Legal Humour Blog


March 2017

Pssst…Need a Lawyer?

Mar 19, 2017 11:00 PM
Marcel Strigberger

I just returned from a trip in Florida.  What caught my eye most is not the great weather, nor the kilometres of super beaches, nor the cultural scenes.  What really hit me was lawyer advertising.  You cannot open your television or walk around the block without getting slapped by yet another personal injury lawyer ad.

In fact you don''t even have to open your television to get smitten by these ads.  When I checked into my hotel room I opened my night table drawer and I noticed a yellow pages directory.  On the front cover there was an ad that listed a law firm's name and info, including "Injured in an accident? Call us first.  You can check out the Gideon bible later".

They even have easy to remember phone numbers.  You will see some that read like, 1-800-111-1111.  In our jurisdiction that number will more likely get you a pizza.  I even saw one that read something like, "Injured?  Just call 1-800-not-pain." I am sure some in your face high profile outfit that is rougher than the roughest will soon come up with the ultimate contact: "Injured? Call any phone number.  You will reach us".

            I even saw a bus or rather a number of municipal buses in Fort Lauderdale bearing a full bus ad for a personal injury firm.  These lawyers take ambulance chasing to a new dimension. They use buses to chase ambulances! 

And many of them boast about having offices throughout Florida.  Just call us.  If there is no office near where you live, we'll open one for you.

And then they have the sub-specialists. While driving on the highway I-95 I saw a billboard that read, "Motorcycle accident?  Call the lawyer who rides a Harley."

Another ad reads, "Chosen by Super Lawyers Magazine".  I have heard of great lawyers but what in the world is a super lawyer?  He puts on his robe in a phone booth?

The phone book ads appear not under "lawyers" but rather under "attorneys".  After gazing through these ads for a few minutes, I needed a break and so I flipped back a few pages and just before attorneys I came across "asphalt ."  I saw an ad for a "Dr Asphalt".  This was rather refreshing. At least he did not boast, "as seen on TV", "want a second opinion" or "chosen by Super Asphalt Magazine."

I have recently retired from the practice of law, choosing now to amuse rather than litigate.  If you like my stuff, and want a speaker/humourist to entertain and enchant your group, please email me at marcel@striglaw.com.

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January 2017

The Jury Has Spoken- Too Bad

Jan 8, 2017 12:35 PM
Marcel Strigberger

A jury in Toronto recently found nobody liable for an accident where an allegedly drunk driver ran a red light and smashed into the plaintf’‘s vehicle, making a left turn.  The jury should have rendered a liability split of sorts but failed to do so, saying the split was zero/zero. This did not help the plaintiff too much.

The noble six pack of people representing a random cluster of folks standing in line behind you at a Tim Hortons once again showed us what juries can do to our judicial system.

I cannot think of any other profession where lay people are called upon or rather forced to show up kicking and screaming to a hostile forum and render a decision that can affect a person’s life big time.

Take the world of medicine  I can just imagine a hospital sending out random notices to residents demanding that they attend for a 3 week period at which time they may be called upon to do their duty and assist in surgeries.  The notice supposedly might have an exemption area where the recipient can note why he or she should not have to attend for compelling reasons, like maybe he is a hypochondriac.

And how would jury selection take place?  I suppose the head nurse can draw the names of potential jurors out of a bedpan.  The surgeons would then agree or challenge. To wit:

    Scrub Nurse: “Number 237, George Langley, baker”

    Dr   Hendrix: What kind of baker is he?

    Scrub Nurse: Your are not entitled to more information doctor.   

    Dr Hendrix: OK, I am content.

    Dr Williams: Hold on there.  This patient is skinny.  The baker may be biased.  I challenge.

I suppose the jury would also decide on how the anaesthetist proceeds.

    Anaesthetist: Members of the jury, should I use Diazepam or Protofol?

    Jury Foreman:   Neither.  I heard eating turkey makes you sleepy. Can you give the patient 100 grams of a drumstick?

    Patient: Hey, I’m a vegetarian.

    Jurors in unison: You stay out of this. What do you know about medicine?

Naturally the surgeons would turn to the jurors for directions along the way.   

    Dr Hendrix: Haemostat please.

    Juror A: What’s a Haemostat? Is that in case it gets cool in the room?

    Juror B:       I have one. I got it at Home Depot.

    Dr Williams: No, no. It’s an instrument used to prevent massive bleeding.

    Juror C:       Bleeding? Nobody said anything about there being blood.  I can’t watch this. What am I doing here?

At the conclusion of the surgery the medical team has to defer to the jury on some questions.  

    Scrub Nurse: Members of the jury, I shall now charge you.  One question you must answer is how many sponges do the surgeons have to remove from the patient’s abdomen?  Dr Hendrix in his closing statement urged you to find the number to be 14.  Dr Williams asks you to find the total to be between 3-5.  The decision will be yours only.  You are the masters of the facts.

Don’t we all fell great knowing that since the Magna Carta, we have the privilege at trials of being judged by our peers!  


I practice civil litigation and family law.  Please visit www.striglaw.com.  Does anyone get the feeling I am not crazy about the jury system in civil matters?

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December 2016

Incorrect Politically Correct

Dec 23, 2016 12:39 PM
Marcel Strigberger

The politically correct fanatics, university division, are at it again.  This time the target was Sandor Dosman, the operator for 4 years of a cafe for graduate students at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  His war crime was posting a humourous ad for help. The ad started out seeking, "A new slave...and the pay being crap unless you're really good then it's just OK."

Some student supposedly was obviously traumatized by the ad and anonymously, courageously tweeted a complaint. The graduate student KGB summoned Dosman and terminated his contract on the spot, having two security guards escort the guy out forthwith, graciously allowing him the opportunity to remove his cash till and accessories.

As comedian Jerry Seinfeld says, you cannot perform comedy at universities anymore as the audience finds everything offensive.

I agree. I decided to open a dictionary at a random page expecting to find words that would be offensive to these P.Cs.  By chance I came across the word "ball".  Reader discretion advised as I run with this one.  Should you find it too disturbing, I understand there is some government 800 number you can call for professional psychological support.

What comes to mind first to me is baseball. My mind then runs to Cleveland Indians. We all know how this name has these people running to that safe place.  I then think of football and coupled with baseball, I see Americana.  This leads me to President Elect Donald Trump.  The very mention of his name crosses a red line.  To spare the potentially threatened, we shall not talk about judges wearing "make America great again" hats.

Then let us look at “ball” as in a royal ball.  I know this will be repugnant as it will remind many victims of the prince's ball in Cinderella.  If that story isn't sexist, elitist and misogynistic, nothing is. The part where the prince's lackeys scour the kingdom for the foot belonging to that lost glass slipper will trigger an incurable case of post traumatic stress disorder across university students unions globally.

And please note, the word ball creates an emotional tsunami just in its singular use.  I have not even discussed where the plural form of this word might take us.  I cannot even dare utter it.  That would take balls.

The holiday season is upon us. I wish one and all, ladies and gentlemen, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year and whatever else you may be celebrating.  Actually I just know that there is something possibly verboten in this holiday greeting.

I practice family and personal injury law. Please visit www.striglaw.com.  No humans were harmed in penning this blog.




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November 2016

Judges with Hats

Nov 20, 2016 8:33 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    All hell is breaking loose following Ontario Court of Justice Judge Zabel entering his Hamilton courtroom after the U.S. election, wearing a Donald Trump red campaign baseball hat reading, “Make America Great Again”.  

    Naturally there has been  an uproar from the usual suspects claiming that the judge’s actions compromised his judicial impartiality.  Some are suggesting the Judicial Council take action as this conduct calls for nothing less than to have His Honour judicially tarred and feathered.

    Zabel J, on the bench for 25 years, has actually issued an apology saying, “I wish to apologize for my misguided attempt to mark a moment in history by humour in the courtroom following the surprising result in the United States election.” He noted his act was not intended to be an “endorsement of any political views and in particular the views and comments of Donald Trump.”

    That does not satisfy his accusers. Nor should it. I say draw and quarter the man. If this type of conduct goes unchallenged where can this lead to?  More humour in the courtroom! The next judge might go one further and hide a whoopie cushion on the seat of the witness stand.  Or to outclass that act, another judge, while no one is looking, might open the exhibit envelope and sneak in some fake doggie poo.  And as December approaches, what if a judge raises the ante and comes into the courtroom sporting a Santa Claus hat?  How offensive would that be to a number of groups?  Bring me a Valium.  There is no room in the courtroom for humour.  The world of justice must be solemn and serious. We needed judges to look stoneface like the Sphinx. Amen!

I also wear a second hat, namely that of a lawyer practicing personal injury and family law. Please visit www.striglaw.com .


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October 2016

Halloween...Some Costumes Still Allowed

Oct 30, 2016 8:06 PM
Marcel Strigberger

As Halloween is approaching, Brock University’s student union has put out a hit list of costumes that are prohibited as they are not, perish the thought, politically correct. These costumes include bonnets with feathers, robes worn by Arab men, Japanese Geisha outfits etc.   They are all Verboten!

    Anyone entering the campus wearing any such costume will be escorted to a space where they will be given the choice of removing the costume or leaving the premises.  I dread to even imagine what would happen to someone foolish enough to attend wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform.  I don’t think he will win first prize for best costume.

    This business is not exclusive to Brock U. The University of Florida issued a memo saying that if a student encounters an offensive costume, he or she can submit a “bias incident report” and seek counselling.  This is serious.  I can certainly visualize some revellers coming to a Halloween party wearing a turban or a skull cap or dread locks and a group of party goers take one look at them and instantly swoon, waking up with an incurable case of post traumatic stress disorder.

    Excuse me but did I just say, “he” or “she”.  Psych professor Jordan Peterson at the University of Toronto has just been raked over the coals by administration for refusing to use gender neutral pronouns.  The university p.c. police even sent him a letter saying he must not continue to even comment on this issue. Mum is the word.  Or is it “mum” or “dad” or maybe “mum-dad” or “dad-mum” or no name-pronoun call it “he/she/it all of the above whatever you want”, is the word.

    Even wearing a Donald Trump mask could be a problem.  A representative of the “Student Justice Centre” has suggested that the Halloween constabulary would be able to interrogate this person and ask what his/her/it’s intention is.  If this individual would be able to satisfy his interrogators that he is only wearing a mask but he has no intentions of letting his hands wander inappropriately, he would supposedly likely be admitted.  (Feel free to change pronouns.)

    Tufts University also has a similar policy threatening sanctions to anyone donning a costume that is “controversial” and ergo offends people.   

    So what kind of costume can you wear these days?  Can you come dressed as a clown?  Not a great idea unless you want to have everyone diving for cover.  A soldier? Soldiers these days are symbols of war.  An animal costume like a gorilla or a panda or a tiger would no doubt be offensive to the animal rights groups.  A lawyer? That might actually work.  Then again given the sentiments many have towards our profession, I imagine anyone attending the party gowned up and tabbed to the nines risks getting pelted with eggs.  Maybe actually the safest thing to do would be to come dressed as an amoeba.

    Jerry Seinfeld summed it up not long ago when he said that he does not play colleges anymore as they are too politically correct.

    If I were a university student invited to a Halloween party these days, I would likely just stay home and watch the World Series.  Whoa! I don’t know if that is correct either. After all, let’s not forget who the Chicago Cubs are playing.

Please visit my personal injury and family law pracatice website, www.striglaw.com.  No dress code in place.


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