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.
Continue reading ““Fees Fi Fo Fum:” Part 4 – Fees Flatter Than a Pancake”
It’s Monday on Lawyers & Liquor, and the first order of business is “Where’s the second episode of the podcast, asshole?” Well, the answer boils down to “I’m a technological incompetent with little ability to do things without a person holding my hand.” The audio recording of my interview with this episode’s guest, Chad Murray from www.chadtalkslaw.com, came out fucking awful on my end and has forced me to amplify my entire half of it…and of course I didn’t record it as two separate tracks and shit, which would have made sense. So it’s been a painstaking process, but the next episode will be out this Wednesday, so that shit’s at least sorted out finally.
Next, tomorrow’s Halloween, and I fucking love Halloween. It’s the time of year where people get to dress up as terrifying monsters, which for me simply entails wearing my normal daily lawyer get-up, and go passively rob people of their candy through a series of vague threats. “Treat,” the little bastards cry, “or trick.” It warms my soul, what little bit of it remains, to see the next generation getting the hang of armed robbery so goddamn early.
But for lawyers, every day is fucking Halloween, isn’t it? I mean, we all deal with monsters in some capacity in our work, from murderers to child molestors, all the way down to the guy that’s simply not going to pay his bill and put some small company out of business because they’re a fuckin’ skell, right? Right, motherfuckers, right. And, in fiction as in reality, lawyers have represented some horrible fucking monsters, haven’t they?
Continue reading “Dracula: The Deadbeat Client”
Let’s go back to talking about something I absolutely love discussing today: Clients. Clients, in case you’ve managed to somehow forget, are the literal bane of my existence. They’re also the reason that I can afford to do things like eat food and sleep indoors. As such, clients and I have a love-hate relationship, in that I love taking their money but hate having to deal with the minutia of human existence.
However, today I’m not going to rip clients a new asshole. I want to, oh lord do I want to, but at some point I’ll have to acknowledge that clients are people too. Frustrating, infuriating people who you wish would just send in their goddamn invoice payments and leave you the hell alone to work through some shit in lawyer land, but people nonetheless. Until my proposed legislation reclassifying clients as big game, and therefore open for hunting once or twice a year, passes, we’re just going to have to accept that your clients, and likely most of my clients (the jury’s still out on this) are human beings.
As clients are, debatably, humans, they are also deserving of a bare minimum of understanding. Maybe, some schools of thought that I believe are absolutely incorrect would say, clients aren’t bad people. Maybe they’re good people having a bad time, and I should mention that. In the interests of fairness, though not agreement, today I’ll take about a few things every attorney, be they a bright-eyed asshole or a salty old veteran, likely needs to understand when dealing with their clients in any litigation matter:
How clients and lawyers view a legal matter vis a vis the importance of it is drastically fucking different.
Continue reading ““The Sky Is Falling” – The Difference Between Clients and Lawyers”
So on Monday I spoke a little bit about why it’s important for lawyers to provide representation to people we may find completely devoid of morals. The take away from that is even if the person is someone you’d be happy to see locked away in a basement subsisting on bread, water, and the occasional print-out from the Stormfront website, everyone deserves to have good legal representation and we don’t get to draw the line at only the people we like or those whose views we always agree with. When we became lawyers, we became servants of justice, and sometimes justice, like your brother who lives in a basement subsisting on bread, water, and occasional printouts from the Stormfront website, has some really weird and detestable buddies you’d rather not associate with. Them’s the breaks, though, and we have to really accept it. While we have our personal morals and ethics, the idealized lawyer is professionally a true neutral.
I say “the idealized lawyer,” because at the end of the day we’re actually humans, not machines that just appear in court and “Beep Boop” our way through arguments, and we all have our limits. However, as I’ve talked about a couple times in the past, the limit is the lawyer’s issue, not the client’s issue, because it’s the point where our client is so amazingly, beyond the pale fucked up that we cannot represent them because we may subconsciously sabotage their otherwise meritorious claim. But if we can swallow our bile just long enough to make the argument, there are some steps a decent lawyer needs to take in handling the Reprehensible client.
So…you know, let’s talk about that and lose me some readers.
Continue reading “Representing the Reprehensible: Part 2 – Tips for Representing Nazis”
Good morning, or afternoon, or whatever time of day it is! Look guys, I’m not only writing a blog, I’m a practicing attorney, and that means from time to time shit runs late, like it did today and last week and…shit, I mean…every week since I took that ill-advised trip to the mountains to remember what it felt like to unclench my asshole for a few days. But that’s well in the past now, and it’s time for me to start doing shit that I’m supposed to be doing again, like updating this thing and passing on profane wisdom to those who need a swift kick in their perpetually idealistic asses. Which…you know…include letting people know that sometimes you’re going to represent people you abso-fucking-lutely despise.
I’m not just talking about your run of the mill “Oh, clients just flat out suck” type of person you despise either. Nope, not today my merry little shitstains. Today I’m talking about the client who causes your skin to crawl and your brain to say “Nope, fuck you man, you want to take this case you can talk to your ass cause that’s the one making the arguments.” I’m talking about the representation of the world’s reprehensible folks. You know the type I’m taking about, the one’s who go on and on about the purity and strength of the “White Race” while looking like Skeletor and having someone they can call “Sister Momma” with a straight face.
“Fuck them, Boozy,” people who definitely are Muggles will say as they read that paragraph, “Tell us why they don’t deserve a lawyer!”
I’m about to piss a lot of those fucking Muggles off though, guys, because here’s the simple truth: Lawyers aren’t supposed to make moral or judgment calls about their clients (even though we totally do), and that doesn’t just apply to the fluffy, furry, fuzzy fun fuckers…it applies to the hardcore Neo-Nazi assholes as well. Because that’s our goddamn job.
I can hear the sounds of the non-lawyers blocking me on Twitter and removing the site from their news streams even as I type that. Well, good fucking riddance.
Continue reading “Representing the Reprehensible: Part 1 – Boozy Rambles”