A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“If you don’t hear an offensive lineman’s named called, he is doing a good job” (football adage) (9/2)
“What’s the difference between God and a federal court judge?” (joke) (9/2)
“Q: What do you get when you mix beans and onions? A: Tear gas.” (9/1)
“What’s the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?” (joke) (9/1)
“My wife made me join a bridge club—I jump off next Tuesday” (9/1)
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Entry from January 29, 2013
“An utter waste is defined as a busload of lawyers going over a cliff with three empty seats”

"The best description of ‘utter waste’ would be a busload of lawyers to go over a cliff with three empty seats” was said by Lamar Hunt, owner of football’s Kansas City Chiefs, in a 1982 interview with a San Francisco newspaper. The joke became popular in the 1980s and is still one of the most well-known lawyer jokes.

Other popular lawyer jokes include “What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start” and “What’s the difference between a dead armadillo and a dead lawyer in the road? The armadillo has skids marks in front” and “The problem with lawyer jokes is that lawyers don’t think they’re funny and others don’t think they’re jokes.”


Wikipedia: Lamar Hunt
Lamar Hunt (August 2, 1932 – December 13, 2006) was an American sportsman and promoter of American football, soccer, basketball, tennis and ice hockey in the United States and an inductee into three sports’ halls of fame. He was the principal founder of the American Football League (AFL) and Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as MLS predecessor the North American Soccer League (NASL). Hunt co-founded the World Championship Tennis and was also the founder and owner of the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Wizards and at his death owned two MLS teams, Columbus Crew and FC Dallas.

27 September 1982, Aiken (SC) Standard, “Have You Heard,” pg. 1, col. 1:
...the definition of waste as defined by a Texas businessman with a dislike of the legal profession? “Waste,” he said, “is a bus load of lawyers going over a cliff with three empty seats.”

11 November 1982, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News:
“A busload of lawyers going over a cliff with three empty seats!”

Google Books
Curves of Pursuit
By Thomas Farber
New York, NY: Putnam
1984
Pg. 71:
“Did you hear about the tragedy at the lawyers’ convention? No? A bus full of attorneys went over a cliff, but there were three empty seats.”

22 March 1984, Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Smiley Anders’ Baton Rouge,” pg. 1B, col. 1:
LET’S HOPE HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY PENDING LEGAL BUSINESS: Tom Hickox offers this definition of “a crying shame”: “A busload of lawyers going over a cliff with two empty seats.”

29 December 1985, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “It’s All Fun and Games in the NFL,” pg. SD-B2:
Kansas City Chief owner Lamar Hunt, as the Raiders and the NFL went to court in 1982: “The best description of utter waste would be for a busload of lawyers to go over a cliff with three empty seats.”

25 April 1986, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Shot in court is O’Grady’s ace in hole” by Blackie Sherrod:
(My attorney gave his definition of wasted space as a busload of lawyers going over a cliff, with four empty seats.)

Google News Archive
28 December 1987, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “On deer, beer and turkeys” by Tom Hritz, pg. 4, col. 1:
Here’s one that’s been making the rounds among the barristers of Grant Street lately. Question: What’s the definition of a “waste”? Answer: A busload of lawyers going over a cliff. With one empty seat.

Google Books
The Howls of Justice:
Comedy’s Day in Court

By Harry T. Shafer and Angie Papadakis
San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
1988
Pg. 22:
“If a fully loaded bus goes over a cliff, it’s a disaster. But if the same bus goes over a cliff with any empty seats, that’s a catastrophe.” —U.S. District Court Judge Robert Tagasuki.

18 May 1993, Altoona (PA) Mirror, “Quotable,” pg. D2, col. 1:
Owner Lamar Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs, in a 1982 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, on lawyers: “The best description of ‘utter waste’ would be a busload of lawyers to go over a cliff with three empty seats.”

Amazon.com
The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1993
Pg. 264:
The best description of “utter waste” would be a busload of lawyers to go over a cliff with three empty seats.
Lamar Hunt, San Francisco Examiner, 1982, quoted in Bob Chieger and Pat Sullivan, Football’s Greatest Quotes 114 (1990)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • Permalink