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A conflict of interest

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The lawyer came into chambers and looking furtively around, pulled out a wad of cash.

“Here’s $50,000,” he said. “I really need to win this motion!”

The judge looked appalled.

“What kind of a judge do you think I am?” he asked, angrily, his face red.

The lawyer sputtered, embarrassed.

“I… I heard you could be bought!”

The judge calmed down a little bit.

“Son,” he said, “were I to take your money, I’d be committing a gross ethical transgression!”

“I see,” said the lawyer. “I guess taking a bribe is pretty unethical.”

The judge looked puzzled for a moment.

“I don’t think you understand. Your opponent has already paid me handsomely. If I take your money, it would be a conflict of interest!”