Another bloody lawyer joke

I might as well spread this one before some other smartarse does. How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?

“Such number as may be deemed necessary to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the following agreement:

Whereas the party of the first part, also known as “The Lawyer,” and the party of the second part, also known as “The Light Bulb,” do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entry way, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spill-over illumination being at the option of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties. The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:

The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, step stool, ladder or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, said direction being non-negotiable. Said grasping and rotation of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be undertaken by the party of the first part (Lawyer) with every possible caution by the party of the first part (Lawyer) to maintain the structural integrity of the party of the second part (Light Bulb), notwithstanding the aforementioned failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) to perform the aforementioned customary and agreed upon duties. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, both parties stipulate that structural failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) may be incidental to the aforementioned failure to perform and in such case the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall be held blameless for such structural failure insofar as this agreement is concerned so long as the non-negotiable directional codicil (counter-clockwise) is observed by the party of the first part (Lawyer) throughout.

Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Light Bulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part (“Receptacle”), the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local and federal statutes.

Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of beginning installation of the party of the fourth part (“New Light Bulb”). This installation shall occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in step one of this self-same document, being careful to note that the rotation should occur in a clockwise direction, said direction also being non-negotiable.

NOTE: The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the first part (Lawyer), by said party of the first part (Lawyer), by his heirs and assigns, or by any and all persons authorized by him to do so, the objective being to produce a level of illumination in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned front (north) door consistent with maximization of ingress and revenue for the party of the fifth part.”

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

There’s also the old standby – “How many can you afford?” I also like this one (of American origin I suspect):

“Fifty four. Eight to argue, one to get a continuance, one to object, one to demur, two to research precedents, one to dictate a letter, one to stipulate, five to turn in their billing sheets, one to depose, one to write interrogatories, two to settle, one to order a secretary to change the bulb, and twenty-eight to bill for professional services.”

Gummo Trotsky
2022 years ago

My own favourite is

“How many computer programmers does it take to change a light-bulb?

It’s a hardware problem.”

wen
wen
2022 years ago

Oh dear, this joke had the same effect on me as most contracts….

Yes, yes. Of course I get it.
Where should I sign?

wen
wen
2022 years ago

Would someone be kind enough to tell me how I can italicise comments?
(I have a mac – running internet explorer – doesn’t seem to be any way to determine font)

mark
2022 years ago

In theory, you can’t. HTML doesn’t include commands — you can’t say “italicise this”, “make this 20 centimetres tall”, “change this colour”. What you can do is say “this text should be emphasised” (usually rendered in italics, but not always: I know of one browser that uses a different colour, and another which uses bold)), “this text should be REALLY emphasised” (usually rendered bold), and so on. Right down the list of tags, they aren’t ACTIONS you use to COMMAND to the browser, they’re DESCRIPTIONS you use to SUGGEST BEHAVIOURS to the browser. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one, and I’m more than a little anal on the subject. As you’ve probably noticed. *ahem*

Anyway, onto what you were actually interested in, dear Wen: <em> at the beginning and </em> at the end of the text you think should be emphasised by the browser. <strong> will get you strong emphasis.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

What’s wrong with just using *i* and *b* in triangle brackets like everyone else does? BTW How did you manage to display the triangle brackets in your comment without the browser interpreting them as denoting tags?

Gummo Trotsky
2022 years ago

Ken,

Use the escape sequence &lt;tag&gt;

(for & the escape is &amp; ;)

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

How many programmers does it take to italicise script?;)

EvilPundit
2022 years ago

You may be interested in the online Legalese Generator, though it is geared to American rather than Australian legislation.

wen
wen
2022 years ago

I asked really nicely – more of a suggestion, really and

lo and behold

wen
wen
2022 years ago

Hey, it worked

thanks!

(would have liked a stronger emphasis here – where does the actually go?)

wen
wen
2022 years ago

oh – I got it.

mark
2022 years ago

The problem with <i> and <b> is that they go against the grain of every other still-existing HTML tag, and against HTML itself: they tell the browser to do something (i.e. italicise or make bold), rather than describe what something is. That only really matters to web design pedants like Yours Truly these days, however.

I don’t remember why <i> and <b> were introduced in the first place; certainly they were redundant even at the time. These days they’re popular for two reasons: one, a lot of people learn HTML from third-rate tutorials which hand out inaccurate information, and two, even those that know <i> and <b> aren’t the original, semantically correct tags, use them because they’re a convenient shorthand.

mark
2022 years ago

As for why I didn’t mention them, well, I forgot, actually. I use <em> and <strong> myself, and just wrote about them. After I’d hit “post”, I realised I hadn’t said anything about <i> and <b>, but I figured a) it’s not important that they get a mention anyway and b) if it is important, someone else will point it out :-)

Gianna
2022 years ago

can someone please translate Gummo into English? thanks.

Gummo Trotsky
2022 years ago

Gianna,

<translation>In HTML an “escape sequence” is a way to represent characters such as “<” and “>” which would otherwise be treated as part of the mark-up rather than the text. HTML escape sequences usually have the form “&#;” where “#” represents a string of alphanumerics. To include a “<” character in HTML text, you need to use the escape sequence “&lt;” and for a “>” character “&gt;”.

Because the ampersand character “&” forms part of the escape sequence, when you want to display an escape sequence itself in HTML text, you need to escape it too, using the sequence “&amp;” (To get that last to show I had to type in “&amp;amp;” – we could easily get into an infinite regression here).</translation>

Hope that helps.

trackback
2022 years ago

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