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Monday, March 29, 2010

Veldon Law: Leaders Can Laugh At Themselves

Who or what are we, if we can’t poke a little bit of fun at ourselves? I have the sense that most of us take ourselves much too seriously. Such has been my experience with many within the legal profession, save a few. For those few I’ve known and worked with over the years that have a great sense of humor and can laugh at themselves and their profession…these are for you….

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ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?


ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS: I forget.

ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

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ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?

WITNESS: We both do.




WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.

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ATTORNEY: Now doctor, "isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

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ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.

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ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

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ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

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ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?


ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

WITNESS: Getting laid

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ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?


ATTORNEY: How many were boys?


ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

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ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death.

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Take a guess.

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ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about 20, medium height, and had a beard.

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town … I'm going with male.

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ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?

WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
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ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?


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ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

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ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

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And the best for last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?


ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?


ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

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Some would say … “my friends, in that most of our politicians and government officials (inclusive of the courts) are made up of lawyers is why our nation is so screwed up.” As leaders what can we learn from having a sense of humor about ourselves and roles?

From personal experience and observations I can attest that leaders are human. They make mistakes. Some do great things and sadly, some do horrible things. They can make good decisions and they can make decisions that seem pretty strange. And they, like the attorney statements above, can say some pretty stupid things. Hopefully, like the attrorneys that I referenced, they too can laugh a bit at themselves for the stupid things they say and do. If they can and do -- it makes them real to those they have the privilege of leading.

-- Veldon Law