Attorney Advice & Humor


Food for Thought – April 13th, 2017
by Leigh Currey Merrifield, Editor

Poor attorneys (perhaps I shouldn’t say ‘poor’!), they have been the brunt of jokes since, believe it or not, back in the days of Shakespeare!

But they shouldn’t feel too badly because through the years, jokes have burdened folks of several nationalities, professions, ethnicities, senior citizens, and, don’t forget the blonde jokes.  Today, however, I plan to offer a few worthwhile tips they suggest.  BUT FIRST, what the heck, a little joke ……

It seems an attorney died and arrived at the pearly gates to heaven. To his dismay, there were thousands of people ahead of him in line to see St. Peter.  But, to his surprise, St. Peter left his desk at the gate and came down the long line to where the attorney stood.  St. Peter greeted him warmly, and one of his assistants took the attorney by the hand and guided him up to the front of the line into a comfortable chair by his desk.

The attorney said, “I appreciate all this attention, but I have to ask you … what makes me so special?”

St. Peter replied, “Well, I try to consider letting the most elderly enter first, and after adding up all the hours for which you billed your clients, by my calculations, you must be about 195 years old!”

Now seriously … one corporate attorney recently sent the following tips out to the employees in his firm.  We might be wise to pay attention to them or perhaps make a copy to put in our files in case we need to refer to them some day.  His advice was:

  1. DO NOT sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “Photo ID required”.
  2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the memo line at the bottom of your check. Instead, just put the last four digits. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.
  3. Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address.
  4. NEVER have your Social Security number printed on your checks! You can add it if it is absolutely necessary.  But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.
  5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. If your wallet is ever stolen, you will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.  Keep the photocopy in a safe place.  Do the same with your passport.

This attorney had first-hand knowledge of the damage that can occur because his wallet had been stolen and within a week, the thieves had ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from the DMV to change his driving record information online, and more!!!!

Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know.  We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and card numbers “handy” so we know whom to call.

Also, file a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc. were stolen.  This proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

The attorney advised that MOST important of all is to call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number.  The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

I hope that you never have a need to utilize these tips, but in case you do, it’s nice to know … and perhaps share with your friends!  In today’s world, there are just too many people who would rather scam and take advantage of someone than to work for a living!

Let’s not end on such a serious note.  One more bit of attorney humor ….

Two attorneys went into a diner and ordered two drinks.  Then they produced sandwiches from their briefcases and started to eat.

The owner of the diner was outraged – after all, these two could certainly afford to purchase a sandwich!  So he marched over to their table and told them, “You can’t eat your own sandwiches in here!”

The two attorneys looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders, and exchanged sandwiches!  Problem solved!!!!!!

This week’s dessert: “A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a ‘brief’!” ~ Franz Kafka

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