If you want proof that Patrick Caddell was a respected judge, consider this: Sixty current and retired judges came to his recent memorial service, all wearing their black robes.
If you want proof that Caddell had a unique personality and slightly skewed sense of humor, consider this: Many of those robes also carried stickers showing a winged pig.
The judge was known for saying "When pigs fly" and many other things, printable and otherwise.
Caddell was extolled at the recent service as an independent-minded jurist, a great mentor for other judges, a good husband and a great friend. But just about everyone who spoke also recalled a quality that made him famous: His quick, sharp wit.
"Pat had a way of saying things that most of us wish we could but are smart enough not to," Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Thomas McGrady quipped. "And he had a way that he could kind of get away with it."
So speakers celebrated that quality in a service that lived up to the goal of "more laughter than tears."
McGrady warned the other judges not to get any ideas from the following examples, but then he read the top 13 "Caddellisms":
13. "Move on and make someone else's life a living hell." To a particularly contentious couple appearing before him in court.
12. "Ma'am, you're not married to me. You don't get to run all over me when I'm trying to speak." To a woman who wouldn't stop talking in court.
11. "You two deserve to be sentenced to a single-wide." To a constantly fighting couple.
10. "You can tie a ribbon around cheap, but it doesn't make it expensive." To a lawyer using flowery language to make a weak argument.
9. "Time served. Please give 7-Eleven a break and go hang out at Pick Kwik." To a homeless man who had been arrested seven times in front of the same 7-Eleven.
8. "Even a fish wouldn't get caught if it kept its mouth shut." A frequent Caddellism.
7. "I bet if you sued the person who did your hair you'd have some money." To a woman with brightly dyed pink hair who was explaining that she didn't have the money to pay for court-ordered classes.
6. "So we have a situation here where if we put you both in a barrel (and) rolled it down the hill, there would always be a liar on top." To a husband and wife testifying in a domestic case.
5. "Well, that's the only way I'm going to see it." To a lawyer who asked permission to approach the bench to show the judge a document.
4. "Loopholes are something that other people use. When we use them they're called constitutional rights."
3. "Would eHarmony pair these two up together immediately?" To a couple in a domestic violence case.
2. "You couldn't get a date even if you were the only man in a women's prison with a fistful of pardons in your hand." To a friend who said he was going cruising in a convertible.
1. "When pigs fly." Perhaps his most quoted Caddellism, uttered in the courtroom and elsewhere.
Caddell died last month at age 60, after a struggle with cancer. He was elected as a county judge in 1986.