You Have the Right to Remain Silent

I checked out the History Channel’s web site to see if there was anything of major interest today. Besides the story explaining why President John Adams was living in a tavern in Washington, D.C. the only item that caught my attention concerned a guy named Clarence Gideon who was arrested and charged with breaking into a poolroom in Florida.

Gideon couldn’t afford a lawyer and was forced to act as his own attorney.

To make a long story short, he appealed his case to the Supreme Court. Now, in addition to being told “You have the right to remain silent,” the arresting officer must also tell you that, “You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you can’t afford one, one will be provided for you.”

When Gideon was retried for breaking into the poolroom, he had a lawyer and was acquitted. We don’t know if he in fact broke into that poolroom or not. We just know, with a lawyer questioning whatever evidence the police had, the jury didn’t buy it.

I’m reminded of an important fact concerning lawyers. Ninety-nine percent of them give the rest of them a bad name.

My favorite lawyer joke tells of a lawyer, a doctor, and an engineer having lunch together. Their conversation turned into a debate about which profession was the oldest.

The doctor pointed to the Bible and said, “When God took the rib from Adam and created Eve, he performed surgery. Therefore, medicine has to be the oldest profession.”

The engineer then said, “Since we’re using the Bible as a reference, let me point out that God created the heavens and the earth out of the chaos. That, my friends, was a tremendous feat of civil engineering.”

The lawyer leaned back in his chair and asked, “And who do you think caused the chaos?”


Have I offended any lawyers yet?

More importantly, have I reminded anyone of a good lawyer joke? If so, please share it with us by making a comment.

Thanks again!


One Response to You Have the Right to Remain Silent

  1. jimsjourney says:

    There is at least one email that makes its rounds listing some of the dumb questions lawyers have asked witnesses.

    One of the questions involved a county coroner. The lawyer asked, “Was the man dead when you performed the autopsy?”

    I don’t recall the coroner’s response, but one can imagine that it was dripping with sarcasm.

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