Great Legal Joke of the Day: Cattle Call

John G. Mateus, Esq.

A ranch hand consulted a lawyer. He had long tended a rancher’s cattle, and believed the herd would his when the rancher died. But the rancher’s son was claiming ownership over the ranch hand.

“I’ll take your case,” said the lawyer to the ranch hand. “Don’t worry about the cattle.”

The next day the farmer’s son came in. The cattle was raised on his land, he said, and therefore the cattle should be his.

“I’ll take your case,” said the lawyer, “Don’t worry about the cattle.”

Surprised, the lawyer’s young paralegal spoke to him later that day. “How can we take both sides of this case? And how can the cattle belong to both men?”

The lawyer gave him a knowing look.  “Don’t worry about the cattle,” the lawyer said. “The cattle will be ours.”

red-river-ending John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in Red River.

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Great Legal Quote of the Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

John G. Mateus, Esq.

“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Dissent in U.S. v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644, 654-655 (1929).

220px-Oliver_Wendell_Holmes,_1902 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., U.S Supreme Court Justice.


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Great Legal Joke of the Day: Patty Duke Makes A Comeback

John G. Mateus, Esq.

A defendant was charged with robbery. The police officer who arrested him was on the stand, and the defendant’s lawyer was cross-examining him

“Did you see the defendant at the scene?” asked the lawyer.

“Yes, from a block away,” the officer answered.

“Was the area well lit?”

“No. It was pretty dark.”

“Aha! Then how could you identify the defendant?” asked the defense attorney triumphantly.

Looking at the lawyer as if he were nuts, the cop answered, “Sir, I’d recognize my cousin anywhere.”


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Great Legal Quote of the Day for Columbus Day: Antonin Scalia

John G. Mateus, Esq.

“The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, [and] the ambiguity out of everything he touches.”

–Antonin Scalia, Speech at Julliard School, September 22, 2005.

Antonin_Scalia_Official_SCOTUS_Portrait_crop Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and proud Italian-American

Happy Columbus Day.


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Great Legal Joke of the Day: How Do You Take Your Coffee?

John G. Mateus, Esq.

A defendant and his lawyer stood before a judge at an arraignment.

“Sir, how do you plead?” the judge asked the accused in a loud, stern voice.

The defendant, scared, looked at his lawyer for help. Trying to help, the attorney mouthed the words “NOT GUILTY” to him.

The defendant looked confused, and turned back to the judge. “HOT MILKY?” he said.

The attorney tossed his papers into the air and walked out.


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Professor Illya Somin explains why more laws=less justice

John G. Mateus, Esq.

Professor Illya Somin explains why more laws=less justice. Tyrants thrive when laws are so broad or superfluous (or when executives are given so much discretion) that any citizen may be arrested at the whim of the authorities.

Lavrenti Beria, former head of the Soviet secret police; a tyrant, torturer, and murderer.

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Great Legal Quote of the Day: John Doolittle

John G. Mateus, Esq.

“Now is the time to draw a clean, clear, bright line and say if you are engaging in speech over the Internet you do not have to check with your lawyer or your accountant. You are a free American, and you have the opportunity to engage in free speech over the Internet.”

—John Doolitte, Speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, November 2, 2005.


Congressional Record

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