The Award for 'Dumbest Thing a Lawyer Can Say in Court' Goes to ...

By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 05, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

After the Academy Awards, there is an awards show for lawyers who say really stupid things.

Alright, it's not exactly a "show." But lawyers are on stage in the courtroom, and sometimes they say things that are almost entertaining for their stupidity.

So here's to the front-runners for the "Dumbest Thing a Lawyer Can Say in Court." There is no host -- just judges, juries, and the court of public opinion.

Category: Religiosity and Racism

James E. Kolenich, an Ohio attorney, stepped forward when white supremacists and neo-Nazis had trouble finding a lawyer. Kolenich said he took on the case because "white people must save and preserve their civilization."

"My willingness to get involved is to oppose Jewish influence in society," Kolenich told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It's plain that white people are the chosen people in the New Testament."

Kolenich said spreading the Gospel "doesn't involve hatred of other races, not even of ethnic Jews." But, he said, it does involve opposing their un-Christian influence in society.

It's bad enough when a lawyer holds such myopic views, but some attorneys are also tone-deaf when it comes to hearing opposing facts. According to the ABA Journal, Kolenich questions whether the Holocaust occurred.

Category: Asked and Answered

If it weren't for transcripts, it would be hard to believe what lawyers sometimes say in court. While Kolenich is the early leader for 2018, here is an honorable mention from the past:

Lawyer: Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?

Witness: By death.

Lawyer: And by whose death was it terminated?

Speaking of terminal entertainment, nominations are pending for the Darwin Awards. Lawyers are invited to participate.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard