A young lawyer was defending a wealthy businessman in a complicated lawsuit. Unfortunately, the evidence was against his client, and he feared the worst. So the lawyer asked the senior partner of the law firm if it would be appropriate to send the judge a box of cigars.
The partner was horrified. “The judge is an honourable man,” the partner exclaimed. “If you do that, I can guarantee you will lose the case!”
Weeks later the judge ruled in favour of the lawyer’s client. The partner took him to lunch to congratulate him. “Aren’t you glad you didn’t send those cigars to the judge?” the partner asked.
“But I did send them,” replied the lawyer. “I just enclosed the plaintiff’s lawyer’s business card!”
A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher claimed that the bull must have been hit by the train, and wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull.
The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store.
As soon as the rancher showed up, the attorney for the railroad pulled him aside and tried to get him to settle out of court. The lawyer did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking.
After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his success, telling the rancher: “You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!”
The old rancher replied: “Well, I’ll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself, because that darned bull came home this morning”.
A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defence’s closing statement, the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all,” the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. “Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom.”
He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.
Finally the lawyer said: “Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I therefore put to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.”
The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.
“But how?” inquired the lawyer. “You must have had some doubt. I saw all of you stare at the door.”
The jury foreman replied: “Oh, we did look, but your client didn’t”.