July 25, 2014
 
November 2004 - The Dog Ate the Citation
Cheryl S. Lay of El Paso (Leslie & Lay, P.C.) serves as an associate municipal court judge — and she recently had this motion presented to her to recall a warrant:

“DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW A
WARRANT AND TO SET MATTER FOR HEARING”

2. Defendant is a teenage boy and therefore, as a matter of law, doesn’t have a lick of good sense. Despite the fact that his parents are licensed attorneys, Defendant felt it was the better course to not tell them about the citations. Therefore, upon information and belief, the dog ate the citations. …

Ray, Valdez, McChristian & Jeans
By Robin Collins, Attorney for Christopher C. Collins

Cheryl adds: “After wiping the tears from my eyes, I signed the order as Municipal Court Judge/Mother of a Teenage Son.”

July 24, 2014
 
May 1985 - Were You in the Military Service
Q. Were you in the Army?

A. No sir, I didn't go.

Q. Why?

A. Well, when I was ready to leave they said, 'Well, everything is over,' and I say, 'Okay,' So I didn't go.

July 23, 2014
 
April 1995 - Unaccompanied By My Awareness

From Jerry D. Cain of Blacksburg, Va. (Jerry is general counsel of Virginia Tech), this handwritten demand letter from a person who had never been a student at Virginia Tech - but who, because of his Obvious Flair With Words, deserved "to have his hospital bills paid, which the university did in exchange for a release of all claims":

Risk Management Office:

On the day of Oct. 28, 1988, just prior to 5 p.m., exiting Newman Library, turning left down the walk-ramp and coming out of underneath the overhanging face of the library, i [sic] experienced a very overwhelming sensation. A tremendous and sudden blow, perceived as a blinding flash, sent me flailing to the ground.

There seems to have been a slight blank out - several seconds I cannot recall. I remember up to immediately following the impact. Very next, I remember lying in bushes near the entrance area of the library, yelling out, wriggling with pain. By then several people had gathered around in concern. Since the crowd could not have appeared there immediately, at least several seconds had elapsed unaccompanied by my awareness; I cannot remember how long.

Just as I had revived perception, I glanced on the walk what I consider to be a smashed flower pot, plant matter, and soil. When asked by a passer-by what had happened, I declared that something had fallen on me. I cannot rightly say with conviction the nature or exact location of the strike with regard to my form. At first I was sure I had been hit squarely atop the head; but this seems unlikely as no superficial injury to the head resulted. Because I was quite unsettled and dazed and then led directly away from the scene to the infirmary and then to the hospital, my recollection of details is vague.

Based on my own feeble understanding of culture as lived by this community, I see no reason that the wealthy university couldn't help, at least with the hospital bills, persons caused injury by the frivolous neglect of employee.

Sincerely, etc.

Jerry adds: "I have never been certain whether frivolous neglect is more or less egregious than ordinary negligence.

July 22, 2014
 
October 2005 - Let 'Em Sleep
This contribution, from U.S. District Judge T. John Ward of Marshall, is from an employment case Ward tried recently "wherein plaintiff was alleging race and age discrimination and retaliation for protected activity":

The defense was that the plaintiff had been discharged because of poor performance. Part of the performance issue involved sleeping while on the job. The plaintiff was a home healthcare nurse.

The defense attorney asked the following question:

Attorney: Do any of you think that sleeping on the job is not grounds for firing someone?

Juror: I think if a person wants to sleep on the job and they can get away from it, that's their prerogative. Let 'em sleep.

Ward adds: "The response brought considerable laughter from the remaining jurors."

July 21, 2014
 
October 1996 - We Just Made Buchmeyer
From Judge David M. McCoy of Childress (presiding judge, 199th District Court), these two examples of "making Buchmeyer" - an invaluable and painfully descriptive phrase - that took place in two separate revocation cases he heard on the same day, with the same two attorneys: District Attorney Earl Griffin and defense attorney Randall Sims.

The Powell Case
By Mr. Griffin:

Q. Mrs. Powell, would you state your name for the court, please?

A. Marjorie L. Powell.

Q. Mrs. Powell, how are you related to Danny Powell?

A. I'm his mother.

Q. And you've known Danny, I guess all his life, right?

Mr. Sims: Judge, I think we just made Buchmeyer.

The Gonzales Case
By Mr. Sims:

Q. Where [are] your kids you keep referring to?

A. Well, with their mother, I guess. I haven't talked to her mother - well, my daughter was with my girlfriends' mom and -

Q. Where's she live?

A. In Paducah.

Q. How many children do you have?

A. I've got one and one on the way.

Q. Where is the one on the way at?

A. With her mom.

Mr. Sims: I may have just made Buchmeyer, too.


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About the Judge


In Memory of Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, 1933-2009
Real life Texas Courtroom Humor.
From 1980 to 2008, U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer entertained lawyers far and wide with his "et cetera" column in the Texas Bar Journal. For this page, we've reached into the vault to bring you classic material spanning two decades of courtroom humor, most of which comes straight from actual depostions and trials.


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Buchmeyer's First Podcast

In June 2006, Judge Buchmeyer was interviewed by the Legal Talk Network.

Click here to listen (Windows Media format)


Classic Articles

Labor Relations: The Wututtut Review Brimelow v. Casson (& A Strike)
June 1983

Jurisdiction: Serving Satan Mayo v. Satan & His Staff
February 1984

Judicial Reasoning: "The Law Is A Ass"
December 1983

'Tis the Season
December 1984

A Fable
March 1985

Classic Article Archive

Links

Order Buchmeyer's new book, Texas Courtroom Humor (pdf format)

Ernie The Attorney Searching for Truth & Justice (in an unjust world)

Inter alia An internet legal research weblog

Lawhaha Andrew McClurg's Legal Humor Headquarters




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