No Time To Die: Lawyers and Sick Time

Hey! I’m back! Sort of. To describe the current situation, let me put it like this: Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but I left a piece of my hip on the roadside, my cognizance of situations in a bottle of painkillers, and my snark and wit in a goddamn bedside commode chair. So bear with me today as I shift uncomfortably from side to side and start talking about a recent realization that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in the business of being legal: Namely, even when you’re ill, injured, or dying there’s no such thing as a day off in the life of a lawyer.

And that, folks, can fucking suck. Because, in the past, I’ve written about how the work-life balance for attorneys is a thing that we talk about, normally somewhere around the time we discuss our belief in fairies and how the government is turning the frogs gay. This is the sort of shit people search through law libraries for, hoping to take a blurry photograph of the attorney that somehow found a way to preserve his sanity and health while being reasonably successful at his job. Frankly, as my good friend Jeremy Richter pointed out yesterday, we simply are not a profession that rewards people for deciding they want to take a vacation, spend time with family, unwind with a movie, or enjoy the fucking holidays without worrying about what others may think.

And we are definitely not a profession that believes in the concept of being sick or injured and needing to recuperate.

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Malpractice and You: Suck Less

Good morning you reprobates! Welcome to the after-school special edition of Lawyers & Liquor where I’m gonna make it clear that just because you have a law license doesn’t mean you’re immune from being a complete dumbass. Yep, that’s right, today we’re gonna dive deep into the realm controlled by USAffinity and shit like that to talk about the definite truth that at some point in your legal career, you’re going to commit malpractice.

Because you will commit malpractice.

Shit, I’ve committed malpractice before.

It’s surprisingly fucking easy to do.

What’s that? You want a fucking story about how goddamn easy it is to commit malpractice? Sure, why the fuck not.

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Rules of Law: Read Your Procedural Rules Before Filing

Alright, so you guys may remember that, in the past, I’ve had some words for Tiffany Dehen, the USD law graduate who was impersonated on Twitter, lost her mind, and began to sue everyone in the world for $100,000,000 in order to be compensated for the grave slight of there being a Twitter account out there with three followers in her name.  You may even recall that I previously begged her, in an open letter, to, in the words of that goddamn ice princess, let it go. That didn’t happen, and yesterday both Twitter and USD filed briefs seeking to have the whole thing dismissed.

This isn’t a post about Twitter, but…you guys…how strangely awesome is it that USD Law essentially moved to dismiss a complaint filed by one of their own graduates on the grounds that someone they gave a fucking JD to doesn’t understand the basic procedural rules everyone is taught in the first year of law school? What world is this, even? That’s like the very definition of a pyrrhic victory!

You don’t know what that means? Oh my god…I’m dealing with children. Google it. I’m not your goddamn history teacher. By the way, go smack your history teacher.

Anyhow, despite being really goddamn amusing, there’s an important lesson for lawyers in the Tiffany Saga today, and that is learn the goddamn procedural rules that will govern your case.  Jesus christ, this should be like simple background shit for most of you by now, but I’m personally seeing attorneys with years of practice fuck shit up procedurally simply because they can’t be bothered to go on the local court website and read the rules and procedures.

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Stop Living Like a Pro Athlete: 5 Financial F’Ups of Small Lawyers, Part 2

Alright, so on Monday I covered two of the financial mistakes that small-firm and solo lawyers tend to make that leave them holding tin cups in front of bar association functions crying “Alms!” I promised you guys we’d continue this series, and conclude it, today, so in order to do that we’re not going to spend a lot of time prefacing crap this morning. Instead, let’s get right into talking about Financial F’Ups 3-5 for the Small Lawyer!

If you need a refresher on the shit I told you Monday, and you may because you assholes leak like a sieve when it comes to retaining information, you can re-read Part 1 here, which advises you to plan to make less money and live frugally. I don’t really expect you assholes to listen to me, because as a whole lawyers suck at taking advice from other people.

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Screw The Optics: Why Lawyers Need Vacations

So, this weekend I had the chance to talk to my father. If you’re a reader of my inane ramblings that aren’t exclusively practice guides, you know a little about Dad already, and if you don’t you can read a lot more about him here than you really want to know. The gist of the phone call was arranging a pickup point for us to exchange my kids this weekend, as they’re going to spend a week with my parents and explore all the wonders the Bluegrass state has to offer…or at least all the wonders they can enjoy before they turn 21. Which, considering the main exports of Kentucky, are bourbon, tobacco, and horses, aren’t much.

During the course of the conversation, Dad said to me “You should really take a week off and come down to visit. It’d do you some good.”

“Gee whiz Dad,” I answered, “I’d love to, but I’ve got so much going on right now. Depositions, hearings, client meetings, and some appellate stuff that has a pretty firm deadline. Maybe next year.”

“You know, if you don’t get away from that office you’re going to lose your mind.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I told him as I built a new friend out of pipe cleaners and drain hair, “I’ve got it all together.”

“Just remember, you gotta take care of yourself or you can’t take care of your clients.

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