Hey, Assholes, remember a couple weeks ago when we were heroes? Remember when the President put out an Executive Order that made the country gasp and resulted in people that had already gone through our vetting procedures being detained at airports and sent back abroad? Remember how groups of lawyers headed to ports of entry, sacrificing their weekend to sit huddled in a McDonald’s working on drafts or staked out on the floor of the terminal? Remember that sudden swell of pride you felt at being a member of a profession whose response to such a drastic measure was “Oh HELL no, hold my martini.”
Yes, for a very brief period of time lawyers weren’t the butt of jokes. “What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?” someone would ask mischievously. “I don’t know,” you could respond, “but I know what you call 20 lawyers in an airport…FREEDOM!” Then a bald eagle would land on your fucking arm as Lady Liberty and Lady Justice invited you back to their place for a no-holds-barred adult wrestling match in their bedroom.
It was great.
We’re well on the way to fucking that shit back up.
How are we fucking it up? Well, this just hasn’t been a good week for lawyers.
Well, let’s start with Jeffrey Wertkin, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld who, from his actions, I can only assume was hired by the named partner “Forrest Gump, Esq.” Wertkin, a former Department of Justice attorney, joined the august and well-regarded firm as a partner in April of last year. In January of this year, Wertkin was arrested in Cupertino while wearing a fucking disguise and engaged in the act of trying to sell a sealed complaint to the defendant in a lawsuit. Apparently, unlike Wertkin, employees of the defendant had morals, ethics, and respect for the law and, upon being contacted by a mysterious man named “Don” offering to sell the complaint, immediately contacted the FBI. Let me say it again: The employee of the defendant was more ethical and had more respect for the law than the fucking lawyer. Also, the lawyer tried to wear a disguise.
Note, during Wertkin’s arrest he blew the perfect chance to say “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for these meddling mid-level managers!” as his mask was ripped off. Instead he went with the much more depressing “My life is over.” It probably is, too, as Wertkin was damn near immediately scrubbed not only from the Akin Gump website, but also from LinkedIn. Any connection between Wertkin and the firm has disappeared into the ether.
The funniest part of this is Wertkin was risking his career over about $300,000. To put this in perspective, Akin Gump, according to Glassdoor, has partner salaries ranging from $500,000 annually to $1,000,000 annually including bonuses. Dude put on a wig, flew to Cupertino, and ruined his career trying to hawk a lawsuit for $300,000. After taxes and such, that’s only like two Mercedes S-Class luxury automobiles.
Dammit Wertkin. Thanks for burning through that goodwill.
Oh, what’s that? This wasn’t restricted to one guy in a wig? There were other instances of this? Well, surely they weren’t petty little squabbles but actual battles for truth, justice, and the American, or in this case, British way, right? I mean, it’s not like two lawyers got in a public argument over who got to use something like a silly armrest, right? That’d be such a minor thing and has absolutely nothing to do with the profession…
Yeah, two lawyers on an airplane completely got into a fight over who would get to use the armrest. It appears that in the course of all of this, one stated they were a lawyer and “knew their rights.” The other responded with “I’m a lawyer too, you stupid woman!” They were eventually separated to different ends of the plane by the staff of the airline, but not before the reputational damage to the profession had been done.
Our aquatic attorney, Habeas Porpoise, summed it up so nice that no further commentary from me is needed:
GOD DAMN IT YOU ASSHOLES, WE CANT BE THE GOOD GUYS FOR TWO FUCKING WEEKS? COME. ON. https://t.co/gLx2OAoYcl
— Habeas Porpoise (@Habeas_Tortoise) February 9, 2017
At least this time it was the fucking Brits, though. I mean, outside of one greedy partner at a law firm and two British attorneys, AMERICAN lawyers are still those noble defenders of liberty and justice, looking out for the good of all Americans and assuming with dignity their new role as the paragons of virtue and…
YOU HAVE TO BE SHITTING ME! Okay, So Jack Vitayanon, a lawyer for the IRS, apparently was the legal version of Walter White. Vitayanon would engage in Skype chats with potential buyers, and then motherfucking ship them crystal meth through Fed Ex. Notably, he shipped crystal meth into Long Island, which I imagine is like shipping cocaine into Colombia. At least he was just a lawyer. It’s not like he was an ethics attorney or anything.
the defendant – a federal attorney working for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility
Fuck it. I give up. If all y’all are going to fuck up this “lawyers being heroes” shit, I’m gonna strip down and go fire a gun into the air in the middle of the street.
I’m not gonna miss the opportunity to spend this goodwill.