lawyer talking in court

When you talk a lot you are bound to make mistakes.

As a trial lawyer, I can tell you that few things are as embarrassing as reading a trial transcript. Invariably, there are parts where you think “I couldn’t possibly have said that” or “No one with an IQ above that of a lamp and even a passing acquaintance with the English language could have said that.”

Sometimes, the things you said were unintentionally funny.

And that leads to today’s question: What are some of the funniest things lawyers have said in court?

Based on my research, I nominate these gems.

Lawyer: “You were there until the time you left, is that true?”

Lawyer: “So you were gone until you returned?”

Lawyer: “The youngest son, the 20 year old, how old is he?”

Lawyer: “Were you alone or by yourself?”

Lawyer: “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?”

Witness: “He was about medium height and had a beard.”
Lawyer: “Was this a male or a female?”

Lawyer: “I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.”
Witness: “That’s me.”
Lawyer: “Were you present when that picture was taken?”

Lawyer: “Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?”

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: “What were you doing at that time?”

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

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 that you’ve forgotten?”

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

Lawyer: “What is your relationship with the plaintiff?”
Witness: “She is my daughter.”
Lawyer: “Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?”

Lawyer: “And what did he do then?”
Witness: “He came home, and next morning he was dead.”
Lawyer: “So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?”

And I have saved the best for last.

Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
Witness: “No.”
Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
Witness: “No.”
Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
Witness: “No.”
Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
Witness: “No.”
Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”

And here’s a bonus, another comeuppance for a lawyer . . .

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.”

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**These questions and answers are designed to provide helpful information that can be read quickly. They are neither a full explanation of the subject nor legal advice. To learn more, and to receive legal advice on which you can rely, contact me or another lawyer.