Freaky Friday: “Legally, Your House is Haunted.”

Dudes, the law can be downright creepy at times. I’m not talking about stuff like the fact Ted Bundy went to law school, lawyers who are rapists, or any of that sort of mundane shit. I’m talking about “a knock at the door of your cabin in the middle of the woods at 3:00 in the morning” creepy. I’m talking about being upstairs alone in the house and clearly hearing someone downstairs call your name. I’m talking about that feeling you get when you go into the basement for something and from one specific corner you get the feeling there’s someone standing there, staring holes of hatred in your back…but the corner is empty. Yeah, that’s the type of shit I’m talking about here.

This is the first Freaky Friday post here on Lawyers & Liquor, where we’re going to talk about some weird shit that goes down in the practice of the law, from cases that are mysteries on up to the paranormal. “Why are we doing this, Boozy?” I can hear you moan over the clanking chains, “Don’t we have enough themed shit to deal with already?” No, and fuck you. My blog, my rules, and my rules say now is the time we talk about ghosts and shit.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “How much of this shit can there be?”

Well, considering that one of the cases every lawyer learns declares a house to be legally fucking haunted, you tell me.

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No More Phonebooks: Teaching Idiots to Find A Lawyer

I was supposed to review Larry Kelter’s new book, Back to Brooklyn this week, but that’s gonna get put off until Monday so I’ll have the weekend to actually, you know, finish the review. That sort of left me without a post yesterday, which is the main reason I’m getting one up on Thursday. If you’re not a fan of that, go to hell. I’ve been a little busy managing my goddamn mountain of furries and a few new cases that I picked up over the past week.

Both of which gave me a great idea, namely, how to identify a lawyer that you want to hire as opposed to an asshole like me that’ll want you to hire them. Apparently, looking through the Twitter feeds of idiots, I’ve discovered that too goddamn many people have absolutely no idea how to contact an attorney that doesn’t appear on a billboard or a mid afternoon commercial. This is a fucking issue, because people, and especially the subset of people defined as clients (those mouthbreathing morons) are attracted not to professional advertisements, but rather to eye-catching ads designed to rope you in.

This means that some folks are going to bad lawyers.

So, while I generally fucking hate clients and believe they deserve all the misery they’ve brough on themselves, I’ve decided that this one’s for you, Mr. Idiotic Lawsuit Bringer. Let’s talk about how you can skip right over the shitstains that populate the legal profession and hire an attorney who’s worth a damn.

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Clients are F’ing Liars: Dealing With A Client’s Knowing Omissions

It’s Monday, which means I should have spent my weekend working on a nice post for you guys and digging into a post for Wednesday, leaving me free to come up with and post something for this week’s Friday entry. What I did instead was drink copious amounts of Sour Monkey from Victory Brewing Company, then wash all of that down with half a bottle of Booker’s bourbon while playing games on my new computer. The end result is I don’t really have shit for you today, and trust me, I felt bad about it.

I mean, when I started this site the whole idea was to post something three times a week. Multiple times now I’ve failed to do that. I’ve gotten busy, or fallen behind on shit, and decided that the blog entry is the last thing I needed to be worrying about. Some of you out there are saying “Oh, Boozy, don’t worry about it man! We know that sometimes you’re going to be busy or overwhelmed, it’s cool to take a break every now and again.”

No, motherfuckers, no it isn’t. Because that would make me a liar, and I fucking hate people that lie to me about shit. You know why? Because I have to deal with clients, and clients lie all the fucking time. Those assholes are giving me money to help them and they lie about shit.

And look-ee here, just like that I have a reason to be a salty bastard this early in the morning: Bitching about clients that lie.

Which is every client.

Because all clients lie.

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Film Friday: Your Cousin Vinny Should Have Been Disbarred

Good morning you lousy shitstains on the ass of humanity known as lawyers. So, we’ve had a bit of a wild ride over the past month or so, starting with furries, moving to master/slave sexual fetishes, and now heading into the critique of films in general with the very first Film Friday, a series that will take a look at how the law and lawyers are being portrayed in popular media of all sorts.

What’s that? Why don’t I use a name other than “Film Friday” if I’m talking about all other forms of media in addition to this one? Well, because fuck you. My blog, my rules, and I’m an advocate of illustrative alliteration when it comes to these things.

So, today we’re going to talk about My Cousin Vinny, a film that recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has been wildly praised and loved for its accuracy in presenting how to conduct a trial, an effective cross-examination, general courtroom procedure, etc. I mean, attorneys fucking love this goddamn movie. I love it. I own it on VHS, DVD, BluRay, and recently purchased it on Vudu just so I could stream scenes from it if I ever find myself, say, in an airport on the way to a motherfucking furry convention somewhere and, flying United, need something to watch as I’m savagely beaten and dragged from the plane.

Of course, the unspoken part of the appeal is we love the foul-mouthed troll/hobbit hybrid that is early 90’s Joe Pesci, and the fact that he was apparently able to land Marisa Tomei. It almost broke the suspension of disbelief for me.

So, we know that lawyers love the fuck out of this film. We know that it involves scenes that accurately depict the rules of evidence, qualifications of experts, criminal procedure (“He just gave me all this stuff!” Vinny exclaims when the prosecutor makes his standard and procedurally required disclosures), and blistering cross-examination (“ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THOSE FIVE MINUTES?”). Which means, of course, I shouldn’t do what I’m about to do.

Because I’m about to argue that Vinny is unethical, improper, and should never be allowed to practice law again.

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Let’s Talk About Last Friday

Alright.

Let’s talk about last Friday.

I’m not slipping into character for this one. I’m not going to start cursing, I’m not going to emphasize a bunch of stuff. I’m not going to try to be funny, or abrasive, or anything like that. I’m just going to talk to you guys for a moment.

As you know, last Friday, for Furry Friday, I took some stories from furries and, with their permission, used them to illustrate some points. The points were basically intended to be broken down as follows:

  1. Furry can affect your court proceedings, so you need to be aware of that;
  2. Although you’re a welcoming fandom, Furries who are above the age of consent should avoid circumstances that lend the appearance of impropriety in dealing with minors;
  3. You shouldn’t be forming Twitter lynch mobs; and
  4. Rape should be reported to the police.

3 and 4 were touchy subjects. Very touchy subjects, and I got a lot of mixed responses to them. They ranged from “Thank you for this” to “How dare you tell us not to self-police” and all the way up to “The police won’t do anything.”

I’m not going to touch the rape topic today. I’m not touching it because I’m already working on something to help explain how the justice system deals with this stuff, and to hopefully help explain why it may seem like the justice system doesn’t care. I put out a call among lawyers, and am arranging some time to interview a sex crimes prosecutor in relation to the largest concerns I’m hearing and the biggest protests to the statement made. I’d prefer to let the person who actually handles rape cases speak on that, and accordingly I’m not going to talk about it until then.

The lynch mobs thing, though, I will touch on.

The largest protests and loudest dissents were regarding the perceived position against the Furry community policing itself and allowing “bad actors” to go free and unpunished. It’s likely a response to how I phrased things in the article. I can see how people may have taken that as “lay off rapists.” It wasn’t. It wasn’t even really about rape. It was about jumping to conclusions of judgment and acting on them publicly, and encouraging others to do so.

I don’t think that’s right, and the reason I don’t think that’s right is simple: innocent people will get tarred by that brush.

In law, we have something called “Blackstone’s Ratio.” It goes like this:

Better ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.

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