"Shark" comes from the German "schurke", meaning greedy parasite. While no brave soul has gotten close enough to determine where lawyers come from, logic and common sense dictate a similar derivation.
Sharks, unlike most fish, have no bones; their skeletons are mad entirely of cartilage. Lawyers, too, are spineless -- as willing to argue one side of a case as the other. For the right price.
Best known as scavengers of the dead and dying, sharks have well-honed sensors with which they can track the sounds of other injured and struggling beings. They are also equipped with fine senses of smell that allow them to detect minute dilutions of blood (one part blood to one million parts water) up to one-quarter mile away. Precisely the distance a hopeful personal injury lawyer will run behind an ambulance to toss a business card.
From the moment of birth, sharks' skin is tough and rough -- covered with thousands of tiny hard teeth call denticles that abrade any passerby made of softer stuff. Lawyers are also thick-skinned. Easily identified by their humorlessness and abrasive personalities, they are the bane of many social gatherings.
A shark will swallow anything - up to half its own size - in one gulp. Several hundred years ago, a naturalist wrote that the headless body of a knight in armor was found in a white shark's stomach. Inside another was more recently found a sea lion, a horse and the body of another seven-foot-long shark. Lawyers, too, will swallow anything -- even their pride -- as increasing numbers of lawyer hopefuls trudge to law school each year for three years of browbeating in the hopes of financing their Porsches.
Some sharks even prey on their own kind. The smell and taste of blood in the water can trigger them into an obsessed Feeding Frenzy, in which they often eat their own bodies while twisting and turning to get more food. This is not unlike the Litigation Frenzy, where lawyers are pitted against other lawyers, and ultimately themselves, to waste reams of paper while losing sight of a fair resolution for their clients.
©2000-2001 James Fuqua
Law Jokes Page
Last Updated 13 September 1996