Pamela Buchmeyer 2015-08-25 17:35:03
A Legacy of Laughs Unveiling the Buchmeyer Vault. I remember hearing my father cackle as he sat in the evenings with a glass of scotch, reading submissions for his monthly legal humor column, et cetera. That column ran for 28 years in this publication, ending in 2008. “Come on, Pam, listen to this one,” he would call out. “You won’t believe what this guy said. It’s absolutely priceless.” Countless people wrote to the late great Judge Jerry Buchmeyer over the years, to submit material and also to say, “Your column is the first page I turn to each month in the Journal, followed, of course, by the memorials.” Dad loved that sentiment. But why did Judge Buchmeyer write his column gratis for so long and with such evident relish? Because he believed that laughter and a little levity could remind us of our humanity and also lessen the crippling stress of our profession. Dad passed in 2009, and his last years were hard. But lately, I’ve had my grief sufficiently in hand to allow me to sort through his papers. They’re stored in crumbling boxes that have been stacked in a dusty warehouse. Let’s call it the Buchmeyer Vault. And there I found treasure: previously unpublished material. To my utter astonishment, I was able to speak with each listed contributor personally, despite the fact that my father received their letters many years ago. It’s an honor to share this with you today. For in Dad’s absence, it remains to me to say, “Come on and listen to this one. It’s absolutely priceless. You won’t believe what this guy said.” Names and identifying markers have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. Emphasis and commentary have been provided by the Judge’s Daughter. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TOOTH FAIRY? Alfred G. Richter Jr. of San Antonio contributed this example of a most unusual three-question cross-examination. The occasion is a hearing on alternative regulation plans for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. Q #1: Mr. Doe, I believe we’ve already established that you’re a stockholder and that you have options with Southwestern Bell Corporation; is that correct? A: That’s correct. Q #2: And I believe you also indicated previously that ... you’ve been an employee of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Southwestern Bell Corporation, and Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages Inc.; is that correct? A: Yes. ... Q #3: Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? A: I don’t believe in the physical existence of a ubiquitous Easter Bunny, but I believe [in] the concept of the Easter Bunny, for the purposes of entertaining children and so forth—yes, I’ve certainly seen one. Q: That’s all the questions I have. Thank you. Court Reporter (to the next attorney in line): Ms. Jones? Ms. Jones (wisely): No, I believe he covered it. A GOOD WIFE IS WORTH A BULLET WOUND All's fair in love, war, and-er-marriage. This must be true given the following bit of testimony affectionately submitted by Etta Davidson of Houston. Q: How many wives have you had? W: I've been married four times. Q: How does this wife that shot you fit into the four; was she the first, second, or third? W:Third. Q: Third. Why did she do that? ... W: She was upset. I don't know why she shot me but she was upset . ... Q: How many bullets did she put into you? W:One. Q: Did she ever say she was sorry? W: We lived together for three years after that. Q (because who could resist): Why? W: Well ... I had just bought a home, just bought a new car, and [I] was putting her through school. And looking at my investment that I had in her, I didn't think I wanted to get rid of her right then to tell the truth. DUMB, DUMBER ... IDIOT From Karen Wise, an appellate lawyer in Dallas, came this excerpt from an aggravated robbery trial where one lawyer's attempt to craft a hypothetical question about IQ levels goes horribly awry. Q: Okay ... let's say I was not a real smart guy, which I'm not, but let's say . ... Opposing Counsel: Your Honor, we're willing to stipulate to that statement. Q: I'm not a smart guy? Let's say I had like a 75 or 80 IQ . ... Would you stipulate I got that high [of an] IQ, 75 or 80? Opposing Counsel: At least. Q: So it's been stipulated that I've got a 75 or 80 IQ, which, according to my mama who is a schoolteacher, makes me dull normal. ... Now you'll stipulate I'm dull normal? Opposing Counsel: I would be willing to [so] stipulate. Q: Okay, well thank you . ... [A number of questions follow.] Judge, may I have a moment to think, being rather slow-witted? Court: That is why this trial is taking so long. ► NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS Send your funny essays, deposition and trial excerpts, cartoons, jokes, and ideas to email@example.com. JUDGE JERRY L. BUCHMEYER (1933-2009) grew up in Overton and served as a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas after being nominated in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. His monthly legal humor column ran in the Texas Bar Journal from 1980 to 2008. PAMELA BUCHMEYER is an attorney and award-winning writer who lives in Dallas and Cleveland. Her work-in-progress is a humorous murder mystery, The Judge's Daughter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Humor/2252750/270329/article.html.