LAWYER OF THE MONTH: EDWARD Stutman, Justice Department litigator specializing in the rights of institutionalized persons. DISTINCTION: Second Funniest Lawyer in Washington. HOW WE KNOW: He was crowned in a Garvin's Comedy Club contest, in which David Lee Werner, who performs with the Capitol Steps, was named Washington's Funniest Lawyer.

BURDEN OF BEING CITY'S SECOND FUNNIEST LAWYER: "Who wants to be known as a funny lawyer? When you're in trouble, you don't get a phone book and look up 'Funny Lawyer.' You don't look up 'Hysterical.' "

SAMPLE JOKE: "Before we make love, my psychotherapist wife wants to share honest feelings. I tell her, 'I'm a lawyer, I don't have any honest feelings.' She says I have 'performance anxiety.' She's just complaining because after we make love, I send her interrogatories."

THE SHOCKING TRUTH: A recount of the scores several weeks after the contest revealed that Washington's Third Funniest Lawyer, National Abortion Rights Action League staff attorney Marcie Wilder, was actually Washington's Funniest Lawyer. Werner was number two, Stutman number three.

WHAT WASHINGTON'S FUNNIEST LAWYER THINKS OF ALL THIS: "Don't get me wrong," Wilder says of Stutman. "He's my third-best friend in the business."

WHAT WASHINGTON'S NOW-THIRD-FUNNIEST LAWYER THINKS: "I like to be known as one of the funniest lawyers in Washington."

WHAT WE THINK: They may be funny, but they're still lawyers.