Disorder in the Court: a Collection of ‘Transquips’ Collected by Richard Lederer, reprinted in N.H. Business ReviewMost language is spoken language, and most words, once they are uttered, vanish forever into the air. But such is not the case with language spoken during courtroom trials, for there exists an army of courtroom reporters whose job it is to take down and preserve every statement made during the proceedings.Mary Louise Gilman, the venerable editor of the National Shorthand Reporter has collected many of the more hilarious courtroom bloopers in two books – Humor in the Court (1977) and More Humor in the Court, published a few months ago. From Mrs. Gilman’s two volumes, here are some of my favorite transquips, all recorded by America’s keepers of the word: ———————————————— Q. What is your brother-in-law’s name?A. Borofkin.Q. What’s his first name?A. I can’t remember.Q. He’s been your brother-in-law for years, and you can’t remember his first name?A. No. I tell you I’m too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and pointing to Mr. Borofkin.) Nathan, for God’s sake, tell them your first name! ———————————————— Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?A. I refuse to answer that question.Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?A. I refuse to answer that question.Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?A. No. ———————————————— Q. Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?A. By death.Q. And by whose death was it terminated? ———————————————— Q. Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?A. No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region. ———————————————— Q. What is your name?A. Ernestine McDowell.Q. And what is your marital status?A. Fair. ———————————————— Q. Are you married?A. No, I’m divorced.Q. And what did your husband do before you divorced him?A. A lot of things I didn’t know about. ———————————————— Q. And who is this person you are speaking of?A. My ex-widow said it. ———————————————— Q. How did you happen to go to Dr. Cherney?A. Well, a gal down the road had had several of her children by Dr. Cherney, and said he was really good. ———————————————— Q. Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?A. I will be three months November 8th.Q. Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?A. Yes.Q. What were you and your husband doing at that time? ———————————————— Q. Mrs. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?A. I should be.Q. How many times have you committed suicide?A. Four times. ———————————————— Q. Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?A. All my autopsies have been performed on dead people. ———————————————— Q. Were you acquainted with the defendant?A. Yes, sir.Q. Before or after he died? ———————————————— Q. Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?A. Because he was argumentary and he couldn’t pronunciate his words.Q. What happened then?A. He told me, he says, “I have to kill you because you can identify me.”Q. Did he kill you?A. No. ———————————————— Q. Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?A. No. This is how I dress when I go to work. ———————————————— THE COURT: Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any. ———————————————— Q. Did he pick the dog up by the ears?A. No.Q. What was he doing with the dog’s ears?A. Picking them up in the air.Q. Where was the dog at this time?A. Attached to the ears. ———————————————— Q. 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?MR. BROOKS: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot. ———————————————— Before we recess, let’s listen to one last exchange involving a child:Q. And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral. O.K.? What school do you go to?A. Oral.Q. How old are you?A. Oral.
A Brooklyn lawyer, a used car salesman and a banker were gathered by a coffin containing the body of an old friend. In his grief, one of the three said, “In my family, we have a custom of giving the dead some money, so they ll have something to pay tax’s over there.”They all agreed that this was appropriate. The banker dropped a hundred dollar bill into the casket and walked away in tears.The car salesman did the same. The lawyer looked around and seeing no one was near the coffin, he took out the bills and wrote a check for $300.
What is the difference between a washing machine and a sorority girl?You can throw your load in a washing machine and it won’t follow you around for three weeks.
Two little squirrels were walking along in the forest. The first one spied a nut and cried out, “Oh, look! A nut!” The second squirrel jumped on it and said, “It s my nut!”The first squirrel said, “That s not fair! I saw it first!””Well, you may have seen it, but I have it,” argued the second.At that point, a lawyer squirrel came up and said, “You shouldn t quarrel. Let me resolve this dispute.” The two squirrels nodded, and the lawyer squirrel said, “Now, give me the nut.” He broke the nut in half, and handed half to each squirrel, saying, “See? It was foolish of you to fight. Now the dispute is resolved.”Then he reached over and said, “And for my fee, I ll take the meat.”
This joke is bad taste, you have been warned.Three vampires walk into a bar on a cold winter night. They all three sit at the bar and the bartender asks the first vampire “What can I getcha?” The 1st vampire says “I’ll have a beer, please” So, the bartender gets him a beer. The bartender asks the 2nd vampire “What would you like?” The vampire replies “A beer please.” So, the bartender gets him a beer. The bartender then asks the 3rd and last vampire “Sir, what can I get you?” and the 3rd vampire replies “A cup of hot water please.” The bartender obliges and asks the vampire, “What are you gonna do with that hot water?” The third vampire pulls out a used tampon and dips it into his hot water and says “Hot tea, it’s chilly out!”
A Frenchman, an Englishman, an American, and a lawyer were sitting on a train.
The Frenchman offered everyone some of his baguette, then threw it out the window, saying, “Don’t worry, we have plenty of those where I come from.”
The Englishman offered everyone a crumpet, then threw the rest out of the window, saying, “Don’t worry, we have plenty of those where I come from.”
Then the American threw the lawyer out the window, saying…
Submitted by rt
Edited by yisman
An engineer dies and goes to heaven. However, when St. Peter meets him at the gate he says, “Wait a second! You’re in the wrong place! Beat it!”
So, the engineers goes down to Hell, and gets settled in. He soon becomes dissatisfied with conditions there, and begins to make improvements. Before long, there’s running water, flush toilets, escalators, and even air conditioning! The engineer is a pretty popular guy.
One day God calls Satan on the telephone and says with a sneer, “So, how’s it going down there?”
Satan replies, “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”
God replies, “What! You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake – he should never have gotten down there. Send him up right away!”
Satan says, “No way! I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.”
God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue!”
“Oh, yeah?” the Devil replies. “Where are you going to get a lawyer?!”
Defendant: Judge, I want you to appoint me another lawyer.
Judge: And why is that?
Defendant: Because the Public Defender isn’t interested in my case.
Judge (to Public Defender): Do you have any comments on the defendant’s motion?
Public Defender: I’m sorry, Your Honor. I wasn’t listening.
Lawyer: Tell us about the fight.
Witness: I didn’t see no fight.
Lawyer: Well, tell us what you did see.
Witness: I went to a dance at the Turner house, and as the men swung around and changed partners, they would slap each other, and one fellow hit harder than the other one liked, and so the other one hit back and somebody pulled a knife and someone else drew a six-shooter and another guy came up with a rifle that had been hidden under a bed, and the air was filled with yelling and smoke and bullets.
Lawyer: You, too, were shot in the fracas?
Witness: No sir, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel.
Judge: The charge here is theft of frozen chickens. Are you the defendant?
Defendant: No, sir, I’m the guy who stole the chickens.
Lawyer: How do you feel about defense attorneys?
Juror: I think they should all be drowned at birth.
Lawyer: Well, then, you are obviously biased for the prosecution.
Juror: That’s not true. I think prosecutors should be drowned at birth too.
Judge: Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case?
Juror: I don’t want to be away from my job that long.
Judge: Can’t they do without you at work?
Juror: Yes, but I don’t want them to know it.
Judge: I know you, don’t I?
Defendant: Uh, yes.
Judge: All right, tell me, how do I know you?
Defendant: Judge, do I have to tell you?
Judge: Of course, you might be obstructing justice not to tell me.
Defendant: Okay. I was your bookie.
Why should lawyers be buried 100 feet deep?
Because deep down, they’re really good people.
A man died and was taken to his place of eternal torment by the devil. As he
passed sulfurous pits and shrieking sinners, he saw a man he recognized as a
lawyer snuggling up to a beautiful woman.
“That’s unfair !” he cried. “I have to roast for all eternity, and that lawyer
gets to spend it with a beautiful woman.”
“Shut up!” barked the devil, jabbing him with his pitchfork. “Who are you to
question that woman’s punishment?”