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From the desk of Dora DePaoli: Attorney tales

March 02, 2001

Lots of unkind things have been said about attorneys over the years, but most of us have had to seek their advice at one time or another. Although often maligned, as in this Spanish proverb: "It is better to be a mouse in a cat's mouth than a man in a lawyer's hands," attorneys are the first ones people call when hit with a lawsuit or divorce. Most of the population seldom has professional contact with attorneys, but a small percentage of folks are easily aggravated and have a penchant for initiating lawsuits.

Over the years I've heard a few attorneys speak at dinners and they were very humorous. Because of all the jokes made about them, they have probably developed quite thick skin. I wonder, however, why a county of about 150,000 people would need so many? In this year's yellow pages there are the same number of pages for attorneys and physicians.

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A relative, who has two attorneys in the family, recently sent me some excerpts from a book titled "Disorder in the Court." These are things people have actually said in court.

Q. What is your date of birth?

A. July 15

Q. What year?

A. Every year.

Q. What gear were you in at the moment of impact?

A. Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q. And where was the location of the accident?

A. About milepost 499.

Q. And where is milepost 499?

A. Probably between milepost 498 and 500.

Q. Did you blow your horn or anything?

A. After the accident?

Q. Before the accident.

A. Sure, I played for 10 years. I even went to school for it.

Q. What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?

A. He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"

Q. And why did that upset you?

A. My name is Susan.

Q. So, the date of conception of this baby was Aug. 8?

A. Yes.

Q. And what were you doing at that time?

Q. Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice that I sent to your attorney?

A. No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Q. How was your first marriage terminated?

A. By death

Q. And by whose death was it terminated?

Q. She had three children, right?

A. Yes

Q. How many were boys?

A. None

Q. Were there any girls?

The following question and answer took place during a deposition several years ago in California.

Q. What was the highest grade you obtained in high school?

A. It was a "C."

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