Humor in law, now there’s an oxymoron |

Humor in law, now there’s an oxymoron

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E-mails run 10 to 1 favoring dry, serious columns over humor in the law. Humor in the law, now there’s an oxymoron. But for those few of you that like your law light, here’s an e-mail-gleaned funny bit about examination of a witness.

A farmer named Clyde had a car accident. In court, the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning Clyde.

“Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine,'” asked the lawyer. Clyde responded, “Well, I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule, Nellie, into the…”

“I didn’t ask for any details,” the lawyer interrupted. “Just answer the question? Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine?'”

Clyde said, “Well, I had just got Nellie into the trailer and I was driving down the road….”

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The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the highway patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please, tell him to simply answer the question.”

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Clyde’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Nellie.”

Clyde thanked the judge and proceeded, “Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Nell, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Nellie was thrown into the other. I was hurting, real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear ole Nellie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a highway patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Nellie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the patrolman came across the road, gun in hand, looked at me and said ‘How are you feeling?’ Now what the hell would you say?”

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter· Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. He is a mediator and was the Governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at or at the firm’s Web site