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Dilbert lampoons in-house counsel

Cartoons are sometimes no laughing matter, and one in the LA Times, Aug. 28, 2008 at C2, hurt. Scott Adams shows in panel one of Dilbert the hapless guy with the flat head and tie flipping up speaking to “company lawyer,” a bespeckled nerd, with no computer on his desk, in an oversized chair.

“Can you turn a simple agreement into impenetrable gibberish?” asks the anti-hero.

The in-house lawyer graciously accepts the assignment in panel two: “Absolutely. I can also leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth and make you want to choke me with my suspenders.”

Panel three closes this sad scene, one that skewers all the important smears against legal departments. The “company lawyer” adds: “If you exercise and eat right, you might still be alive when I finish it.” Anti-hero mumbles, “Good enough.”

The strip is masochistically funny, but it perpetuates the stereotype that in-house counsel over-lawyer documents and mire them in legal jargon, behave boorishly, and take forever to ruin the whole thing.

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