Volume 57 - August 2011
Legal cartoon, john fytit, Paul Brennan

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This month

  • How to make an audience laugh
  • Solicitors and Judges
  • Parents and your inheritance



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Paul Brennan


Author of The Law is an Ass...Make Sure it Doesn't Bite Yours!


101 reasons to kill all the lawyers




How to make the audience laugh


legal cartoon, settlements, litigation, Paul BrennanIf you have ever been in an audience when someone got up and announced that their cat had died and you were the only one who laughed, you will know how embarrassing that can be. Therefore, audience members can be reluctant to laugh out loud, in case they are the only one.


There are certain times when people will laugh:

  •  a wedding;
  • where the audience knows you and thinks that you are going to be funny;
  • where they have just laughed at something that someone else has said, especially if you make a quick reply or follow on comment;
  • if you make a mistake.

Even where an audience thinks that you are trying to be funny they will give you a sympathy vote and laugh anyway before they realize that you were not funny at all.

In short, once an audience starts laughing it is hard for them to stop, a little like when they start throwing things, which is another story. But how can you crank them up?

If you are not a person who is haunted by funny thoughts then it is unlikely that one will just drop into your mind as you stand up to address the local Rotary Club. Therefore you need to prepare something. A good source is the people in the audience themselves who can be divided up into categories such as jobs, nationality, sexual orientation etc. I made the last one up but you get the idea.

Are audience members offended?  No, Oscar Wilde said “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”


Extract from "How to Make a Funny Legal Presentation ....... and other things that they did not teach you at law school" a book by Paul Brennan to be released shortly. Click here for books, eBooks and CDs by Paul Brennan.

(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved.

The Judge's tea party


Legal cartoon, solicitors, court,  paul brennan

I was in a case in a state Supreme Court and half way through the morning the Judge asked “Will all those at the Bar Table join me for morning tea?”. It dawned on me, and the other Solicitors, that we were at the table behind the Bar Table and  the invitation was to the barristers in the case only.

In the 1970s, my brother, after time as a British expatriate tea taster in India and Ceylon, was posted to Melbourne.  On the first weekend he had been invited for drinks at a friend’s house in the country. He hailed a taxi and sat in the back. 

The taxi driver turned around and said to him “Well, you are an unsociable bastard, come up and sit in the front with me”. It is still not uncommon for Australian passengers to sit in the front seat of taxis.


Not understanding the local custom, my brother very reluctantly sat in the front  passenger seat. After a long silence the taxi driver asked “And where would you be going on a hot day like today?”. My brother felt that the driver was being a little over familiar but said  “Actually, I am going to friends for drinks” to which the taxi driver replied “Well, it is so hot, I think I’ll join you” and he did.

None of the Solicitors in our case, including me, seemed prepared  to tell the Judge that we would join him or accuse him of being unsociable and therefore we trooped down to the Canteen.

Recently, the Economist said that everything about Australia was wonderful except the politicians. However, if the truth be told it is not all beer and skittles in the courts, for instance, Australian Judges can be just as scary, insistent and occasionally, tactless as anywhere else.

(c) Paul Brennan is a business and property lawyer on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.  Both  "Deals and disputes".

Parents not coping with finances

Dear John

legal cartoon, lawyers, solicitors, Paul BrennanMy parents are getting on and I am concerned that they are no longer able to exercise their usual prudent financial rigour to the assets that they have amassed. This is of particular concern to me as I have inherited only “Right Brain”  artistic type genes and money has not really interested me up to now. But I would be extremely distressed if it stopped short.

Should I take on some of the burden of managing my parents' finances?

Worried Daughter

Dear WD

Most children believe that their parents are well meaning but a little daft, or is that just my children? Parents are not to be trusted with decisions concerning  your inheritance as the consequences of a wrong move can have serious implications for you. They could go completely gaga and spend it! Therefore you must get involved. Once you start applying estate planning principles to your parent’s money rather than your own it becomes a fascinating subject.


(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved.  Extract from John Fytit’s International Legal Problem Page. For more go to   https://www.lawanddisorder.com.au/legaladvicepage.html

ABC Radio Coast  FM90.3

At 3.20 pm each Thursday on the Jessica Hinchliffe Show on ABC Radio call in to have your legal questions answered or at least considered briefly by legal eagle, Paul Brennan.


Disclaimer: The content of the Law & Disorder eZine is to give you legal basics and in some instances included unashamedly to try and make you laugh.  In law it is sometimes difficult to work out what is serious and what is just for fun.  Therefore, if you plan to do anything legal, rely on your own lawyer’s advice or instruct me to look at the particular facts of your case.  Not only will I deny responsibility for the legal content but also for some of the jokes.


In this Issue
How to make an audience laugh

Judge's social skills

Parents not coping with finances



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The Law & Disorder eZine attempts to provide legal information in an entertaining and amusing manner to help clients avoid predictable legal issues.

Sub-editor :

Alice Brennan

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