Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wills, Lawyers And The Legal Profession

Wills, Lawyers and The Legal Profession—Snippets

A True but Strange Will : It was the night of 30th October 1936. Tossing feverishly in the rickety bed in the inexpensive apartment in of Toronto’s [Canada] middle class residential section, a pregnant woman was in great distress. It was not physical pain that made her suffer. Labour pain had not yet started. Rather, it was precisely the absence of labour pain that caused her anguish. If she could bring her baby, her 13th, into the world before 4.30 P.M. the next day, she could possibly win an exclusive claim to a half-million dollar bonanza, the prize in one of the most fantastic races of all times, the Great Toronto Stork Derby Race.
The race had been touched off at the end of 1926 by the publication of the will of an eccentric misanthrope, Charles Van Millar, who died at 4.30 P.M.on 31st October1926. Millar, a bachelor without close relatives, ordered his estate, valued at over half a million dollars, to be converted into cash ten years after his death and given to the Toronto Mother who bore the greatest number of children during that period of ten years. The will stipulated that in order to qualify, children must have been duly entered in the Registry of Vital Statistics of the city of Toronto. No other conditions were attached.
Four families, the Timelocks, the Nagels, the Smiths and the Mac Leans shared the half a million dollar with 9 children each ,born during that critical period of ten years, duly entered in the Register, dead or alive. Each family became entitled to equal shares of a little over 1, 00,000 dollars.

Age and Wisdom : Early in his professional career as a lawyer, young Clarence Darrow was defending a very difficult case an older attorney who haughtily referred to Darrow as ‘the beardless youth’ When Darrow’s turn came , he addressed the Court as follows :
“My worthy opponent seems to condemn me for not having a beard. Let me reply with a story. The King of Spain once dispatched a youthful nobleman to the court of a neighboring king, who received him with this outraged complaint ‘Does the King of Spain lack men that he sends me a beardless boy?”. To which the young ambassador replied “Sir, if my king had supposed that you imputed wisdom to a beard, he would have sent a goat”.
Darrow won the case.

Shrewd Lawyer : An old miser with plenty of money called his doctor, lawyer and minister to his deathbed and said “ They say that you cannot take money with you” said the dying man “ But I am going to try. I have three envelopes with 30,000 dollars cash in each. I want each one of you to take one envelope, and just when they lower my
casket, you throw in your envelopes”
At the funeral, each man tossed his envelope. On the way home, the minister confessed “I needed money for the church, So, I took out 10,000 dollars and threw away 20,000 dollars into the grave”. The doctor said “I too must confess. I am building a clinic and so I took 15,000 dollars and threw the balance of 15,000 dollars into the coffin”. When his turn came, the lawyer said: “Gentlemen, I am ashamed of you. I threw in a cheque for the full amount of 30,000 dollars”

Two Magistrates : Two magistrates were summoned for exceeding the speed limit in a densely crowded town. When they arrived at the court there were no other magistrates present to take up their case for hearing. So they agreed to try each other.
No. 1 went on the Bench and No.2 in the witness box. A question was asked “You are charged with exceeding the speed limit. Do you really plead guilty or not guilty?”
“Guilty, Your Worship”
“You will be fined five shillings”. Then they changed places and No.2 went on the Bench and No.1 in the witness box. The witness was asked “You are charged with exceeding the speed limit. Do you plead guilty or no?” “Guilty, your Worship”
“Now, these speed cases are becoming far too common. This is the second case we have had this morning. You will be fined 30 shillings “

Testimony of the Witness : The testimony of the witness in a shooting case was unsatisfactory. When asked “Did you actually see the shot fired?” he replied “No, Sir,
I only heard it”. “Stand down “said the judge sharply” Your testimony is of no value”.
The witness turned around in the box to leave and when his back was turned towards the judge, he laughed loudly and derisively. Irate at the exhibition of contempt, the judge called the witness back to his chair and demanded to know how he dared to laugh in the court.
: “Did you see me laugh. Judge?” asked the witness
“No, I heard you” retorted the judge
“That evidence is not satisfactory, your honour” said the witness respectfully.

A Lawyer and his client : A certain farmer spent a considerable amount of his savings in paying his lawyer for getting a judgment in a litigation that took several years. One day he went to the lawyer’s chambers where he saw a portrait of the lawyer being admired by several of his friends. The portrait depicted the lawyer in his favourite attitude, with one hand in his pocket. The old farmer remarked that the portrait would have looked much more like the lawyer with his hand on another man’s pocket instead of his own.

Army Manual in Egypt : Guests in a Cairo hotel, hearing a scream in the corridor, discovered a damsel in negligee being pursued by a gentleman who was almost nude except for the bath towel. Later it developed that the impetuous Romeo was an English Major who was promptly court-martialed. His lawyer won him an acquittal, however, by virtue of the following paragraph in the Army Manual: “It is not compulsory for an officer to wear a uniform at all times, as long as he is suitably dressed for the sport in which he is engaged”

Longest Drawn Case: The longest drawn legal battle in the world has been fought in the Pune Court. It took 761 years for a judgement to be delivered in 1966. The Guinness Book of World Records has made this entry in their 1982 Edition.
One Babasaheb Pallaji Thorat received a favourable judgement on 27th April 1966 on a suit filed by his ancestor Malaji Thorat in 1205. The points at issue were rights of presiding over at public functions and procedure at religious festivities.


Created: Friday, October 26, 2007 9:53 PM


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