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Pair arrested for telling lawyer jokes
BY ZACHARY R.
From Newsday staff writer
January 12 2005
HEMPSTEAD, Long Island -- The line leading
into First District Court in Hempstead, Long
Island, Monday morning was long and
frustrating, but it was the punch line in a
lawyer joke that got two rabble-rousing
"How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?"
Harvey Kash, 69, of Bethpage, said to Carl
Lanzisera, 65, of Huntington, as the queue
wound into the court. "His lips are moving,"
they said in unison, completing one of what
may be thousands of standard lawyer jokes.
But while that rib and several others on
barristers got some giggles from the crowd,
the attorney standing in line about five
people ahead wasn't laughing.
" 'Shut up,' the man shouted," Lanzisera said.
"'I'm a lawyer.'"
The attorney reported Kash and Lanzisera to
court personnel, who arrested the men and
charged them with engaging in disorderly
conduct, a misdemeanor.
"They put the handcuffs on us, brought us into
a room, frisked us, sat us down and checked
our driver's licenses to see if there were any
warrants out for our arrest," Lanzisera said
yesterday. "They were very nasty, extremely
The men are founders of Americans for Legal
Reform, a group of outspoken advocates who use
confrontational tactics to push for greater
access to courts for the public and to monitor
how well courts serve the public. One tactic
is driving a truck around the Huntington area
emblazoned with the slogan "Stop The Lawyer
Disease." They said their rights to
speech were violated Monday.
But Dan Bagnuola, a spokesman for the Nassau
courts, said the men were causing a stir and
that their exercise of their First Amendment
rights to speech was impeding the rights
of others at the court.
"They were being abusive and they were causing
a disturbance," Bagnuola said. "They were
making general comments to the people on line,
referring to them as 'peasants,' and they were
causing a disturbance. And they were asked on
several occasions to act in an orderly manner,
not to interfere with the operation of the
Bagnuola said he did not have the name of the
lawyer who complained to officers.
Kash said he and Lanzisera were merely saying
out loud that the public was being treated
like peons or peasants while attorneys, who
wave their security passes to court officers
and don't have to stand on line, are treated
"I'm not surprised this happened because
anybody who stands up for their rights is put
down because these people want only one thing,
and that is control," Kash said.
The men were given desk appearance tickets and
are due back in court - as defendants - next
Harvey Kash and Carl Lanzisera poked fun of
lawyers while in line at First District Court
in Hempstead yesterday - but court officers
weren't laughing. Here are some of the jokes
that got them in hot water:
Q: What do you say to a lawyer with an IQ of
A: Good morning, Your Honor.
Q: How do you tell if a lawyer is lying?
A: His lips are moving.
Q: Why do they bury lawyers 100 feet into the
A: Because down deep, they're good people.
Q: What's the difference between a vulture and
A: Wing tips.
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Pair arrested for telling
lawyer jokes Hempstead, NY January 12, 2005
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