Dracula: The Deadbeat Client

It’s Monday on Lawyers & Liquor, and the first order of business is “Where’s the second episode of the podcast, asshole?” Well, the answer boils down to “I’m a technological incompetent with little ability to do things without a person holding my hand.” The audio recording of my interview with this episode’s guest, Chad Murray from www.chadtalkslaw.com, came out fucking awful on my end and has forced me to amplify my entire half of it…and of course I didn’t record it as two separate tracks and shit, which would have made sense. So it’s been a painstaking process, but the next episode will be out this Wednesday, so that shit’s at least sorted out finally.

Next, tomorrow’s Halloween, and I fucking love Halloween. It’s the time of year where people get to dress up as terrifying monsters, which for me simply entails wearing my normal daily lawyer get-up, and go passively rob people of their candy through a series of vague threats. “Treat,” the little bastards cry, “or trick.” It warms my soul, what little bit of it remains, to see the next generation getting the hang of armed robbery so goddamn early.

But for lawyers, every day is fucking Halloween, isn’t it? I mean, we all deal with monsters in some capacity in our work, from murderers to child molestors, all the way down to the guy that’s simply not going to pay his bill and put some small company out of business because they’re a fuckin’ skell, right? Right, motherfuckers, right. And, in fiction as in reality, lawyers have represented some horrible fucking monsters, haven’t they?

Like Dracula.

I’m going to assume all of you have two brain cells to rub together, despite all evidence to the contrary, and act like you have a working knowledge of the Bram Stoker novel, Dracula. Not the fucking movies, unless it’s Dracula: Dead and Loving It, but rather that dusty tome that nobody actually reads unless they’re going through a weird goth period in high school when they carry around a notebook painted black and filled with horrible fucking poetry that’ll make older, wiser you cringe in terror at the goddamn edginess of it all!  So, assuming everyone has read that one novel which shot a thousand sparkly vampires all over pop culture like a literary porn star doing a money shot, you’re probably familiar with the character of Jonathan Harker.

Harker is a, if not the, main protagonist in Dracula. It’s Harker who first encounters the bloodsucking master of the undead, Harker who contacts Van Helsing, and Harker who delivers the killing blow to the Count in his coffin. Harker is a devoted, meticulous character whose love for Mina and heated fire of righteousness leads him to become a predominant vampire killer. But Van Helsing gets all the glory after the novel, you know? And there’s a really good reason for that:

People fucking hate cheering for lawyers.

Yeah, see, Harker is more than a vampire hunter in Dracula, he’s Dracula’s fucking lawyer. Harker is a real estate attorney called to the castle to help the Count do some deeds and land acquisitions abroad when he discovers his client is the fucking lord of the vampires.  I want you to take a minute and think about that shit: A client that can only meet with you at his house and after sundown in the backwoods of some backwater area of the world. Motherfuckers, I don’t even answer the office line after 6:00 p.m., much less go out to stay in your murder castle. I have self-preservation instincts.

Oh, and did you notice Dracula only attempts to have his Brides  (three fucking brides! How did he not need a family attorney as well?) kill Harker after the legal work had been done. Dracula didn’t want to drink Harker’s blood, folks! Dracula was just trying to avoid paying his lawyer.

…My clients and Dracula have a lot in common, come to think of it.

Shortly thereafter, Harker manages to escape and travel home to England, where he finds that his client, Count Dracula, has followed them there and is now stalking his close acquaintances. Apparently Dracula was afraid Harker would file a lawsuit to collect his fee or something? But turnabout is fair play, see, and Harker gets to do something that every lawyer would love to do but few get a chance to: decapitate a non-paying client.

Ostensibly, this is done because Dracula had bitten Mina, Harker’s love, and therefore had to be killed before she turned into a vampire to preserve her mortal soul. I don’t fucking buy it. I think that’s merely a better sounding excuse than “Motherfucker owes me money!”

Oh, and how does Harker find Dracula? By performing a fucking title search. He uses those super special lawyer powers, traipsing through land records to figure out where Dracula is staying then heading there armed with a knife, a cowboy, and an old doctor to take the skell out. Harker, using Property 1 shit for justice and the good of the nation. Let nobody tell you real estate lawyers aren’t good for this shit.

I can imagine the joy Harker must have felt as his chopped off his wayward client’s head, screaming “It was a reasonable hourly rate, you slavic shithead!”

Still, in popular culture nobody knows about Harker as the pissed-off, fee collecting bastard he is that diligently and competently tracks down and kills a motherfucking vampire. Who do they foist all their love and affection off on? Van Fucking Helsing. Because, you know, that’s in line with reality as well! Van Helsing is a doctor and therefore naturally more deserving of respect and adoration than the fucking lawyer that actually tracks down and kills the master of the fucking vampires, right? Right?

Fucking doctors.

They get all the goddamn love. We just get jokes written about us.

Fuckin’ A.

I’m gonna go get some candy or something.