Constant Low Effort, Part 2: The Practical Problems with CLE Requirements

Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor on this the first posting day of the year 2019. I, the Boozy Barrister, hope you all enjoyed your evening of watching the clock count down to midnight and your holiday spent in the office behind a locked door frantically catching up on all of the end of the month shit that you’re expected to do as a practitioner of law.

Last time we discussed CLE hours, and that kicked me off in a whole new thing we’ll continue today. Meanwhile, I finally verified that the CLE hours I gained over the past weekend by sitting in a crowded room and listening to people drone the fuck on and on about topics that were, at best, barely within the wheelhouse of the type of law I practiced.

And isn’t that just about the truth of the matter? I mean, the whole purpose behind the CLE program is to make sure the public received services from attorneys that have remained up to date on the practice of law and the requirements related thereto. You certainly don’t want some dipshit counselor who may or may not believe Reagan is still president citing case law that’s been overturned for two fucking decades, right? So, I mean, making attorneys scramble like chickens with their heads cut off every year to get those hours together, that’s a good thing, right? It keeps us honest.

First, never use the words “honest” and “attorney” together again, people will think there’s something wrong with you. Second, the mandatory CLE requirements are, in and of themselves, problematic even when looked at in the light of their alleged purpose of ensuring attorneys remain up to date on the law. And we’re gonna talk about some of those problems today.

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Constant Low Effort, Part 1: CLE Requirements and You

Welcome to the jungle on another amazing Monday, in fact the final Monday and the last day period of the opening of the pits of Hell that has been the year 2018. Because, you know, amongst the continuing social and political divide, an economy and stock market that’s acting like an adrenaline-addicted bungie jumper, and the now regular unmasking of horrible people whose thin facades of respectability led us to respect, the year has actually passed us by. Here on Lawyers & Liquor the year has passed mostly in silence and delay as injuries, staffing issues, and a significant increase in the number of duties at my job have forced me to don the mantle of the Boozy Barrister less often and actually, you know, focus on the practice of law for the benefit of my clients. So, yeah, I mean, I guess I’m sorry for not being here more because I actually felt like eating during 2018.

But more than not updating the site, being busier than hell during this past year has made it damn near impossible to stay up to date throughout the year on one of the basic requirements for practicing law. You know all know I mean those goddamn courses required of pretty much all practitioners no matter where you may be within these wide and wild United States of America. Except, of course, Maryland, which apparently decided attorneys there need no mandated courses to remain up-to-date on the law which, fun fact, is the same reason lawyers in Maryland still wear wigs and address the court as “M’Lord” prior to going outside and giving a crisp red apple to the horses they ride to the courthouse. But for those you not initiated into the ranks of the practicing lawyer, be you the fetal law student of the lowly Muggle, or simply the Baby Lawyer who’s currently exempted from the annual requirements of your bar by virtue of your absolute worthlessness to the practice in general right now, you cannot possibly know the struggle of the Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) requirements imposed on us real lawyers by pretty much every state bar an attorney is licensed to practice under. And, folks, those courses are a real pain in my large, flabby ass.

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Avoo Maria, Part 1: Talking About The Avvo Legal Services Shutdown

Welcome to another session of the profane legal ramblings that appear on this site, which we have politely named Lawyers & Liquor.  I’m your host with the half cup of coffee and the stained suit, the Boozy Barrister, here to curse the day that I decided a scholarship offer from a law school was a good idea.

So the big news, or rather the not so fucking big news, in the legal world this week is the shutdown of Avvo’s fixed price legal services platform.  You may remember Avvo if you’re a regular reader as the high-pressure sales environment that puts on its slimy car salesman suit to harass the fuck out of any lawyer stupid enough to claim their profile on the site.  Well, imagine if the guy that was showing you your own car and then calling you twenty fucking times a day to see if you wanted it painted decided to move on from that and then offer a service where other people could drive your damn car at a certain price that they decide, not you!  That was essentially Avvo’s fixed price legal fee service, and like all bad ideas it was destined to either go down in flames or get elected President.  Luckily, in this specific situation, it was the former.

So let’s spend a little time today providing erotic elucidation (because anything that negatively impacts Chris who calls my office to get me to buy ad space certainly gives me a half-chub at the very least) on what Avvo was offering and why it was shut the fuck down faster than a nerdy kid gets shut down by the head cheerleader.  Break out the marching band and let’s move on ye of little experience as we discuss why a lawyer advertising service somehow decided that exempted it from impermissible fee sharing agreements in today’s Lawyers & Liquor.

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“Hi, I’m Goliath from Goliath & Goliath.” – A Philly Lawyer Takes on Morgan & Morgan

Let’s take a minute and talk about these huge, multi-state law firms that swoop into the local area and start slinging their advertising dollars around.  These are the candymen of the legal advertising industry, keeping radio jingle writers and shady TV commercial producers in dollars so they can run all of their ads during Rush Limbaugh or the seventeenth mid-day rerun of Judge Judy.  We all know the types of guys I’m talking about, with ads that say shit like “call us, we’ll get you your money” and some 1-800 number that takes you to a switchboard before directing your ass to a regional office in some big city. The dirty little secret of lawyering is that these places are really just mills, gigantic firms from out of state with not a single named partner who could find your podunk little shithole on a map unless their private jets were flying overhead.  

These guys are, basically, the Waffle House of the legal world, with a branch every damn place.  They’re the bane of the small law practitioner, and especially the small PI guy, who can’t compete with the advertising and the crisply pressed suits of some partner that shows up in the commercials but never in court.  After flooding the local airwaves with commercials, lining the streets with billboards, and getting the name recognition that used to go to the decent guy down the street, they’re gonna take every call from a dog bite to a fender bender  and move on.

These are the personal injury mills.

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Stop Being a Reptilian Overlord – Lawyers Can Be Human

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 6, 2018 edition of Lawyers & Liquor, your home for the very best in profane commentary on a variety of legally related matters.  I’m the Boozy Barrister, and you assholes need to stop taking yourselves so goddamn seriously.

Turn the fuck back now.  I’m warning you.

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