Stop Talking Politics: How to Preserve the Art of Not Being a Douche

Alright, so we have a new President.  He’s not the one I, as a lifelong Democrat, would have chosen, but he exists and no amount of alternative facts are going to change the fact that he’s now sitting in the White House quietly contemplating how to give it a spray-tan that matches his own hue.  I accept this.  I accept this in the same way that I accept the fact cancer is a thing that happens, but I still accept it.  That’s not the purpose of this post today, bitching about the President.  I do that enough late at night in the confines of my house, scaring animals and small children as I howl out my anger in the attic.

This is about you fucktards who just can’t shut the fuck up about politics, and I mean all of you, from the Jill Stein lover in the Prius all the way up to the guy who thinks that Trump is the second coming of Jesus.  All of you have this problem with running off at the mouth over politics and doing it all the fucking time.  In the break room, at the lunch table, waiting outside of court…and, importantly, in front of your fucking clients.

You’re a lawyer, dipshit, not a political analyst.  Cut it the fuck out.

Besides, you’re gonna lose some fucking clients if you don’t.

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Litigation is Expensive, Buddy: A dialogue with the “Righteous Client”

So I have clients that are…less than thrilled with the amount of my recent bill.

“But we just paid $2,000!  Why do we have to pay another $2,000 this month?”

“Because you told me to be aggressive and refuse settlement offers to bring this matter to trial.  That’s the cost of me doing this.”

You didn’t tell us that!”

Followed by me responding with every email that contains one key phrase:

“Litigation is expensive.  It is not unheard of for a case going to trial to cost thousands of dollars a month while we are in active discovery, nor is it uncommon for the price tag of the entire matter to range in the tens of thousands of dollars.  It is my suggestion that we reach out to discuss a possibility of settlement once we have conferred regarding what an appropriate settlement amount would be.”

This is a regular thing.  It’s almost the hallmark of an hourly civil litigator to have to remind their clients of that one key thing:  Litigation is fucking expensive.

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Getting Asses in the Door: Originating Clients with No Budget

So in about four hours I’m likely going into a meeting where I’ll lose one of the firm’s oldest clients.

The client is a corporation, and we do most of their litigation work.  The firm has been their civil litigation pit bull for the past 15 years, but like every corporation it goes through changes.  The old President and CEO of this family-owned business is on his way out the door, and the new generation is shifting the style in which they do business.  For the first time, they’re bringing in younger blood with fresher ideas, and the problem is the incoming class is less friendly towards lawyers in general.  As such, despite collecting over $2,000,000 for this client in the last couple years, we’re on the chopping block and the writing is on the wall.

It isn’t anything we did, and it isn’t anything they did, it’s just the sentiment of the client that many of the old relationships should be severed to “shake things up.”  You know what, it is something they did, because they hired an executive who uses words like “incentivize” and “reassessing the creditor-debtor paradigm.”  Fuck that.  I’m much more straight forward:  “Pay my client or I’ll sue you into the next century.  Your children will speak in hushed tones of how you lost the family fortune.”  But que sera sera, eh?

However, that leaves me with a $4,000 per month hole in my billables that needs to be filled, and that means it’s time to start originating new clients to make up the gap.  However, the firm advertising budget is “what fucking advertising budget?”  This does not bode well for bringing in future originations.

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The Importance of Facts: Assessing a Case

Let’s take a minute and talk about assessing your cases, okay?

I know everyone out there wants to get the most money they can, especially in these days of an over-saturated legal market and attorneys on every corner.  Practicing law can sometimes feel like hopping into one of those booths at the county fair where you spend a minute trying to grab as many dollars as you can.

Note: open your shirt and let the dollars blow up it.  It works best.

moneybooth
We all wanted to play this as kids.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a letter come into my office from some guy who took on a case with only the barest facts, and, in taking my measured time in responding, sent back a letter that contained a number of enclosures which completely shot their theory of the case to shit.

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“Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer?” Answer: What the hell man?

Portia Porter, Esq. is a terrible writer.  Her book, Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer? is likewise terrible.  It is a long, ponderous read of little value.  In attempts to be amusing, Ms. Porter comes off less like an experienced attorney and more like the kid on the playground trying to make people like her.  Both her talent as an author, and her expertise as a legal advocate, is called into question by this meandering, inaccurate, and frankly quite silly book.

Besides, I have it on good authority that she’s actually a supporter of several racially divisive groups, enjoys eating kittens with her morning coffee, and secretly supports terrorist armies in her spare time.  All in all, buying her book will almost certainly help fund the downfall of humanity and the destruction of our very nation.

…Ok, are the prospective clients gone?  Good, Good.

Guys, we gotta do something about this Porter lady, because that motherfucker is giving away the whole fucking game.

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