Court humor

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Saturday, February 22, 2014


William Shakespeare, in his “All the World is a Stage” monologue in his play “As You Like It,” describes a justice “with eyes severe” but “full of wise saws and modern instances.”

Judges and justices are stern under their black robes. A faint smile, a stifled laugh or a short giggle could be easily misinterpreted as contempt for the authority of the court.

The courts have no room for humor. Only a quick mea culpa can help you avoid fine or time in jail.

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***

A man once greeted a judge, “How are you judge?” The judge bellowed, “Fine, P500.”
This is just one of the jokes in the late Dean Antonio P. Coronel’s “The Advocacy of Laughter,” a collection of jokes for, of and about the legal profession.

Coronel, the respected criminal lawyer, found time to collect the jokes to entertain
his companeros “to make them forget all the tensions and pressures, the trials and tribulations and the never-ending challenges that face the legal profession.”

***

Here’s another sampler: A man caught his wife in bed with another man, shot dead his wife but allowed her lover to run away.

In court, the judge was curious and asked him, “Why did you shoot your wife instead of her lover?”

The man said, “Your honor, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s easier to shoot a woman once, than a different man every week.”

***

By all accounts, the late Atty. Noel Archival succeeded, even without trying, to provide some mirth in an otherwise boring court trial, eliciting smiles from stern judges and his colleagues in the profession.

But a hail of bullets sprayed by still unidentified gunmen and of still unknown motives felled him and two of his aides Tuesday afternoon in Dalaguete town.

We can only ask, Whence comes another?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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