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Jests for Judges: Greeting Supreme Court’s 2006-2007 Term with a Laugh

To wish the justices of the United States Supreme Court well on the opening of the Court’s 2006-2007 term, The Billable Hour Company sent the justices humorous greeting cards from the company’s online store, which carries customizable printed greeting cards especially for lawyers, judges and other legal professionals. The greeting card store is at

Ardsley, NY, September 29, 2006 --( As the justices of the United States Supreme Court prepare to take the bench next Monday—the opening day of the 2006-2007 term—they’ll have smiles on their faces. At least that’s the hope of Mark and Lisa Solomon.

To wish the justices well on the opening of the Court’s term, the Solomons—partners in The Billable Hour Company—sent the jurists humorous greeting cards from their company’s online greeting card store. Each justice received a different card featuring a cartoon about the lighter side of being a judge, from the company’s library of over 140 law-related cover images. Chief Justice Roberts’ card, for example shows three judges on an appellate bench. The judge on the left inquires: “Shall we torment the lawyers?” prompting the one on the right to respond, “Need you ask?”

Inside the cards, a poem captures the sense of anticipation that must pervade the courthouse at this time of year:

‘Ere autumn came to verdant D.C.
With great excitement hard to quench
Cert was granted, hallelujah!
For argument before the bench.

Will the bench be cold, or hot
And pointed questions make counsel squirm?
Will precedents stand, or will they not
In the 2006 October Term?

Although the task of declaring the law of the land is very serious, the justices themselves are known to display sharp wit, both on and off the bench.

A 2005 study by Boston University law professor Jay D. Wexler of transcripts of Supreme Court’s oral arguments during the 2004-2005 term revealed that quips from Justice Antonin Scalia produced laughter in the courtroom 77 times during that term—an average of slightly more than one laugh per argument—while, at the opposite extreme, the reticent Justice Clarence Thomas did not prompt any laughter at all. A preliminary analysis, conducted by the New York Times, of high court hijinks from October through December 2005 showed that the average number of justice-generated laughs per argument rose to 2.9, from 2.6 the previous term.

The justices can be funny off the bench as well. For example, it is widely believed that Justice William O. Douglas, who served on the Court from 1939 to 1975, penned the words to “Humoresque for Passengers,” a brief and somewhat scatological ditty explaining why, in times past, the doors to train restrooms were locked while the train was in the station.

“Since the Supreme Court has such a rich tradition of humor, we knew the current justices would appreciate our cards,” said Mark Solomon.

The Billable Hour Card Store is the world’s only online greeting card store featuring humorous and customizable printed greeting cards especially for lawyers, judges and other legal professionals. The store uses print-on-demand technology that allows customers to send highly personalized cards to their clients, colleagues, prospects and friends. Customers can write their own messages, upload a logo or signature, and even include a photo; the printed cards can be shipped to the customer or mailed directly to the recipients. Single cards are $2.99 each, and bulk discounts are available for purchases of 10 cards or more. The card store is at

About The Billable Hour Company
The Billable Hour Company sells watches, clocks and greeting cards especially for lawyers, law students and legal professionals. The company’s timepieces feature dials marked in six-minute increments—the same way many lawyers bill their time. For additional information, contact Lisa Solomon or visit the company’s website at

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The Billable Hour Company
Lisa Solomon

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