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Pair Arrested After Telling Lawyer Jokes 657

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-so-loudly dept.
fembots writes "Two men were arrested for telling lawyer jokes while standing in line leading into First District Court. A spokesman for the Nassau courts said the men were causing a stir and that their exercise of their First Amendment rights to free speech was impeding the rights of others at the court."
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Pair Arrested After Telling Lawyer Jokes

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  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:21PM (#11355030) Homepage
    Okay, my first reaction: Petty abuse of power? By a lawyer? There's got to be some mistake.

    Reading the article, however, makes me wonder if we're really getting the whole story here. Given that these aren't just two random individuals but the founders of "Americans for Legal Reform", I personally smell an increased likelyhood that their side of things contains a certain amount of BS. Of course it's just my gut instinct talking and your milage may vary.

    Unfortunately this level of doubt precludes the normal level of moral outrage (aka, "hits" or "ad impressions") that these threads are supposed to generate, and for that I apologize.

    Now, answer me this: How many RIAA lawyers does it take to screw in a light blub?

    • I saw the 2 guys and their lawyer on The Abrams Report on MSNBC today and it was hillarious. They were telling jokes while waiting to get through the metal detectors and one single lawyer got offended and reported them, anonymously...
      • by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:29PM (#11355117) Journal
        Yeah, according to them. According to the court:
        But Dan Bagnuola, a spokesman for the Nassau courts, said the men were causing a stir and that their exercise of their First Amendment rights to free speech was impeding the rights of others at the court.


        "They were being abusive and they were causing a disturbance," Bagnuola said. "They were making general comments to the people on line, referring to them as 'peasants,' and they were causing a disturbance. And they were asked on several occasions to act in an orderly manner, not to interfere with the operation of the court."
        Frankly, they sound like jackasses. Dunno wtf their point was, but it certainly wasn't to have a conversation with each other.
        • Too bad "being a jackass" isn't illegal. Frankly, "disorderly conduct" sounds like legal bullshit to me, one of those things that isn't really illegal until some old hag complains about it, like those laws about swearing in front of women and children.
        • by EvilAlien (133134) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:34PM (#11355171) Journal
          The First Ammendment needs to protect jackasses too. Labelling a speaker as a "jackass" due to what was said is a matter of perception, not fact. The court case resulting from this will be the test for the two alleged jackasses... unfortunately, the cursory description of the incident leads to easy classification of the speakers as jackasses, the lawyers as bloodsucking fiends, etc etc.

          If the two were wrongfully arrested, would they be capable of getting some sort of compensation under US law?

    • by IBitOBear (410965) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:43PM (#11355252) Homepage Journal
      Q: How many RIAA lawyers does it take to screw in a light blub?

      A: We at the RIAA think we will never really know, as we are fairly sure that each lightbulb changed by a home internet user represents a lost lightbulb installation fee, which in turn affects the not just the RIAA lawyers but the Lighting Technicians and Carpenters and all the little people involved in music production to such an extent that we now have to over-task our lawyers to combat the menace of the Open Standard Lightbulb Organizations. Th pressure generated by these OSLOs, in turn, prevents us from determining the natural lawyer to lightbulb ratio. Until Congress acts to plug this fee-structure leakage with an appropriate rights management technology and enacts proper criminal penalties for circumvention of our natural right to control the exercise of the lightbulb changing task, we will be forced to file John Doe lawsuits in order to gain the suppoena power necessary to compel the lightbulb supply corporations with the names and addresses of their clearly infringing customers.
      • That is fucking brillant. Wish I had the mod points.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "...which in turn affects the not just the RIAA lawyers but the Lighting Technicians and Carpenters and all the little people involved in music production..."

        Hello. I am a lighting technician. I have been gainfully(?!) employed in the lighting/music business for almost twenty years now.

        I have consorted with all manner of vile creatures, both sexually and socially. I am known by name at the local STD clinic.

        I have an extensive criminal record, and I have been ordered by the courts to stay away from al

        • by Anonymous Coward
          As a sound engineer, I must chide you for trying to make yourself seem nicer than you really are.
    • by lax-goalie (730970) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:01PM (#11355416)

      Q: How many RIAA lawyers does it take to screw in a light blub?

      A: RIAA lawyers don't have time to screw in lightbulbs, silly! They're too busy screwing 14 year old kids and their grandmothers...

    • by Facekhan (445017) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:17PM (#11355531)
      They are probably one of the many people who feel that lawyers who make up the vast majority of the people writing the laws, the people working for the people who write the laws, the people who lobby for such laws, the people who enforce the laws (the prosecutors not the cops), the people who interpret the laws (the judges), the people who defend you in court, the people you must pay when you need to use the courts, and the people who are paid to use the courts against you, have a bit too much power in our society.
  • Some Jokes (Score:2, Funny)

    by larry2k (592744) *
    Q: What do you say to a lawyer with an IQ of 50?
    A: Good morning, Your Honor.

    Q: How do you tell if a lawyer is lying?
    A: His lips are moving.

    Q: Why do they bury lawyers 100 feet into the ground?
    A: Because down deep, they're good people.

    Q: What's the difference between a vulture and a lawyer?
    A: Wing tips

    This First Post has an order bug

  • yikes... (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:22PM (#11355038) Homepage Journal

    ...someone better explain to them what IANAL means before they start the sodomy lawsuits...
  • Lawyers and the courts have been subverting the constitution for years. This is just another example of it. Not surprising, especially given that their own kind was attacked.
  • by Xshare (762241) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:23PM (#11355052) Homepage
    These guys weren't randomly standing in line telling lawyer jokes. They purposely and continually go to courts and heckle the lawyers.

    The pair said that for years they have stood outside courthouses on Long Island and mocked lawyers. The summary appears to inflame, when it shouldn't.
    • But they they really interfere int he operation of the court or were they just being obnoxious?
      • Who knows? But given that:

        a) What kind of nut regularly goes to the courthouse and heckles lawyers as a hobby?

        b) They've spun this story as "Arrested for telling lawyer jokes!"

        I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the judge, not to them.

      • You could argue that by making lawyers feel angry and hurt you're affecting their performance or reptuation. What we're talking about is "SLANDER - A false defamation (expressed in spoken words, signs, or gestures) which injures the character or reputation of the person defamed; distinguished from libel."

        A lot of lawyers are really sensitive about that kind of thing. Hell, I'd be pissed off if people thought less of me for going through a very competitive graduate program and working 120 hour weeks. People

        • Is it really slander or libel if they are not telling lies about a specific person? I figure if i can deal with the stupid jokes about being a computer geek, they should be able to deal with the lawyer jokes. I have no problem if they were truly obstructing the court's function, but th earticle isn't that definate on it.
        • Slander is something false that's spoken in an attempt to pass it off as fact. Jokes can in no way be considered slanderous.

          People are not convicted of slander for insulting others, they are convicted of slander for lying about others. There are many differences between the two terms.

          I would be interested in learning of any miscarriages of justice where someone was convicted of being insulting toward a particular group (other than actually inside an operating court room) though, so do share if you know of
    • by trawg (308495) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:30PM (#11355126) Homepage
      The summary appears to inflame, when it shouldn't.
      Welcome to slashdot!
    • In other words, they aren't just innocent victims. They're heros!
    • Ummm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fluxrad (125130) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:40PM (#11355226) Homepage
      Last time I checked, standing outside a courthouse expressing disdain for lawyers is perfectly legal.

      In some states, they even allow people to carry signs and march around in circles outside of buildings. In fact, from time to time, these sign wielding people will even chant repetative slogans (gasp). My friend, people have a right to protest, be it against abortion, creationism, blacks, whites, gays, white supremacists and yes...lawyers.

      Do I think these guys are stupid douchebags? Of course.

      Am I outraged that they were arrested for being stupid douchebags? You bet your ass I am.
    • These guys weren't randomly standing in line telling lawyer jokes. They purposely and continually go to courts and heckle the lawyers. The pair said that for years they have stood outside courthouses on Long Island and mocked lawyers.

      I have a hard time imagining how that would be illegal. It is not illegal to be an asshole. The only difference here is that they were in line for the metal detectors. Now, if they were purposely preventing people from getting through said detectors there may be a point,
    • These guys weren't randomly standing in line telling lawyer jokes. They purposely and continually go to courts and heckle the lawyers.

      Yes, but the article and the authorities left out HOW these guys were violating anyone's rights or interfering with the operation of the court..........the justification for arresting them.

      They got arrested for the very thing they are fighting against.....authorities bending the law and truncating people's rights to their own ends.

      They weren't preventing anyone from us

  • Here's a joke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:23PM (#11355059)
    Slashdot Editors!

    (Psst... make a "Law" category rather than stuff everything into YRO.)
  • by solafide (845228) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:26PM (#11355080) Homepage
    Rude, uncivil, etc. Why were they there anyway? Learn your manners and respect other peoples opinions! Especially in front of the lawyer - how dumb was that?

    Sorry for the rant, but what fool calls lawyers names to their faces?
    Billy

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:34PM (#11355163)
      Christ. Think about that for a second. Lawyers are not gods. They are almost certainly NOT better people than you. I have no difficulty telling a lawyer that I'll assume she's a conniving bitch until she proves otherwise - you shouldn't either. The article is right on the money - lawyers want to control you, and with your attitude, you're letting them. The burgeoning lawyerocracy will have to be stopped fairly soon. Pick a set of ethical guidelines and live by them. Don't confuse what is legal and what is right. Above all, don't elevate lawyers to new nobility.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The fool that belives he lives in a free country.


      Maybe RMS can update 'The Free Software Definition' to add 'free' as in the United States of America -- The software is free until they decide it's not.

      ``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free like the USA.''
    • Right-O! I, for one, welcome our new litigious overlords.
  • Okay, so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sialagogue (246874) <sialagogue.gmail@com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:26PM (#11355081)

    By "they were arrested for telling lawyer jokes" you mean "they were arrested for 'being abusive and disturbing the peace'"

    I was going to try to make some articulate argument about the scope of First Amendment rights as it applies to public places and the social contract, but I'll just sum it up like this:

    Two retards act like dicks and get busted for it, and all of a sudden I have to read about it on Slashdot?

  • by Rai (524476) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:26PM (#11355083) Homepage
    I saw this story on Fark and for spite, everyone told their most offensive lawyer joke.

    The easily offended should stop reading now.

    A priest and a lawyer are walking down the street together when a young boy crosses their path. The priest says "hey, you wanna screw that boy?" To which the lawyer replies, "Out of what?"
    • A rabbi, preist, lawer and some kids are in a lifeboat, after thier ship sank. The lifeboat is overloaded and beginning to sink. The rabbi says, "We've all had full lives; we should jump overboard to save the children."

      The lawer says,"Screw the children!"

      The priest says,"Do you think we have time?"

  • by runlvl0 (198575) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:27PM (#11355095) Homepage Journal
    What do you call a thousand lawyers on the ocean floor?

    A good start.
    • Remember, in the soon to opened hunting season on lawyers, the people at Game and Fish have come up with the following rules:
      1. No standing on a corner yelling "free Scotch".
      2. No hunting within 200 feet of an ambulance.
      3. No hunting within 500 feet of an accident, (baited field).

      Why don't sharks bite lawyers?

      A. Proffesional courtesy.
  • worse than this story n /. would be a dupe of this story on /.
  • by Michael Hunt (585391) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:28PM (#11355111) Homepage
    when your first amendment rights are being violated? ...Your lips are moving!

    Thankyou, I'll be here all week.
  • If they make one genre of joke illegal then make up a new genre. A good new genre would be Nuclear Holocaust Jokes:

    Q: How does a full-partner shield his 25th story corner office from a Nuclear Holocaust?

    A: Boilerplate

  • by Theolojin (102108) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:30PM (#11355124) Homepage
    After all, just 90% of lawyers make the other 10% look bad...
  • by geekfat (848401) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:32PM (#11355153)
    ...I stick to dead baby jokes. Since they can't talk, they can't tattle on me.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:33PM (#11355160) Homepage Journal
    In general, acting like an asshole in the presence of law enforcement is a bad idea. You may not get convicted, but chances are really good you will get arrested.
  • Our freedom to tell lawyer jokes....oh, wait....
  • I did RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ratsalbnoiro}> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:38PM (#11355205) Homepage Journal
    Good thing they weren't making fun of Police Officers in front of a Police Station or while in one. ;)

    Anyway for those who didn't RTFA:

    >>>
    The men are founders of Americans for Legal Reform, a group of outspoken advocates who use confrontational tactics to push for greater access to courts for the public and to monitor how well courts serve the public. One tactic is driving a truck around the Huntington area emblazoned with the slogan "Stop The Lawyer Disease." They said their rights to free speech were violated Monday.
    >>
    But Dan Bagnuola, a spokesman for the Nassau courts, said the men were causing a stir and that their exercise of their First Amendment rights to free speech was impeding the rights of others at the court.
    >>
    "They were being abusive and they were causing a disturbance," Bagnuola said. "They were making general comments to the people on line, referring to them as 'peasants,' and they were causing a disturbance. And they were asked on several occasions to act in an orderly manner, not to interfere with the operation of the court."
    >>
    Bagnuola said he did not have the name of the lawyer who complained to officers.
    >>
    Kash said he and Lanzisera were merely saying out loud that the public was being treated like peons or peasants while attorneys, who wave their security passes to court officers and don't have to stand on line, are treated like kings.
    >>
    "I'm not surprised this happened because anybody who stands up for their rights is put down because these people want only one thing, and that is control," Kash said.
    >>
    The men were given desk appearance tickets and are due back in court - as defendants - next month.

    Judges are lawyers too, this could get interesting. I wonder if they will show the court case on pay-per-view? I got the popcorn all ready just in case it airs. ;)
    • It looks like Slashdot ate them! :(

      Anyway here they are:

      Apparently those rights are such that they can offend other people's rights?

      Well, okay then, nothing wrong with them exercising their own rights, as long as it does not impede the rights of others in the process, right?

      So much for respect of others, obeying the rules of conduct, and following the rules of order.

      I'll bet that lawyer plays Golf with the judge who will hear the case. :)

      Police officers also wave their badges at security checkpoints,
  • by sid crimson (46823) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:40PM (#11355224)

    Q. How many lawyer jokes are there?

    A. Two - the rest are all true stories.

    -sid
  • by mOoZik (698544) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:45PM (#11355268) Homepage
    Why could the lawyer simply ignore the men? Yes, I RTFA, and this was set-up to get attention by the two guys telling the jokes, but this is a pretty extreme way to go about stopping them. Besides, anyone but the most naive knows that lawyers will do anything to win, and in return, make tons of cash. I don't care about the money they make, but the methods which they employ scares me.

  • by michael path (94586) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:49PM (#11355312) Homepage Journal
    From reading the article, it looks like they've successfully charged Statler and Waldorf.

    Thank you so much, America, for putting these Muppets where they belong.

    Now, what to do about Fozzy.....
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:50PM (#11355319) Homepage Journal
    Lawyer: Stop calling me names or I will sue you!

    Jock: Shut up or I will squash you!

    Geek: Shut up or I will hack into your Xbox!

    W: Shut up or I will invade you!

    French: Shut up or I will propose a UN resolution against you!

    SCO: Shut up or I will demand a licensing fee!

    Boss: Shut up or I will outsource your job!

    Microsoft: Shut up or I will create a competing product.....and subsidize it!

    Slashdotter: Shut up or I will mod you down!

    Goatse: Shut up or I will send your mom a special email!
  • by tickleboy2 (548566) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:03PM (#11355429) Homepage
    So if I tell some blond jokes, does this mean some blonds will come and handcuff me?
  • Citizenship (Score:3, Informative)

    by rattler14 (459782) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:07PM (#11355459)
    Not completely off topic, but this is totally legit, if these 2 claim priveleges under the US constitution as US citizens.

    Very few people realize the difference between State Citizenship (commonly referred to as being a US national) and US citizenship.

    I'll cut to the chase, but the main difference is that a US national has rights guaranteed and protected by the constitution, while a US citizen has priveleges granted to them by the federal government. Like every privelege, it can be revoked at any time.

    Some links to get you started here [famguardian.org] and
    here [famguardian.org]

    The funny thing is, I remember a SNL skit by christopher walkin where he made about having dual citizenship, US and florida. At the time I couldn't stop laughing...

    Enjoy :)
  • by Harker (96598) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:58PM (#11355918)
    A good lawyer can get them off.

    Oh, wait....

  • by bernywork (57298) * <bstapletonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:00PM (#11355934) Journal
    A lawyer wrote a will for an elderly lady. She asked the price and he said, "One hundred dollars, please." She gave him a crisp new $100 bill without noticing that a second $100 bill was stuck to it. Immediately, the lawyer faced an ethical dilemma: "Do I have to report this on my taxes?"
  • by Len (89493) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:57PM (#11356647)
    They could have been telling hunter jokes in the woods.
  • by sconeu (64226) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:03AM (#11356728) Homepage Journal

    Q: How many lawyers does it take to violate someone's first amendment rights?

    A:(from a lawyer): THAT'S NOT FUNNY!

    A:(from anyone else): Just one.

There is no distinction between any AI program and some existent game.

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