Reason Not to Go to Law School #13
Maybe law school happens to attract people who aren’t particularly funny, but it also seems to transform people who might otherwise have a healthy since of humor. Either they become humorless drones or, worse, they develop lawyer humor: the disease that makes lawyers and law students find incredibly un-funny remarks hilarious because they relate to law or were made by a lawyer/law professor/judge.
An exchange like this in the Supreme Court is what passes as high comedy in the legal world:
MR. FRIEDMAN: I think that issue is entirely orthogonal to the issue here because the Commonwealth is acknowledging –
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I’m sorry. Entirely what?
MR. FRIEDMAN: Orthogonal. Right angle. Unrelated. Irrelevant.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Oh.
JUSTICE SCALIA: What was that adjective? I liked that.
MR. FRIEDMAN: Orthogonal.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Orthogonal.
MR. FRIEDMAN: Right, right.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Orthogonal, ooh.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: I knew this case presented us a problem.
MR. FRIEDMAN: I should have — I probably should have said –
JUSTICE SCALIA: I think we should use that in the opinion.
MR. FRIEDMAN: I thought — I thought I had seen it before.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Or the dissent.
MR. FRIEDMAN: That is a bit of professorship creeping in, I suppose.
Maybe worth an awkward chuckle if you were present when it happened, but this really isn’t that funny. For a comparison, here is what normal people find funny: