How to Kill Your Credibility: Vet your client’s social media

So, yesterday I gave a bit of a primer on how to commit malpractice by taking on a case when you have absolutely no knowledge of the underlying law.  While I wish that was the only time recently that I’ve seen opposing counsel do something completely fucking stupid that turns their case into an automatic loser, unfortunately this shit happens all the time.  In fact, I’d say the second biggest common mistake an attorney can make, outside of not knowing the fucking law in the first place and having no desire to put forth the bare minimum of effort, is one each and every one of us is guilty of.

Lawyers trust their clients.  This is a mistake.  Because clients are fucking liars.

For instance, most recently I had this arise when I received a counterclaim that read “Defendant is from a foreign country and does not speak English as her primary language.”  Alright, it’s a contract case, and she’s trying to get out of it by claiming there is some legal disability or situation that makes the contract unconscionable.  This isn’t an uncommon tactic, and it’s used a lot when you live and practice in an area with a high immigrant population.  It happens so often that I call it a “pity plea,” the Hail Mary that gets used when you’re out of real defenses.

But, see above:  Clients are fucking liars.

Continue reading “How to Kill Your Credibility: Vet your client’s social media”

How to Commit Malpractice: Stop Being Cocky and Research, Assholes.

Lawyers are fucking cocky.  We’re all cocky.  Every one of us.  We have the big legal dicks and we swing them back and forth with fervor at every opportunity.  You’ll know someone’s a lawyer, because they’ll mention it within the first four sentences upon meeting you.  We are trained legal advocates who have spent years honing our crafts, with a greater knowledge of the law than many laymen.

And sometimes, we’re fuckers who commit malpractice and cost our clients a quarter of a million dollars because we’re cocky idiots.

Continue reading “How to Commit Malpractice: Stop Being Cocky and Research, Assholes.”

We Are a Nation of Non-English Speaking Gay Refugees: Rambling on the Executive Order

I try not to be overtly political.  Anyone who reads this blog, or my Twitter, knows that I’m a liberal and I have no great fondness for the current administration.  Anyone who talks to me knows that I had high hopes the orange-tinted blowhard – who has been systematically rejected by the New York society he wished so desperately to join – would not be welcomed into the White House on a tide of nationalistic, protectionist, and isolationist sentiment.  Those who know me know that I sighed the night of the election, and I have sighed every day since.

However, despite all of that, I smile and say “I hope he does well, and I hope his presidency is a successful and prosperous one.” Because despite political or ideological affiliations, I’m an American first and foremost, and despite my misgivings about Mr. Trump I certainly do want good things to happen to this nation that I love.

Unfortunately, I’ve failed to realize that what I think of as “good things” are not the same things others think of as good.  Like welcoming all those to our shores who seek a better life, a will to work, and the desire to become as American as you or I.  I think that’s the bedrock of this great experiment, the “city on the hill” that Reagan spoke of, the poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty that overlooks the entryway into the very city that bred our current President: all those who wish to become a part of this dream, who wish to be a part of our country, who wish to make us smart and strong and profitable are welcome.

Apparently, Mr. Trump does not agree with me.

Continue reading “We Are a Nation of Non-English Speaking Gay Refugees: Rambling on the Executive Order”

The Estate, The Widow, and a Used Parrot: A War Story

So not too long ago I blasted a guy for making a post about a fucking parrot.  The post called out another attorney for possibly copying a tweet regarding a parrot in a divorce, it got thousands of views, and got me labeled as the “parrot post” guy.  Hell, it got mentioned in an online blog ran by People magazine.  A fucking parrot.

Ever notice how sometimes cases and legal issues in various matters, all of which are unrelated, become similar?  Not too long ago I was retained to sue a titty bar.  Since then, I’ve had a number of cases come in where I’m suing titty bars, all different cases.  Likewise, a while back I got one case against a car dealership, then while it was pending got like three more.  None of these people knew each other.  I have no idea how it happens, but it’s a truth:  For some reason certain types of cases seem to come in clumps.

Which, of course, means that a parrot became the central issue in an estate I handled recently…and then I started getting a variety of pet-related matters.  Determining the ownership of thirty cats.  Figuring out which neighbor’s dog was destroying prize-winning roses.  Etc etc etc.

Because, given my history with the species, of fucking course it would be a goddamn parrot that started the multiple rush of pet cases I’m currently handling.

Continue reading “The Estate, The Widow, and a Used Parrot: A War Story”