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3 Classic April Fool’s Pranks for Lawyers

3 Classic April Fools Pranks for Lawyers

Lawyers.com published a piece a few years ago which still seems like sage advice for April Fool’s pranks.  It advised the legal community should avoid jokes that involve the police, “creates a panic,” or causes damage or injury to people or property.

We’d like to think we’re following the spirit of that advice while also taking liberty to celebrate April Fool’s Day with a bit of levity. To that end, here’s a roundup of some classic April Fool’s Day pranks the legal community has seen in previous years.

1. Groundhog faces the death penalty?

A prosecutor in Ohio apparently sought charges against a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil for “misrepresentation of early spring.”  Allegedly, the rodent did not see its shadow and yet the long cold winter continued when the long arm of justice (and popular opinion?) would have preferred it didn’t.  Further, after the outrageous winter we’ve seen in the US this year, we can’t imagine the precedent bodes well for rodent-kind in 2015.  Law360 published this anecdote in a round up last year: No Joke: 7 Strange-But-True Suits For April Fools’.

2. Does Pennsylvania Avenue need a law blogger?

In 2010 a New York personal injury lawyer, announced on his blog a new role as “official law blogger” for the White House. The ABA Journal covered the announcement – and the ethics outcry that followed.  It also noted the attorney, in a rebuttal, cited “a [then] recent federal appeals court decision holding that law firm ads showing space aliens and lawyers running at breakneck speeds did not violate ethics rules.”  Be sure to swing by that blog today to see if a new idea is up for 2015.

3.  Cease and desist for “canned unicorn meat.”

April Fool’s Day can’t all be rainbows and unicorns. In 2010 the ThinkGeek ecommerce site, which sells a myriad of interesting gifts and gadgets for “geeks” received a 12 page cease and desist letter for a parody product. The company has previously promoted “Canned Unicorn Meat” as an April Fool’s Day gag. The company wrote it had “nothing to worry about–this kind of use is protected as a parody.”

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Have you spotted a gag today related to legal but offered in reasonably good taste?  Please do share in the comments.

Updated:  Here are some of the pranks we’ve seen so far today.

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Photo credit:  Flickr, Tambako The Jaguar, (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.

Well its not easy to fool a lawyer. But above gags are simply realistic, so it would be interesting how these gags are utilized to lawyers who may be too occupied with their work.

BLSS moderator

@sumitadalal It's a good point.  Humor is very hard to do anywhere, but imagine it's even harder in the legal community.