Constant Low Effort, Part 2: The Practical Problems with CLE Requirements

Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor on this the first posting day of the year 2019. I, the Boozy Barrister, hope you all enjoyed your evening of watching the clock count down to midnight and your holiday spent in the office behind a locked door frantically catching up on all of the end of the month shit that you’re expected to do as a practitioner of law.

Last time we discussed CLE hours, and that kicked me off in a whole new thing we’ll continue today. Meanwhile, I finally verified that the CLE hours I gained over the past weekend by sitting in a crowded room and listening to people drone the fuck on and on about topics that were, at best, barely within the wheelhouse of the type of law I practiced.

And isn’t that just about the truth of the matter? I mean, the whole purpose behind the CLE program is to make sure the public received services from attorneys that have remained up to date on the practice of law and the requirements related thereto. You certainly don’t want some dipshit counselor who may or may not believe Reagan is still president citing case law that’s been overturned for two fucking decades, right? So, I mean, making attorneys scramble like chickens with their heads cut off every year to get those hours together, that’s a good thing, right? It keeps us honest.

First, never use the words “honest” and “attorney” together again, people will think there’s something wrong with you. Second, the mandatory CLE requirements are, in and of themselves, problematic even when looked at in the light of their alleged purpose of ensuring attorneys remain up to date on the law. And we’re gonna talk about some of those problems today.

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Constant Low Effort, Part 1: CLE Requirements and You

Welcome to the jungle on another amazing Monday, in fact the final Monday and the last day period of the opening of the pits of Hell that has been the year 2018. Because, you know, amongst the continuing social and political divide, an economy and stock market that’s acting like an adrenaline-addicted bungie jumper, and the now regular unmasking of horrible people whose thin facades of respectability led us to respect, the year has actually passed us by. Here on Lawyers & Liquor the year has passed mostly in silence and delay as injuries, staffing issues, and a significant increase in the number of duties at my job have forced me to don the mantle of the Boozy Barrister less often and actually, you know, focus on the practice of law for the benefit of my clients. So, yeah, I mean, I guess I’m sorry for not being here more because I actually felt like eating during 2018.

But more than not updating the site, being busier than hell during this past year has made it damn near impossible to stay up to date throughout the year on one of the basic requirements for practicing law. You know all know I mean those goddamn courses required of pretty much all practitioners no matter where you may be within these wide and wild United States of America. Except, of course, Maryland, which apparently decided attorneys there need no mandated courses to remain up-to-date on the law which, fun fact, is the same reason lawyers in Maryland still wear wigs and address the court as “M’Lord” prior to going outside and giving a crisp red apple to the horses they ride to the courthouse. But for those you not initiated into the ranks of the practicing lawyer, be you the fetal law student of the lowly Muggle, or simply the Baby Lawyer who’s currently exempted from the annual requirements of your bar by virtue of your absolute worthlessness to the practice in general right now, you cannot possibly know the struggle of the Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) requirements imposed on us real lawyers by pretty much every state bar an attorney is licensed to practice under. And, folks, those courses are a real pain in my large, flabby ass.

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Not Your Therapist – The Specific Role of An Attorney

Welcome to Lawyers & Liquor, your now infrequent home for legal crap that comes out of my mind, with that being the mind of the Boozy Barrister though frankly these days does it really matter? I mean, is anyone really reading this for the author or is it more for the frankness and cursing that comes with it? Does anything I write here even matter to the extent that it helps some of those dipshits with degrees and not much else in their forlorn foray into the practice of law as a profession? Hell, nobody listens to me when I’m acting as an attorney, why the hell should they listen now?

Jesus on a Ritz Cracker, that’s about as maudlin as we can get, eh? That motherfucker has some mental problems from the sounds of things. Maybe some depressive episodes, a bit of anxiety, just one of those people that need an ear to listen to them and tell them everything’s gonna be okay.  Right? And who  better to provide that ear and shoulder to cry whiskey-soaked tears on then you, dear reader of the newly minted attorney variety, right? I mean, you’re a lawyer which means that, obviously, you’re an authority on a wide variety of topics. Surely you are the appropriate person to let me vent all of my emotional and mental turmoils on and spread oil on the troubled waters of the soul.

No. The answer to that rhetorical question is “no,” asshole. Or even “No, Asshole, Esq.” Either way the answer is a loud, resounding, and unequivocal “no.” Because being a lawyer qualifies you to do one goddamn thing: practice law. It does not qualify you to do any other form of service for your clients you dipshits. And that’s the point of today’s post: What being a lawyer isn’t.

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“CC: Client” – The Worst Form of Posturing

Welcome to another beautiful week here in the wide world of litigation and small firm chicanery.  I’m the Boozy Barrister, your guide through the minor hell that is the day-to-day practice of law in the real world, and this is Lawyers & Liquor, the internet’s equivalent of an overflowing septic tank of cynicism and legal ramblings.  

You know what I hate? You know what really gets under my fucking skin and makes me see red, white and blue (because even my fuckin’ anger is patriotic as shit)? Those goddamn letters that you get from opposing counsel in a case where they spend the whole goddamn time posturing and pissing on you, blowing themselves up more often than a remedial school for suicide bombers. These letters are the legal equivalent of two pussywillow thin frat boys standing on opposite sides of a room and screaming “Come at me bro” while not struggling very goddamn hard to get out of the grips of Teddy and Chugs (named for his particular skill)   because goddamn if that happened there may be a real fight.  It’s a lot of chest-pounding with little to no payoff and they are goddamn ridiculous pieces of a puffery that every lawyer sees right through.

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Still Not A Lawyer, Part 2 – Let’s Talk About The Oath

Welcome back to another bright and sunny day here on Lawyers & Liquor, where the coffee is as black as my twisted heart and the stress is as overbearing as your mother asking when you’re going to settle down and find a nice boy or girl to share the joy of your life with. I’m the matzo-loving litigator, the Boozy Barrister, and today we’re going to continue our discussion of all the things that have to happen after you pass the bar exam. That’s right, we have another day of celebrating the professional celibacy, or, if you’re caught up in the character and fitness portion of this whole mess, legal cuckolding that is the newly admitted baby lawyer. Be you the recent admission with the ink still drying on your license or the gritty old attorney slowly aging into irrelevance, we here at Lawyers & Liquor believe that you, too, deserve to be roundly lambasted and lectured about the poor life decisions you, personally, have made to lead you to this point.

You may recall that last time we discussed the simple fact that even with the board of bar examiners saying you are minimally competent to practice law on the basis of a few essay questions and filling in the right bubbles here and there, that doesn’t make you an attorney until you’re actually admittedto the practice of law. And, as we talked then, the admission to the practice of law is more than a mere formality, because it involved shit like the Character and Fitness examiners digging deep into your sordid little past of keg stands, requiring you to supplement anything their darkened little souls require. It’s a form of legal confession, except you don’t just think the person hearing your confession may be jerking off, you know they probably are, and there’s no penance for the past in the majority of cases. But whilst you wait for the cabal of legalistic proctologists of the profession to finish snapping on their rubber gloves and just getting elbow deep all up in your shit, there’s something else you can start considering on the assumption that everything will turn out okay, and that’s when are you going to take your oath and become a lawyer.

Because lawyers? We not only fucking swear, we are sworn as well.

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