Having a Laugh — At Joe’s Expense

People tend to assume attorneys are a humorless bunch. We spend so much time focusing on serious cases and thinking about the law that we must never have time to laugh, right? So when April Fools’ Day comes around, you might guess the day goes unnoticed at the firm. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though one of our attorneys, Joseph LoTempio, probably wishes we’d forget about the holiday altogether!

For the last two years, Joe’s been the target of some serious April Fools pranks at the office, and he fell for them both times. For those of you who don’t know Joe, I can tell you that he is not a wallflower by any means and usually is the life of the party. He likes to have fun and can take a joke. The first prank came on the heels of a few paralegals convincing Joe to apply to appear on “The Bachelor,” a reality show on ABC where contestants compete to find true love. Since Joe enjoys the attention of the ladies, I honestly believe the paralegals had the best intentions — at first. Then, on April 1, Joe received an official-looking letter from ABC, congratulating him on being selected. You could tell by his smile as he read the letter that he fell for it! Either that or he let them have their fun. They let him be excited for a minute before breaking the news to him, at which point Joe just laughed along with us.

The “Bachelor” incident was funny, but it almost pales in comparison to how Joe reacted to the next prank. Since Joe was on high alert, we had to be sneaky. Last year, Joe just happened to have a case in federal court when April 1 rolled around. The case was against some harassing debt collectors — bad people, as we call them — and Joe was feeling very confident about his situation. He was waiting on an order from the judge, which was taking a little longer than it should have.

With Joe thinking he had a slam dunk winner, one of the other attorneys took it upon themselves to create a fake response. He managed to make it look completely legitimate, right down to creating a link to the order on our server and emailing it to Joe, just like how an actual order would be received. When Joe clicked the link, he found himself reading a fake order from a judge criticizing him for even bringing his case to court. The order claimed Joe had no ground to stand on and went on to insult Joe left and right, accusing him of being incompetent. It was so bad that it was funny.

“How could he say that?” Joe raged, running into everyone’s office, believing he’d been called a nitwit by a judge who was ruling against him. “How could he say that?!”

We let his blood pressure rise quite a bit before we let him in one the joke. Luckily, Joe’s a really good sport, and both times we all shared a good laugh. That being said, he has been on guard ever since and, vowed to get back at the other attorneys. I look forward to seeing if he’ll pull it off. He hasn’t unleashed his own prank yet, but April Fools’ Day only comes once a year.

So if you ever wonder how attorneys celebrate April Fools’ Day, the answer is simple: We play jokes on younger attorneys.