A lawyer named Strange died, and his friend asked the tombstone maker to inscribe on his tombstone, "Here lies Strange, an honest man, and a lawyer."
The inscriber insisted that such an inscription would be confusing, for passersby would tend to think that three men were buried under the stone. However he suggested an alternative: He would inscribe, "Here lies a man who was both honest and a lawyer. That way, whenever anyone walked by the tombstone and read it, they would be certain to remark: "That's Strange!"
Knowing the Facts
The following is a true story, and this situation supposedly occurred in a real courtroom.
At a trial, an attorney was putting witnesses through an exacting cross-examination, and was taking great delight into forcing witnesses to admit that they did not remember every single detail of an automobile accident. While the lawyer knew that no witness has a perfect memory, he had honed a skill in exploiting minor inconsistencies and lapses of memory in order to challenge the credibility of honest witnesses. After a series of scathing cross-examinations, he was looking forward to his examination of yet another witness.
"Did you actually see the accident?" he asked.
The witness responded with a polite, "Yes, sir."
"How far away were you when the accident happened?"
"I was thirty-four feet, seven and three quarter inches away from the point of collision."
"Thirty-four feet, seven and three quarter inches?" the lawyer asked, sarcastically. "Do you expect us to believe that your memory is so good, and your sense of distance is so precise, that months after the accident you can come into court and give that type of detail?"
The witness was un-phased. "Sir, I had a hunch that some obnoxious, know-it-all lawyer would ask me the distance, and would try to make it seem like I was lying if I could not give an exact answer. So I got a tape measure, and measured out the exact distance."
Learning a Lesson
A prominent lawyer's son dreamed of following in his father's footsteps. After graduating from college and law school with honors, he returned home to join his father's firm, intent on proving himself to be a skilled and worthy attorney.
At the end of his first day at work he rushed into his father's office, and said, "Father, father! The Smith case, that you always said would go on forever -- the one you have been toiling on for ten years -- in one single day, I settled that case and saved the client a fortune!"
His father frowned, and scolded his son, "I did not say that it would go on forever, son. I said that it could go on forever. When you saw me toiling on that case for days and weeks at a time, didn't it ever occur to you that I was billing by the hour?"