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.

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Entry from August 28, 2010
Dewey, Cheatham & Howe (fictitious law/accounting/consulting firm)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Dewey, Cheatem & Howe
Dewey, Cheatem & Howe ("Do we cheat ‘em? And how!") is the gag name of a fictional law firm or fictional accounting firm, used in several parody settings. For example, a popular Three Stooges poster features the Stooges as bumbling members of such a firm (although the name was never used in an actual episode, “Dewey, Burnham, and Howe” was used). Similarly, mention of a firm by this name is employed by comic figures such as Johnny Carson, Groucho Marx and Daffy Duck.

The name pokes fun at the perceived propensity of some lawyers to take advantage of their clients. Many law professors perversely work “Dewey, Cheatem & Howe” into the hypotheticals presented on final exams, especially in professional responsibility and legal ethics courses. The name is also used more broadly as a placeholder for any hypothetical law firm.

The spelling of the second name varies somewhat, including Cheetem, Cheater, Cheethem and Cheatham.

2 July 1870, Oregon State Journal (Portland, OR), pg. 1:
Two neighboring door-plates in the same city bear the name “I. Ketcham” and “U. Cheatham,” and a firm is doing business there known as “Call and Settle.”

13 October 1874, New York (NY) Daily Graphic, pg. 747:
“BY THEIR SIGNS SHALL YE KNOW THEM.”
(...)
(Photo of “KETCHAM, CHEATHAM & SKINNER, ATTORNEYS”—ed.)
Much more fitting is the firm name next in order, of Ketcham, Cheatham & Skinner. Any one who does not believe it is welcome to go to law for proof, and out of his “contingent remainder,” if he has any, he can forward his penitent confession of faith (postage paid) to THE DAILY GRAPHIC office.

Google Books
Cost Accounting:
A managerial emphasis

By Charles T Horngren
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1967
Pg. 333:
The annual profit was to be certified by Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, a huge public accounting firm.

Google Books
Sue the B*st*rds;
The victim’s handbook

By Douglas Matthews
New York, NY: Dell
1975, ©1973
Pg. 53:
So, the phone rings and the voice on the other side introduces itself as Joe Lawyer from Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 28, 2010 • Permalink