“Shut The Fuck Up”: Lawyers Behaving Badly

Holy fuck, so how about that Parrot thing?  That was wild.  Why do you think that got so popular?  Righteous indignation?  Maybe some joy in correcting the record?  It’s possible, but I got another theory.

People really like it when lawyers fuck up.

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Parrot-Ghazi: The Twitter Saga 

[Updates at the end, including some prior tweets from Mr. Adler, a response from Mr. Dent, an explanation of the long odds, and an interview on this tweet Mr. Adler gave to the BBC]

So yesterday a marginally funny tweet showed up on the page of a lawyer from Philadelphia.  Since us attorneys are so well known for our sense of humor, it of course went viral.  A hearty chortle was had by all, and people went on with their daily lives.

So, Michael Adler is a Philly lawyer who, from his website, seems to specialize in business law.  This means nothing, because I can say my areas of practice are geared towards protecting the intellectual property of one-armed left-handed underwater basket weavers.  That doesn’t mean I won’t take a divorce if it walks through my door with cash in hand.  I certainly will.

I have to say, Mr. Adler’s tweet was pretty amusing, too.  I saw it last night and it gave me a brief smile, and I don’t smile.  Joviality hurts my blackened soul.  Apparently it was a slow news day as well, because the tweet even deserved a bit of a human interest story, getting a post on BillyPenn.com written about it.

Adler said disputes over dogs are relatively in common in divorces, but the parrot provided a new challenge… verbalization. In other words, they can talk. Therefore, they can talk shit.

So he spoke with other lawyers for advice this morning before coming up with “the idea of just agreeing not to say anything nasty in front of the parent.”

However, it appears one of those “other lawyers” may be @ParkerLawyer, who tweeted this back in September:

Those are…really similar.  Oh shiiiiiiit, we about to get all Cease & Desist up in here!

Before we continue, let me say:  I have no opinion on any of the people involved.  I don’t encourage anyone else to form one.  Reserve judgment until the facts are in.

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“The Customer is an Idiot”: Not being a client’s employee

There was a time when an attorney was a respected professional whose wisdom and advice was sought after by the members of the community.  We were more than sharks in suits who went after the highest dollar amount, we were learned men of an honorable profession.  Neighbors would come to our offices for not only legal advice, but life advice.  Our opinions were held in high regard, and we were viewed as trusted mediators and advocates for our clients.

Abraham Lincoln once said the following about lawyers:

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

First, WHAT THE HELL …Mr. President?  “Discourage litigation” is the worst business advice ever!  How on God’s green earth am I supposed to hit my billables if everyone is being reasonable about easily resolved legal issue?

Seriously, though, the very fact that quote exists tells you something about how lawyers used to be viewed.  We weren’t “legal services providers,” we were the educated men who solved problems in a fair manner and ensured justice was carried out.

I’m going to let you in on a secret of modern legal practice:

Our clients don’t respect us. At. Fucking. All.

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Rough and Tumble: How Not to Deal With Opposing Counsel

Recently I received a brief in a matter from opposing counsel.  It took me somewhat by surprise to find a petition, brief, and twelve attached exhibits on my desk on a Monday morning, since I had spoken with opposing counsel just the week before in regards to the case and we had engaged in some settlement discussions.  Without going into a large amount of detail, and in order to preserve my client’s confidences, the issue here is a petition to open a default judgment on their end, which requires (1) promptly filing the petition, (2) stating a reasonable excuse for the delay, and (3) alleging facts in support of a meritorious defense.  On those facts, the insurer’s attorney and I were having productive conversations about liability, default judgments, the hassle and expense of either fighting to open the judgment on their end or domesticating our judgment on our end, and were beginning to get close to coming to a numbers agreement.

Then the motherfucker, without warning, filed his petition and brief.  Thus hell was unleashed upon the court.  Goddamn these soulless insurance defense attorneys, if they’d just stop fighting and fucking pay me we’d get along a lot better.

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