Hey guys! The Boozy Barrister is a little busy today and has no post for Monday, so here’s a quick “Legal News Roundup” from the strange places of the internet, showing the best and worst of the law for all of you to gawk at, with distracted commentary from Boozy.
Welcome to Wednesday here on Lawyers and Liquor, where we’re desperately clinging to relevance in an age where attorneys who are on Twitter spend hours on end correcting the lay understanding of the attorney-client privilege. You know, there’s been a lot of legal news since the last time I had a chance to sit down and write something for you guys, hasn’t there? Holy. Shit.
I mean, Trump’s lawyer’s office got raided by the FBI, Sean Hannity was revealed in court to be a client of the same attorney (who the fuck only has three clients, all of them prominent members of the GOP? And why weren’t we aware that three prominent members of the GOP are so dipshit-stupid that they all use the same lawyer from motherfucking Cooley for their legally questionable issues?), and Bill Cosby is being retried for rape. Oh, you weren’t aware of the last one? Doesn’t surprise me. In the world of Trump, the celebrity rapist is the lucky one.
So, of course, in this trying time let’s talk about something vitally important to the practice of law. This is something that’s sank many a law office before it even got the chance to start and has a great impact on every client who walks in the door. For many small attorneys, the subject of today’s post is how your clients are going to form their first impressions of you as not only an attorney, but as a person as well. I’m talking, of course, about the magazines and reading material that you keep in your waiting room.
Sure, it may not seem important, but the fact is the high-brow literature you provide to your clients as they wait for you to finish scrolling through Facebook and drink your coffee so you can give the impression of being far too busy to meet with them immediately is important. I mean, many lawyers bring these magazines from their homes or other places they frequent, so what reading material is in your office is a reflection of your personality and therefore an indicator of how your clients will get along with you. It can make or break a relationship! This is serious business folks!
So, without further adieu, let’s talk about what different magazines say about you.
We’re gonna do Fetish Friday tomorrow this week, on Saturday. The reason’s real simple: I found a topic I wanted to write about that concerns some stuff that doesn’t fit the “Fetish” theme (Note: I also heard you guys on the polygamy thing, and the second part of that will not be on a Fetish Friday either. I’ll post that separately). It’s somewhat timely given a bit of shit that blew up in the Twitter-sphere, and the lovely post that came in on Wednesday from Ms. Tanner, who wrote about the harm that jokes can do to members of marginalized groups.
Today I’m going to talk about some basic legal matters and legislation that affect the transgender community. I think pretty much all transgender folks are aware of this stuff, and it’s really, really basic, but other people (including myself) don’t seem to be aware of the level of discrimination a transgender person can face, and how throughout the vast majority of this country it’s completely legal for a transgender person to be denied service, housing, or employment simply for being themselves. So, today, I’m gonna take a minute and piggy-back on Ms. Tanner’s explanation of why a joke isn’t a joke to explain why people have a right to be upset when they feel they’re being lessened to a cheap punchline. It’s because, quite frankly, we already treat them as less deserving than everyone else under law.
A couple quick caveats:
No jokes (well, maybe a couple jokes, just not at the expense of anyone), just some talk.
I’ll be frank: I have transgender friends, and I was tangentially aware of most of this before looking into things for this post, but I don’t think the unfairness of this ever hit me fully until I started on the drafts of this. I’m learning, please be a bit patient with me.
Finally, today is an introduction to these issues and a bomber’s-sight overview. It isn’t comprehensive and certainly does not address all of the issues. I’ll continue educating myself on some of these topics and digging into other matters, such as identification, estate/death matters, marriage, etc. I simply am not able to cover all of this in a single post. You should take this as a warning as to how much there is to talk about in regards to the current state of law as it relates to transgender persons: there are a lot of issues.
So, let’s get to it.
Jesus I’m barely standing up today. This week has been hell on wheels for me as I start moving a few cases closer to the mythical beast that is a civil trial, intake a few new clients, and wade through literal mountains of case citations to figure out just where we stand on a few things. Kids, if you ever say you want to be a lawyer because of some desire to be the center of attention in a courtroom or some perverse, almost obsessive, love of Sam Watterson (Oh Sammy, you can move to dismiss my affections, but you can’t object in my dreams), remember that those moments are few and far between for the civil attorney. The vast majority of cases settle long before trial, and they settle because of the huge amounts of research you put into a case as it progresses until you can make something that resembles a cogent argument.
I mean, guys, legal research is fucking complicated, even with the advent of computer searches like WestLaw, Lexis, FastCase, and, uh…those other ones. That, of course, is assuming you have access to all of those things, because some lawyers and law offices don’t. They hate efficiency and ease of practice and prefer to sentence associates to wander the stacks of the local law library in search of some tattered copy of a state reporter to look up one case from 1890 that somehow barely touches on the issue at hand, then track the entire line of cases down with cross-references and reviews the whole damn time.
In other words, this shit, doing legal research and knowing what you’re looking for, is hard.
So that’s why South Dakota has decided inmates can just sort of…wing it.
So this week, as this post is being typed and going live, there’s a conference full of lawyers going on in New Orleans. Called “Clio Cloud Conference,” it’s as if decades of governmental corruption, a goddamn hurricane, and having a dozen people bet they can tell you “where you got them shoes at” wasn’t enough punishment for choosing to live in the original city of perpetual sin (seriously, that place has all of the Big 7 available within easy walking distance from your hotel), an internet lawyer company decided attorneys should descend like locusts from the heavens on the fair city for a few days. Of course, this doesn’t include yours truly. Because yours truly can’t justify taking off a Monday and Tuesday to fly down to New Orleans, wear horribly loud Hawaiian shirts, and “network” with people like Keith from Associate’s Mind or any of the other legal luminaries that will be rampaging around the Quarter.
Instead, I’m in my office with a desk overflowing with files, bad fucking music playing in the background, and a cup of coffee as black and bitter as my goddamn soul is.
But I’m not bitter about the fact every other goddamn lawyer on the internet seems to be gathered in a cesspit of fun and depravity. Not at all. Why would I be bitter about that? Shit, I can even give you four good reasons why I totally don’t even fucking care that I’m not at the Clio Cloud Conference in New Orleans!