Pamela Buchmeyer 2017-12-20 22:19:17
The Judge’s Daughter: Resolved to Grin January is a time for resolutions of self-improvement, but the very best resolution ever written belongs to a club that’s almost 100 years old, the Bonehead Club of Dallas. RESOLVED: to learn more and more about less and less until, eventually, we shall know everything about nothing. The original Boneheads were luminaries of the Dallas business and legal professions whose one true purpose was to relax and have fun. Founded in 1919, the men had been gathering for years at a downtown hotel dining room to share war news from their sons. Worry and stress were high, and their spirits were low, when the Boneheads decided to try frivolity as an antidote. They wore ladies’ hats to their luncheon meetings and held their annual Christmas party in April. They elected a “Big Chief” and a “Money Grabber” for officers and their name came about when a fellow diner complained about their unseemly antics. The restaurant manager sighed, “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do about those boneheads.” The Boneheads (a handful of whom still meet today) were ahead of their time, according to my father, the late Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, who wrote a humor column for 28 years for the Texas Bar Journal. Dad and I enjoyed attending many monthly Bonehead meetings. We saw the Boneheads close the State Fair of Texas, which they did each year as a public service immediately before its grand opening. We saw oilmen and brothers Herbert and Nelson Hunt graciously accept the Bonehead of the Year Award given to honor their loss of a billion dollars when allegedly attempting to corner the world’s silver market in 1980. The Hunt brothers looked quite fetching in flower-bedecked chapeaus at a 100-person Bonehead luncheon and they were darn good sports about it too. They used the occasion to issue one of their few public statements about their actions on “Silver Thursday,” which had roiled the world’s monetary markets. Even today, the message of the Bonehead Club still rings true. No matter how high the stakes, no matter how overwhelming the pressure, the best thing we can do for ourselves and for our clients and colleagues is to relax and enjoy a little lighthearted fun. Happy 2018! Many thanks to everyone who has reached out to share tall tales, fond remembrances, and comical contributions for this column. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Resolved! Personally, my own New Year’s resolution is to finish eating all the Halloween candy before Easter rolls around. But here are a couple of quips on the topic with a legal theme. “Every new year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals.” Ogden Nash, poet (emphasis added) “I don’t call them New Year’s resolutions, I prefer the term ‘casual promises to myself that I’m under no legal obligation to fulfill.’” Anonymous “New Year’s resolution: to tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up any more of my time.” James Agate, British literary critic Potlucks: The Highs & the Lows The retired Chief Judge Fred Biery, of the Western District of Texas, sent in a marvelous contribution this month. A mouth-watering copy of the transcript was included. A young man appeared before the court on a non-drug related charge. However, his pretrial services report showed a positive test result for an almost undetectable amount of marijuana. The defendant explained that he had unknowingly ingested the drug. Marijuana had been baked into brownies and served without notice to family members after a funeral. The court:…I can understand young college guys making marijuana brownies, but I’ve never seen a post-funeral party with marijuana brownies. (Question to the assistant U.S. atty) …have you ever heard of having some marijuana brownies after the funeral’s over? Assistant U.S. atty (who was also a lay preacher): The potlucks I attend after funerals definitely do not have marijuana brownies. Defense counsel: I hope potluck was not an intentional pun. Assistant U.S. atty: It actually wasn’t, but that was good. Best of all, this testimony occurred September 17 and Judge Biery’s letter to me is dated September 25, showing once again the prompt and efficient administration of justice. NO Justice! Judge Robert Mayfield, of County Court at Law No. 1 in Johnson County, reports that his courtroom needed some minor repair work. “Part of the sign above my courtroom fell off recently,” he says. Instead of presiding over Courtroom No. 1, Judge Mayfield found himself in charge of: County Court at Law No. “I like the new version much better,” he says. “It pretty well sums things up.” Judge Mayfield’s only regret? That the period wasn’t changed to an exclamation point. Old-School Lawyers Joe V. Crawford, of Leander, remembers an old-school lawyer who taught him how to really be an advocate. The late Milton L. Bankston, of Austin, was a wonderful practitioner, and Crawford was happy to honor the request of Bankston’s widow, Carole, who asked him to tell the following story during “Uncle Milton’s” eulogy. Crawford had been a fledgling lawyer accompanying a distinguished partner in his law firm, Bankston, to an early morning hearing in the 53rd Civil District Court of Judge Herman Jones in Travis County. “We were there before anyone else except the bailiff, and we set up at one of the counsel tables,” Crawford recalls. Opposing counsel had a long history of battles with Uncle Milton and Crawford was anxiously watching the courtroom doors, awaiting his arrival. What might this formidable rival have planned for today’s encounter? “Finally, opposing counsel walked in and he and his clerk were carrying about a dozen law books,” Crawford said. Crawford: Milton! He brought a bunch of books with him! Bankston (not moving his head one inch, not even deigning to dignify his opposing counsel with a glance): What kind of books? Crawford: A bunch of Vernon’s and Southwestern Second Reporters. Bankston: Does he have any advance sheets with him? Crawford (puzzled): No, sir. Bankston: Well, then don’t worry. I already know what’s in those books. As Crawford said, “God love him. He did know.” State of Confusion Robert G. Schleier, of Kilgore, has provided a (fake) Affidavit of Heirship, which was actually filed of record in Rusk County on March 1, 1983. “It really irritated the clerk at the time,” Schleier says. “Helen Sillick was not happy that some smart aleck lawyer had slipped one by her filing clerks.” According to Schleier, Ms. Sillick believed the author to be a lawyer in Henderson who had a punstoppable love of puns, the late T. A. “Tisbee” Bath. Schleier included a copy of the “notarized” file-stamped document and it’s quite funny but it’s definitely NSWF, not suitable for work! In deference to the memory of County Clerk Helen Beard Sillick, Schleier and I have made a few choice edits in the original “Tate Affidavit,” fleshing out a few jokes, but mainly working to remove all the naughty bits. Filed in the.... State of Confusion County of Doubt BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared U.N. Certain, who, being by me first duly sworn, on oath says: I was personally acquainted with Dick Tate…and his wife… since before their marriage in about 1910 somewhere in East Texas. A total of nine children were born to their fruitful marriage: 1) Ro Tate, a son, who became a mechanic. 2) Emma Tate, a daughter and twin to child number three. 3) Hesi Tate, a daughter, shy who never married. 4) Percepi Tate, a daughter, who moved to Seattle. 5) Irra Tate, a son, who went to law school and had three children: a. Agi Tate, a son. b. Ace Tate, a son. c. Documen Tate, a daughter. 6) Cogi Tate, a daughter, who became a college professor. 7) Ampu Tate, a son who was missing a leg and who had two children: a. Infes Tate, a son with a pest control business. b. Cohabi Tate, a daughter who lived in Dallas. 8) Medi Tate, a son, who became a preacher and had four children: a. Interpre Tate, a daughter, who studied the French language. b. Poten Tate, a son, who ran for public office. c. Gravi Tate, a son, who became a judge. d. Palpi Tate, a daughter who became a doctor. 9) Facili Tate, a daughter, who not surprisingly, ran away and was never heard from thereafter. PAMELA BUCHMEYER is an attorney and award-winning writer who lives in Dallas and Jupiter, Florida. Her work-in-progress is a humorous murder mystery, The Judge’s Daughter. She can be contacted at email@example.com. THINK YOU’RE FUNNY TOO? PROVE IT! Send your humorous articles of 600 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send deposition and trial excerpts to email@example.com.
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