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:
“When I said ‘nuke the Chinese,’ I meant put the takeout in the microwave” (4/22)
“Why is ground beef so popular?"/"Because the flying cows are really hard to catch.” (4/22)
“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people…” (4/22)
“If you wait long enough to make dinner, everyone will just eat cereal.  It’s science” (4/22)
“Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men” (4/22)
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Entry from May 21, 2016
“A lawyer prevents somebody else from getting your money”

"A lawyer is a man who prevents anyone else from getting your money” is a jocular saying about lawyers that has been cited in print since at least 1955. The Chicago (IL) in 1959 credited the line to Claire Baumel, but usually no name is credited.


7 June 1955, Walla Walla (WA) Union-Bulletin, pg. 9, col. 1 ad:
Jasper says:
A Lawyer is a man who prevents anyone else from getting your money.
(Poultry Shipping & Feed Company.—ed.)

21 November 1959, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “A Line O’ Type Or Two,” pg. 12, col. 3:
A lawyer is a man who prevents anyone else from getting your money.
Claire Baumel

Google News Archive
14 March 1963, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Shop With Sue,” pg. 5, col. 7:
A lawyer is a man who prevents anyone else from getting your money.

Google News Archive
24 October 1975, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, Green Sheet, pg. 1, col. 1 header:
A lawyer is the fellow who prevents somebody else from getting your money

Google Books
The Official Lawyers Jokebook
By Larry Wilde
New York, NY: Bantam Books
1982
Pg. 182:
A lawyer is a man who prevents someone else from getting your money.

Google Books
The Larry Wilde Library of Laughter
By Larry Wilde
Sea Ranch, CA: Jester Press
1988
Pg. 152:
A lawyer is a man who prevents someone else from getting your money.

Google Books
The Biteback Dictionary of Humorous Business Quotations
By Fred Metcalf
London: Biteback Publishing Ltd
2014
Pg. ?:
A lawyer is someone who prevents somebody else from getting your money.
Anon.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, May 21, 2016 • Permalink