Porter’s Lame Attempt at Humor

I’m just plain out of ideas for writing a Law Review this week. There’s no shortage of actual legal cases to brief, but they’re either too complicated, not of general interest or too boring to work into a column. So let me bore you with a couple of potentially funny lawyer-related pieces.


 Porter, Porter, Porter and Porter

While going through some Sierra Sun archives, I found a 1989 column written by former Sierra Sun columnist Ed McMills.  A genuine good guy who passed a few years ago.  Here’s an excerpt from Ed’s column:

“Lawyer Jokes…My good friend and fellow columnist Jim Porter (barrister) frequently prints a series of ‘lawyer jokes.’  I’m sure he doesn’t make them up and is many times lovingly the butt of some himself …With a few alterations to fit the situation, this one is from my hero joke-teller Henny Youngman:

‘A man can’t find a lawyer.  He picks up the Red Book and selects a law firm at random:  Porter, Porter, Porter and Porter.  The man calls the firm on the phone.

‘Is Mr. Porter there?’

A male answers, ‘No, he’s skiing today.’

‘Alright then,’ he says, ‘then let me talk to Mr. Porter.’

The voice answers again, ‘He’s not with the firm anymore.  He’s retired.’

The impatient man requests, ‘Then let me talk to Mr. Porter.’

The voice answers, ‘He’s in the Bay Area and won’t be back for a month.’

The man asked finally, ‘Okay, then let me talk to Mr. Porter.’

The male voice answers ‘Speaking!’”

This Joke is Worse

This piece was sent to me back in 2004.  It’s called a “Light Bulb Joke,” and because it’s too long, I’m only going to print about half, but you’ll get the idea…just as you’re nodding off.

Q:  “How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?”

A:  Such number as may be deemed to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the following agreement:

‘Whereas the party of the first part, also known as “The Lawyer,” and the part of the second part, also known as “The Light Bulb,” do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entry way, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties.  The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:

  1. The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, said direction being non-negotiable.  Said grasping and rotation of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be undertaken by the party of the first part (Lawyer) with every possible caution by the party of the first part (Lawyer) to maintain the structural integrity of the party of the second part (Light Bulb), notwithstanding the aforementioned failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) to perform the aforementioned customary and agreed upon duties.  The foregoing notwithstanding, however, both parties stipulate that structural failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) may be incidental to the aforementioned failure to perform and in such case the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall be held blameless for such structural failure insofar as this agreement is concerned so long as the non-negotiable directional codicil (counter-clockwise) is observed by the party of the first part (Lawyer) throughout…”

It goes on but that’s enough.


Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada.  Jim’s practice areas include:  real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters.  He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or www.portersimon.com.  

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The content contained and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author. This blog contains content and opinions concerning the law generally, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create any attorney‑client relationship with the reader. The reader should consult with an attorney about any specific legal issues prior to embarking on any course of action or inaction involving legal matters.