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Best Criminal Lawyer Joke of the Year - Award Winner

Ruth's picture

All right, you can shoot me, but this is classic lawyer humor. Just got it from an attorney friend, and I suspect it might be a tad exaggerrated, but not much.

A Charlotte, North Carolina lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire, among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy the lawyer filed claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued... and WON! (Stay with me.) delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated
nevertheless, that the lawyer "held a policy from the company which it hadwarranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire" and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the "fires".


* After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON! With his own insurance claim and testimonyfrom the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Great joke, but as a story - you may want to factcheck at Urban Legends. Looks like this one first appeared around 1965 in a "Toastmasters" joke book.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

The addition of making the person a lawyer probably makes it more believable to some people, as they want to think the worst of lawyers. As you can see at Snopes, that is a relatively new addition.

Every insurance policy I've ever had has a "fraud" provision that frees them from paying out in event of, say, arson committed by the policy holder, so this wasn't a good lawyer joke. Too bad.

-Badtux the Law Penguin

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

See, it came from a lawyer, shoulda known it was discredited. My bad.