Squawk is sent to anti-bias training

Squawk forcefedAlthough not convicted of any crime, our office was sentenced en masse to  a Compulsory Corporate Thought-Reform Program where we spent the day chanting, “Four legs good, two legs bad.”   “The trouble with you people,” said our trainer disgustedly, “Is that you think there’s free speech in the workplace. Well, there isn’t.” Hey, at least we have diversity:Diversity in the workplace

Posted in Civil Liberties, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 7 Comments

How to send strictly work-related email

Squawk typing

How do you communicate important stuff to your colleagues when your boss refers to email as “our business equipment” and decrees that it shall be used for  “business purposes only”?  Take a tip from these policy-compliant emails:

The Supreme Court held today that warrantless searches of closed containers are presumptively constitutional if anyone knows a good dentist who takes our insurance, preferably in Brooklyn.  Justice Kennedy announced the decision from the bench although not tomorrow’s rally in front of City Hall protesting the latest bombing of a schoolbus in Gaza.

Justice Scalia dissented that once the police have opened a closed container it is by definition no longer a closed container so that Fourth Amendment protection is not available, although a lovely 2-bedroom apartment in Fort Greene is available, just a 5-minute walk to the subway, pets ok.

Starting a trial tomorrow – does anyone have a sample cross-examination of an expert in Crypto-Bismo facial recognition? Alternatively, a home for two adorable kittens?

Congrats to the newly-appointed Deputy in Charge of Bedbug Removal who will be setting up mandatory trainings; also not to be missed are Joe from Special Litigtion and his Punk Didgeridoo Band next Saturday at the Poisson Rouge.  Please stop these extremely disruptive non-work related emails unless you’re interested in two tickets to the Knicks tonight, $350 each OBO.

Practice advisory:  check your Junk Mail folder at least twice a day, especially if you’re waiting for an answer to your Motion for Enlargement, which could be misunderstood by the IT Czar. In fact – why not simply send all your emails directly to Junk Mail, since that’s the one folder everybody checks?  They can’t say the garbage is company business equipment. Or can they?

Posted in Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | 4 Comments

How to write People’s appeals


Are you an unrecognized Great Legal Mind? Do you love throwing people in jail but don’t have what it takes to wow a jury? Has your prosecutorial career been unfairly hindered by irrational social prejudices against your personal habits, such as drunk driving? Do you need extra $$$ until you’re old enough to get at your trust fund?

If you answered yes! to any of the above, then People’s appeals are for you! They’re fun, they’re easy and they’re guaranteed to win. Best of all, you can berate criminals to your heart’s content from the comfort of your cubicle without having to look at them in court.

All you need is the mind of a virtuous kindergartner and a computer with spellcheck. We supply the rest.  Just clip out the attached coupon and send it to your local DA. Be sure to put it to the attention of the incumbent, since the former DA might be in jail and you could get stuck writing a defendant’s brief. Ha, ha, just kidding!

Enclose a complete set of fingerprints, palmprints, your retinal scan, DNA profile and semen sample. As soon as you and your family have been satisfactorily investigated, you’ll receive your FREE People’s Appeals Starter Kit containing:

  •  A signed color photo of the DA suitable for framing.
  • A defense brief.
  • The People’s Appeals Bureau Standard Template™, approved by the National Junta of District Attorneys.
  • The People’s Appeals Bureau Automatic Phrases, Adjectives and Adverbs™ software, approved by same.
  • A FREE bonus copy of “The Handy Dandy Guide to the U.S. Constitution” by King George III.
  • A FREE bonus bumpersticker saying, “The Presumption of Innocence is a Theory.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the purpose of the People’s Appeals Bureau Standard Template™?

A.  It enables us to ensure uniformity by filing the same brief in every case. We think of our briefs as like cars coming off the assembly line identically manufactured but with room for individual variations such as furry dice hanging from the inside mirror or a dog with blinking eyes in the rear window.  After all, a People’s brief only needs to say, “Defendant’s arguments are unpreserved and in any event without merit and the defendant’s guilt is overwhelming and this Court should not disturb the court’s judgment/jury’s verdict.” In some jurisdictions, we simply file a form with checked boxes.

Q.  What is the People’s Appeals Bureau Automatic Phrases, Adjectives and Adverbs™ software?

A.  Many People’s Appeals Bureaus aspire to the tone judicial although as noted, a form with checked boxes is perfectly adequate to ensure affirmance. Our Automatic Phrases program fills in legaloid responses such as, “The right to [name of constitutional right] is not unlimited,” followed by a random cite to a Supreme Court case.  Those who aspire to the wit judicial may choose,  “There is no constitutional right to [take up two seats on the subway] [stab your business partner 27 times],” or whatever the defendant’s crime was.

The program automatically precedes any reference to a defendant’s exculpatory statement  with “self-serving,” and “defense expert” with “paid.” A court’s discretion is  always  “sound,” and “based on its opportunity to see and hear the witnesses.” Unless, of course, the ruling was against us. In that case, “discretion” is automatically replaced by “the judge’s personal policy preferences.”

Q.  Can People’s briefs be written by a robot?

A.  Yes, they usually are. We also send robots to oral argument although they tend to short-circuit when asked an unexpected question. Not that it makes any difference to the outcome, of course.

Q.   Then what’s the use of hiring humans?

A.   So they can go out on maternity leave, enabling us to delay our responses until the baby is old enough to vote.  But don’t imagine for a moment that we stifle individuality. For instance, instead of saying, “defendant’s arguments are meritless,” you can say, “without merit,” or even “utterly without merit.” When it comes to original thinking, the sky’s the limit.

Q.  What if even with the Standard Template, I can’t think of an answer to the defendant’s argument?

A.  Easy peasy. Answer something else and say it’s the same thing.  The court will never notice, since they don’t read the defense briefs.

Q.  Will I have to read a lot of cases?

A.  You should certainly cite as many cases as possible, but reading them is strictly optional. What counts is YOUR opinion! After all, you learned the difference between right and wrong at your mother’s knee. If you can go through life without breaking the law, why should you tolerate it when other people do?

Q.  Sounds like People’s appeals are for me! Rush me my Free Starter Kit right away!

Bumper sticker

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 5 Comments

In Defense of Sheldon Silver

Plunkitt      We confess that everything we know about Albany politics comes from Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, the discourses of a hilariously candid machine politico, delivered from a shoeshine throne in the early 1900’s.  We further confess that everything we know about financial crime comes from buy ‘n’ bust operations,  where undercover cops make xerox copies of 10-dollar bills to prove they gave the originals to our clients in exchange for bags of beam me up Scottie.

Having established our lack of qualifications to render an opinion, we think it’s a shame to drag our venerable (now former)  Speaker of the Assembly through the mud over a piffling 4 mil that isn’t even public money.  They say he got it from private firms for work he didn’t do. Well, if it’s a federal crime not to do the work you’re paid for, we could nominate quite a few people for the Bastille.

Now the hounds are going after everyone who ever sat next to Shelly in a synagogue and even Chief Judge Lippman. That’s just nuts.  We remember when Lippman was appointed to the First Department, a tribunal that painted themselves blue and communicated in barks and grunts.  Thanks to his civilizing influence, for one brief shining moment oral argument lost its resemblance to sitting in the stocks being pelted with horse dung.  He succeeded Judith Kaye as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals because she thought he was adorable. We know, we saw them together.  After Lippman took over, the Court started hearing criminal cases once in awhile instead of never.

Meanwhile Silver kept ex-Mayor Bloomberg from turning Manhattan into one big parking lot for a football stadium.  We suspect he also kept at bay a lot of barbaric legislation that would have made the criminal injustice system even worse than it is.  They’re going to destroy him over 4 million clams? Get a grip, it’s only money.



Posted in Humor, Judges, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , | 2 Comments


74 virgins

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | 1 Comment


Two days ago, Jihadist gunmen stormed the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo   targeting the cartoonists whose drawings they found objectionable, butchering 12 people in all. Cartoonists from all over the world  responded with cartoons, the Eiffel Tower was dimmed in mourning and crowds gathered holding up placards saying, “Je Suis Charlie,” roughly translated as, “the hell with you.”

FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO     247CA80E00000578-2900835-image-a-15_1420655521330  Not afraid  247CD03200000578-2900835-image-a-24_1420665601518


Charlie Hebdo  (Charlie for Charlie Brown and Hebdo for “weekly”) published outrageous cartoons such as the following:

150107_BB_Hebdo962_350.jpg.CROP.original-original A comment on Pope Benedict’s 2010 approval of condoms. He holds a condom aloft saying, “This is my body,” a reference to the Mass.

150107_BB_Hebdo1011_350.jpg.CROP.original-original “Charia” [Sharia] Hebdo, a special issue “guest edited” by the Prophet. He says, “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.” The magazine’s office was firebombed the next day.

Here are some cartoonists’ reactions to the latest massacre:

He drew firstDave Pope @davpope

Where's the trigger  Matt Davies Newsday; and Matt of the Telegraph:

Be careful they might have pens


Posted in Civil Liberties, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 2 Comments

Clap your hands if you believe in judges

Pink fairy

Decision by Judge Scott Miller of the City Court of Ithaca We didn’t make this up:

“The People allege that on June 8, 2014 in the City of Ithaca at 4:08 a.m., the Defendant [37-year old] Caleb Thomas did spray paint a single pink fairy on the public sidewalk in front of the Beverley J. Martin Elementary School. . . .

“The sidewalk was not permanently defaced but, in fact, a sprinkle of joyous whimsy was added. The Court can only imagine the laughs ringing musically through the late Spring morning air as children were welcomed by this sprightly visage as they entered their school on one of those painstakingly long June days before the start of summer vacation. When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born, its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be a fairy for every boy or girl. J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. . . . 

Defendant has presented evidence that he extinguished the pink fairy rather easily with just a splash of water, reminiscent of how easily Dorothy dispatched of the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. How sad the children must have been when they looked for their little pink fairy, but only to discover her departed. . . .

“The Defendant admitted to creating the fairy and was also found in possession of paint that matched the fairy’s complexion. Defendant however, does correctly point out to the Court that there is no evidence that he lacked the City’s permission to add a speckling of mirth to the gray concrete astride the school. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies? Richard Dawkins, lecture from The Nullfidian. . . . 

“Defendant Thomas, if convicted, faces. . . a maximum of one year incarceration. . . . Should Defendant Thomas suffer a life-long criminal record for this offense, surely the winged seraphs would cry out from Heaven above. Every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.’ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. . . . 

“This Court finds that Defendant Thomas’ intent was to provide fleeting joy to school children, not to damage or deface public property. All the good people of Ithaca will rejoice that the creator of the pink fairy was liberated from further prosecution. Fairies, come take me out of this dull world,/For I would ride with you upon the wind,/Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,/And dance upon the mountains lie a flame. W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire, 1894. . . . . Don’t you know that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own? P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins. . . . 

“And the fairy – her pink flame is extinguished. She delighted Ithaca’s children for just a moment and now like Lenore [n. Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven] she is nevermore. Her ephemeral existence is now only a distant memory like that of childhood days long gone. There is no bringing back this pink fairy of youth. . . .

“Accordingly, the Defendant’s motion to dismiss the accusatory instrument in furtherance of justice is Granted.”




Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal Defense Appeals, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , | 4 Comments