“No jokes about arbitrators!”

Published: 03 Oct 2019

Every time I am in the US people offer me jokes about lawyers. There are plenty of them and I don’t like them at all. I always tell my American colleagues that these are jokes about them, about American lawyers, not about Polish lawyers and I am from Poland. Then, in return, they want to offer me Polish jokes.

For a long time I was looking for jokes about arbitrators. Are there any jokes about arbitrators?

From my younger days I know a joke about judges. It goes like this:

The courthouse in a small town catches fire at night. Firemen arrive and start fighting the fire. The court bailiff runs to the house of the judge and wakes him shouting. “The court in on fire, Sir! – What should I do?”

“Hmm, let me think” - says the judge - “I know” – he says on reflection – “Take the files lying under my bed and throw them into the fire!”

Are there any jokes about arbitrators? I recently heard the first one:

Question:         What is the first symptom of schizophrenia?

Answer:           The sole arbitrator drafting his dissenting opinion.

Why are there so few jokes about arbitrators? Is arbitration not funny? It is. I could tell many stories about how funny it might be. So why are there no jokes?

My answer is: because people still respect arbitrators! People have always respected the “wise man of the village” - usually the old man called to resolve the disputes between neighbors. There are no jokes about professions people actually respect. So we have thousands of jokes about lawyers, but very few about judges and arbitrators.

In our country we have a never ending discussion about: “who bears the crown of the legal professions?” The judges want to bear it. The journalists want to crown them even now. A lot is being said that the profession of a public judge should be “the crown of all legal professions”. But judges are poorly paid. Not only in Poland. So far I think that the crown belongs to the international arbitrators. Few colleagues from our law schools travel more. Few have a more interesting life. This is the job or mission many of our colleagues want to follow. So, again – No jokes about arbitrators!

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Piotr Nowaczyk

Firm: Nowaczyk
Country: Poland

Practice Area: International Arbitration

  • Z. Słomińskiego 19 lok. 113

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