Being a Legal Dom: The Importance of Client Control

Welcome to the new and improved, but still the same, Lawyers & Liquor.  I’m the Boozy Barrister, here to provide some practice tips to the young and stupid among you, in particular any dipshit that went to law school with stars in their eyes and a song in their heart.

It’s all well and good to go into law school believing that people are all essentially good at heart and just need some help through a literal and metaphorical trial in their life. But that’s the sort of idealism that gets you shot in the goddamn ass, because it leads to you viewing clients as something more than billable sacks of flesh that you can hit with a stick to make money fly directly into the firm’s operating account, and that shit is a problem.

Why, you may say, is it so bad for an attorney to grow close to their clients, or at least so close that they recognize during the course of representation that every client may not be a worthless fuckhead who needs competent legal representation merely to wipe their own ass? Because part of the job of an attorney is to act as a leather-bound dominatrix, exerting control and twisting clients into accepting the situation as it exists and not as they fucking want it to exist.

That’s right, to a certain degree every lawyer is a kinky-ass, whip-wielding mistress just waiting to tell the client they’ve been a bad boy. And I’m not just talking about our hobbies in the off-hours. So if you want to be a successful attorney, you better squeeze your ass into some high heels and get ready to step on the nutsack of your client’s ambitions and goals to bring them to reality, because the effective representation of people all fucking comes down to client control.

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Guest Post: The Three Major Components of a Lawyer’s Job – Sam Castree a/k/a IndieGameLayer

[Today’s guest post is from Sam Castree, the Head of Entertainment Law at Crawford Intellectual Property Law out there in Barrington, IL…you know, the state you have to go through both Ohio and Indiana to get to from here.  Sam can be found on Twitter at @IndieGameLawyer, and has graciously agreed to provide me with a break.  Sit back and enjoy the…less profane…take on the job of a lawyer.  -Boozy].

Hello out there!  My name is Sam Castree.  I’m the head of Entertainment Law at Crawford Intellectual Property Law in Barrington, Illinois.  Today, I’m doing a guest post for the Boozy Barrister, which is clear proof that I’ve finally made it in the legal world.

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Too Good To Be True: Why You Shouldn’t Take That Big Case

Hey you little legal morons, all you solos and baby lawyers out there struggling to make ends meet.  Sure, the office may be cramped and filled with files, but you’re living the dream of a day-to-day small time lawyer.  Certainly you may be driving Uber to keep the lights on during the slow months, and your bank account may always be on the verge of being overdrawn, but that’s how this law thing is supposed to work, right? And at the end of the day you know that it’ll all be worth it if you can just land that one big case that’ll rake in the hours and the dough, bringing you from the edge of the red to firmly in the black and making it clear that you’re a real player in the legal game, right?

Wrong, dipshit.  Because as Captain Ahab learned, sometimes when you get that white whale you’ve been chasing it may turn right the fuck around and kill you.  Then some asshole writes a book about your horrible defeat at the hands of the big case and it opens with “Call me Justice Scalia” or some shit. I don’t know, I never read Moby Dick after I figured out it wasn’t fucking erotica or some shit.  But even without the strong analogy, the fact remains that one big case can sink your little law office faster than an Italian ferry loaded down with passengers.  The fucker’ll blow your finances up quicker than a Southwest jet engine. It’ll ruin your goddamn future.

So you probably shouldn’t take that big case.

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What do the Magazines in Your Office Say About You?

Welcome to Wednesday here on Lawyers and Liquor, where we’re desperately clinging to relevance in an age where attorneys who are on Twitter spend hours on end correcting the lay understanding of the attorney-client privilege.  You know, there’s been a lot of legal news since the last time I had a chance to sit down and write something for you guys, hasn’t there? Holy. Shit.

I mean, Trump’s lawyer’s office got raided by the FBI, Sean Hannity was revealed in court to be a client of the same attorney (who the fuck only has three clients, all of them prominent members of the GOP? And why weren’t we aware that three prominent members of the GOP are so dipshit-stupid that they all use the same lawyer from motherfucking Cooley for their legally questionable issues?), and Bill Cosby is being retried for rape.  Oh, you weren’t aware of the last one? Doesn’t surprise me.  In the world of Trump, the celebrity rapist is the lucky one.

So, of course, in this trying time let’s talk about something vitally important to the practice of law.  This is something that’s sank many a law office before it even got the chance to start and has a great impact on every client who walks in the door.  For many small attorneys, the subject of today’s post is how your clients are going to form their first impressions of you as not only an attorney, but as a person as well.  I’m talking, of course, about the magazines and reading material that you keep in your waiting room.

Sure, it may not seem important, but the fact is the high-brow literature you provide to your clients as they wait for you to finish scrolling through Facebook and drink your coffee so you can give the impression of being far too busy to meet with them immediately is important.  I mean, many lawyers bring these magazines from their homes or other places they frequent, so what reading material is in your office is a reflection of your personality and therefore an indicator of how your clients will get along with you.  It can make or break a relationship!  This is serious business folks!

So, without further adieu, let’s talk about what different magazines say about you.

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“Fees Fi Fo Fum:” Part 4 – Fees Flatter Than a Pancake

We’ve reached the end of the road in the discussion of fee arrangements popular among attorneys here at Lawyers & Liquor.  So far we’ve covered three topics: that impending death of indigent representation with the proposed defunding of the Legal Services Corporation, the soul-sucking nature of the billable hour, the questionable concept of contingent fees, and now we’re moving on to the final major fee agreement you, as a new lawyer or a pigheaded client, may encounter in the day-to-day practice of law.  This is the unicorn of all forms of fees paid for litigation purposes, the one that makes battle-hardened attorneys look at you askew and wonder the weight of the anvil that must have struck your ass firmly on the head.

Of course, we’re talking about the amazingly unprofitable, but always requested, Flat Fee Agreement.

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