Volume 58 - September 2011
Legal cartoon, john fytit, Paul Brennan

Printer friendly version

This month

  • Suggestions for your last minute free Father's Day Gifts.
  • More on humorous speaking: How to open and close.
  • Wedding anniversary advice.
  • An interview on Wills which you can download.


Facebook logotwitter @paulbrennan




Paul Brennan


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


101 reasons to kill all the lawyers blog

101 reasons to kill all the lawyers




Click here to nominate 101 reasons to kill all the lawyers as a top 100 legal blog and have your comment appear on the American Bar Association website.

Your inheritance - is it in safe hands?

Dear John

legal cartoon, law firm, paul brennanFrom a legal point of view, does it matter which of your parents dies first?

JB, Boston

Dear JB

I am being asked this by more and more adult children now that euthanasia is lawful in certain parts of the world.

I think we should take a tip from nature, where the male generally goes first. This is because the death of a spouse can feel like a release for many husbands to allow them to pursue a drunken and extravagantly, reckless old age funded by your inheritance often, I am afraid, involving some floozy.

Whereas a mother tends to live a quiet life contemplating the happy years spent with her departed husband. Unless of course he hasn’t left her enough money and then there is a good chance she will go all out to find a rich substitute.  A mother can irrationally believe that if she does not perform you may put her in a home or some  budget accommodation. I am exaggerating here, as you may not listen to your wife at all about the budget accommodation, but you get the point.

If the mother chooses wisely and manages to outlive the second husband, there is a good chance she may inherit and leave it all to you. It may be better at that stage to cash in while you are ahead and have your mother put your inheritance in a trust with you as the appointor, trustee and beneficiary to ward off any gold digging third husbands.

Therefore, legally, it is best to keep your mother going with regular exercise and keep her away from the chocolates and gin.



(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

How to make a humorous speech : The opening


Legal cartoon, trusts and estates, paul brennanA good opening can either make or break a speech. I have given the same speech to two different audiences, one laughed and the other didn’t.

Here are five things to do to have a successful opening:

  • It is always good to have someone introducing you (“Introducer”).  They are either funny and warm up the audience or make the audience long for you to take over. Usually the Introducer has not prepared too much in advance so I give them a printed introduction. I do not mind if they use it word for word or just some of it. The object of the introduction is not to list every achievement that you have made since Junior School however enjoyable that could be but to say things about you that the audience may relate to their own experience. A rule of thumb is if you think that something you have done is cool, it probably isn’t to the audience.
  • Find out about the Introducer. There is usually something about them that the audience knows which has humorous potential  e.g. they are an accountant or it is their wedding anniversary.
  • If the audience expects you to be funny, it is easier to make them laugh.  However, if you do not wish to take the chance to announce that you are going to be funny you need to be funny early on in the speech.  For instance, open with a one liner. If you are in a profession in which people do not immediately expect you to be funny, you can put three one liners together one after another.  It works for me and by the 3rd one liner people do usually laugh.
  • You can ditch the prepared opening if something else becomes more appropriate.  I find that this happens a lot but often I still use the one liners at some stage as I make sure that they are appropriate to the audience and often I have used them before and know that they work.
  • Whenever you get a chance to address an audience, practice an opening. You may be a member of a club where week after week you go round the room introducing yourself in the same way, use this opportunity to practice your one liners and openings or try to make a funny comment about what other people have said. Audiences appreciate humour which appears off the cuff and is about one of them.


Is this hard work? Well yes, it is the way I do it. However, just a 5 minute conversation with your host can give you some good material and if it stops you feeling like a compete pillock it is worth it. 


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.


How to make a humorous speech : The Closing


legal cartoon, courting, paul  brennanSome people are never at a loss for something to say which is very useful in making a speech but not so good if you have to live with them. Now, if you are like me, towards the end of the speech you hope that a funny ending will turn up but without preparation, often you run out of things to say and stop. It can sound like you are running out of battery power. Even if you try and round it off with “that’s about it” or “any questions” it doesn’t really work if you are giving a humorous speech when it is best to end with something funny. Even if you have plenty to say for yourself this can be a challenge.

So, you need to plan in advance, a way to end the speech. This is hard as by that time you have just about exhausted everything you had to say and the end of the speech is no time to be launching into an involved story. So you are looking for some sort of closing line and if it is going to raise the sort of laugh that you would like it has to be pretty good.

The problem is that you have used all preparation time up getting up to the close rather than working on it. To avoid this I tend to take the best part of my opening and use it as a closing line then prepare something else for the opening. It is often a quotation or a reference to someone in the audience or the person introducing me. Once you have something prepared something better often turns up.

Click here to see a quick video of the Queen's Tour of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin sent to me by a very funny motivational speaker, Sergio Carlo Maresca who last month was at Terri Cooper's Networking Event.

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

Close encounters

Legal cartoon, law students, law librarians, paul brennan, This year, my 29th Wedding Anniversary was on a Sunday. The Friday before, I had flowers delivered to my wife and went home early from work. By the Friday evening, we were not speaking to each other.

It is best to start anniversary preparations early to allow for cooling off periods.


We had met 31 years before at a New Year’s Eve Party. She was at Law School and I had just returned from Canada. At the stroke of midnight, we kissed, she was stunning but it being midnight, we being strangers, we parted without saying a word.

I was under the mistletoe with another attendee when I sensed someone was interfering with my trousers. I looked down and there she was again tugging at a piece of wool which was attached to my zipper.

Her woollen dress had somehow got caught and, as I had moved away, we remained connected by a long strand of wool which unravelled from her dress. She was trying to retrieve it.

Of course, in those days, if this sort of thing happened you were expected to marry.

It is the best thing that I have ever done and once we were speaking again, I told her.


(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved. Paul and Diane Brennan are happily married and have four children.

This month Paul Brennan was interviewed about Wills by broadcaster, journalist, author (The Incumbent) and humorist Phil Dobbie for a program which goes out on the CBS network.

Suggestions for last minute free Father's Day gifts:




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
Fathers wasting your inheritance
Father's Day Gifts

Humorous speaking - the opening and closing

Wills interview download


Forward to a Colleague


Sub-editor :

Alice Brennan

Brief Books

PO Box 27
Queensland 4557

brief books, Paul Brennan

QLD BN22069914

Our sponsor:

Phone: 07 5438 8199

Fax: 07 5438 8836



Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation