Illinois Civil Justice League: Did you hear the one about the lawyer?

February 09, 2005

Did you hear the one about the lawyer?

Lawyer jokes have upheld legal muster in New York this week, as two men arrested for "disorderly conduct" for telling lawyer jokes outside of a Long Island courthouse received a favorable outcome in front of a grand jury.

"It's still legal in America to tell jokes - even about lawyers," said the attorney for the defendants, Harvey Kash and Carl Lanzisera.

As the Chicago Sun-Times reported today:

Kash and Lanzisera are founders of Americans for Legal Reform, a group that uses confrontational tactics to urge greater public access to the courts. They said they have mocked lawyers outside courts for years.

Kash, 70, testified he was exercising his First Amendment right when he shared a few lawyer jokes with his friend Lanzisera, 65. Some people giggled, but a lawyer in the line told them to pipe down and reported them to court officers. They were arrested for allegedly being abusive and causing a disturbance.

The grand jury dismissed the charge against Kash. The charge against Lanzisera was dropped because of insufficient evidence.

What was the joke that got them into the legal mess? According to the Sun-Times:

"How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?" Kash reported asked. "His lips are moving," the pair howled in unison.

Check out their Americans for Legal Reform website, it has a "lawyer joke of the day" and the song, "I Dreamed I was a Lawyer," is at least worth the time.

Maybe the group should bring their $50,000 challenge to Madison County? Not sure of the outcome, but it would certainly be entertaining. They would arrive, immediately be served with subpoena's (the proverbial Madison County red carpet for those favoring judicial reform), and then the fun would only be starting...


Post a Comment

<< Home

For more information on Today's legal reform news, check out the ICJL News Update, available everyday by clicking on the gold button above. For recent news headlines from, check out the ICJL Legal Reform News section, available under ICJL Resources.


© 2005 Illinois Civil Justice League