witness: “Picking them up in the air.”
  • Lawyer: “Where was the dog at this time?
  • Witness: “Attached to the ears.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Now, sir, what is your marital status?
  • Witness: “I’d say fair.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Are you married?
  • Witness: “No, I’m divorced.”
  • Lawyer: “And what did your husband do before you divorced him?
  • Witness: “Apparently a lot of things I didn’t know about.”

— — 

Lawyer: “You don’t know what it was, and you didn’t know what it looked like, but can you describe it?

— — 

  • Lawyer: “What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
  • Witness: “He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?‘”
  • Lawyer: “And why did that upset you?
  • Witness: “My name is Susan.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Sir, what is your IQ?
  • Witness: “Well, I can see pretty well, I think.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?
  • Other Lawyer: “Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “What happened then?
  • Witness: “He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.'”
  • Lawyer: “And did he kill you?
  • Witness: “No, he did not.”

— — 

  • Lawyer: “Now, Doctor. Isn’t it true that when a person dies in their sleep they wouldn’t know anything about it until the next morning?
  • Witness: “Did you actually pass the bar exam?

— — 

And no lawyer post would be complete without a lawyer joke.

A7A Mafia Don discovers his bookkeeper ripped him for ten million bucks. His bookkeeper’s deaf—that was the reason he got the job in the first place—the Mafioso assumed a deaf bookkeeper wouldn’t hear anything that he might have to testify about in court. So when the Don goes to confront the bookkeeper about his missing $10 million, he brings along his lawyer, who knows sign language.

The Don tells the lawyer, “Ask him where the 10 million bucks he embezzled from me is.”

The lawyer, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the money is.

The bookkeeper signs back, “Don’t know what you are talking about.”

The lawyer tells the Don, “He says he doesn’t know anything about what you’re talking about.”

The Don pulls out a handgun, puts it the bookkeeper’s temple, and says, “Ask him again.

The lawyer signs to the bookkeeper, “He’ll kill you if you don’t say.”

The bookkeeper signs back, “Enough! Money’s in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzo’s backyard in Queens!

The Don asks the lawyer, “Well, what’d he say?

The lawyer replies, “He says you don’t have the balls to pull the trigger.”


— — 

UnderTheGround8I’m promoting a book this weekend. Under The Ground is my new psychological crime thriller based on the true story of an undercover operation done on a guy who murdered his girlfriend and hid her body. He confessed to the u/c operator and turned over the body. What he’d done and where he’d put her was shocking, as was the psychological manipulation done to trick his confession.

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photo (11)I was twenty-one when I joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but I looked like I was seventeen. Not only was my teenage looks a challenge to being an effective cop, I was raised in a tiny Manitoba town that didn’t have a stop sign, never mind a street light, or a transit service. So I was anything but worldly. 

In August, 1978, I got transferred from basic RCMP recruit training in Regina, Saskatchewan, to beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia on Canada’s west coast. I thought I’d won the Mountie lottery for postings.

I arrived in Courtenay, a small city of 30,000, and was immediately assigned to be trained by an experienced officer. My role was a uniformed General Duty position which attends everything from car accidents, to barking dogs, to violent domestic disputes.

In street policing, things can go from dead-boring to flat-out chaos in seconds and there’s nothing like years of experience to equip an officer in responding properly and safely. So, it’s standard procedure that a rookie pairs up with a vet for a few months before they’re ready to go out on their own.

photo (15)Now on my third week on the job, I was starting to feel kinda comfortable wearing the yellow-striped uniform and packing heat in my Sam Browne. One warm, summer afternoon in mid-week my trainer was called up to court, leaving me hanging around the police office. A call came in about a bicycle being found about a half-dozen blocks from the cop-shop.

My old Sarge was strapped for guys that afternoon so he throws me the car keys and tells me to go straight down, pick up the bike, and come straight back; warning me “Whatever you do, do not get yourself into any trouble.”

I was feeling pretty proud of my first patrol alone as I drove the marked Police Cruiser (PC) down a quiet thoroughfare in residential Courtenay. About four blocks from the office, I see this guy standing alongside the street to my left.

Now you gotta remember that this was in 1978 and community policing was a dream yet to come. It was a real us-against-them mentality between the ‘pigs’ and the ‘scroats’ and the cool street look was long, greasy hair, zitty-faces, beards, and crude logo’d tee-shirts. This guy was a poster-boy scroat and he was standing there with his arms folded across his chest, giving me the stink-eye as I drove past. I watched him in my mirror, waiting for him to flip me the bird or make a run for it, but he just kept standing there, staring, till I was out of sight.

rookieI dealt with the bike thing, putting it in the PC trunk, and bungeed the lid down. As I was driving straight back to the office, like Sarge ordered me, I’m looking ahead and here’s this same guy, still standing in the same place. His arms are still folded across his chest and he’s staring at me with beady little eyes and a scowl like he wants to slice off my nuts.

I figgered “Okay. Okay. This guy’s up to no good.” So I pulled over to my right, put on my hat, and got out. As I rounded the PC hood, this guy stays standing with his arms folded, never breaking his stare.

What the fuck do You want?” he says.

I’m standing three feet from him with my hands on my hips. “Just wondering what you’re doing loitering about the neighbourhood,” I tell him.

His right arm breaks from the fold. His forefinger points straight up. And he says “Like waitin’ for the fuckin’ bus?

I look up at the sign, then down at the ground.

Very well. Carry on then,” I said as I got back in the car and drove off with a face the colour of my brand-new Mountie Red Serge.