A Word About Humorous Law Firm Names
By Ken K. Gourdin
Reader Advisory: Here be adult themes, not for those of tender eyes, tender ears, or tender years. Caveat lector (Latin for, “Let the reader beware”).
At Quora, a reader asks, “What is the most memorable name for a law firm?” Though another contributor beat me to the punch by mentioning the genuine firm (whose name, since, has changed) of “Harness, Dickey, and Pierce” (sometimes, the jokes simply write themselves!), my fellow contributor didn’t mention the following account, which has been billed as a true story. I replied:
Regarding the [now former] Harness, Dickey, and Pierce. Humor notwithstanding, this was billed as a true story, but who knows? One night, after having knocked back a few and, thus, having lost his usual inhibitions, a certain wag sees the firm name in advertising somewhere and decides he’ll play a good joke on someone (although chances were, given the lateness [or earliness, as the case may have been] of the hour, he never dreamed that anyone would actually pick up the phone).
He underestimated the diligence of eager beaver junior associates working feverishly at all hours attempting to bill as much as possible for the firm in hopes, one day, of making partner. Sure enough, notwithstanding the lateness (or perhaps the earliness) of the hour, one such eager beaver junior associate actually picked up the phone. “Harness, Dickey, and Pierce,” the junior associate said dutifully. Surely, our inebriated, jocular friend was taken aback by this development, never having dreamed that his call actually would be answered. But, well, he figured, in for a penny, in for a pound.
So he asked the eager beaver junior associate, “Do you harness your … ?” Our inebriated friend was surprised further when, without missing a beat, the eager beaver junior associate deadpanned, “Only when I pierce.”