Law

to the illiterate barristers, eatadick. to the muskrat, chin up!

Apparently, some brilliant shyster filed a civil rights petition in federal court with such inconsequential words as “plaintiff” and “United States” misspelled.  The Philadelphia judge, who was described as being “irate,” cut the legal fees by over $150,000.

You might call this story “pathetic” or “disappointing,” but I call it “inspiring.”  If this fool can make $26,000 even after having his fees slashed for failing “hooked on phonics,” there’s hope for the litigious rodent after all.

Incidentally, the conversation I was dreading last week went great!  Having rehearsed my initial sentence several times in my head (a la Jo Galloway in “A Few Good Men“), when I walked into the office, shut the door behind me, and plopped down into the empty chair, I just blurted out, “I want to start my own law firm in April.”  Then I waited.

jo

As it turns out, my candor and early warning was appreciated (several friends advised against this, as our annual bonuses come out in early March, so I could’ve screwed myself royally by giving advance notice like I did, but I did it anyway).  In fact, he said he’d keep my leaving quiet until he was sure about the exact date on which bonuses will be paid out, so that he can ensure a new attorney is not brought in until I’ve received mine.  Lesson learned:  honesty can be a good thing, even for a damned lawyer.

I nearly shat myself when I found out what my logo, web design, and business cards would cost.  Today, however, the designer emailed me with a new quote that was 1/3 the previous one, writing that “I really want to help you make this dream of yours a reality.”

Tomorrow, I meet with a prominent “business development and strategic planning” consultant who only works with lawyers.  Luckily, the initial consultation is free, as he “ain’t cheap” (per an attorney I met with Friday night who made nearly $1M last year).

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16 Comments

  1. Glad things are lining up for you so you can get back to what’s really important: blogging ;).

    But seriously, am glad to hear things are working out for you, especially with the free consultation.

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  2. “Lesson learned: honesty can be a good thing, even for a damned lawyer.”

    Especially for a damned lawyer who is going out on his own, and whose reputation is, for now, his biggest asset.

    The events of 2008 have shown one thing. The public has lost patience with cynical professionals who bend the rules, and who play fast and loose with fairness.

    It augurs well for you. Stay honest.

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  3. woah, sounds like it’s coming together. bravo on the honesty, and for getting right in there and telling it straight. That sort of thing makes me scared and nervous and shit myself. so well done!
    and I agree with HB8, stay honest, it’s good for your conscience.
    NB- do lawyers have consciences?

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  4. That’s nuts about the typos, but I get the implication about professionalism.

    As for honesty in the workplace, I am with you. My last performance/salary review I said (in pretty much these words), “I like working here, but only because it allows me to live how I want to live: we can afford for my wife to stay at home, and I have enough flexibility in my schedule to spend time with my kids. Take away either of those realities and I’m gone.”

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  5. Well on your way, Muskrat. Maybe that lawyer should use some of his 26k to hire Grover or the Cookie Monster to help him with his typing. Good luck!

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  6. In today’s economy, with so many graphic designers who do good work looking for freelance work, I would hope that you’re not paying more than $1-2K total for everything.

    That’s really amazing that your employer is willing to still give you your bonus before you leave. Kick ass!

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  7. Remember, 1$M isn’t what it used to be.

    But yeah for the free consultation. Good luck.

    prefers her fantasy life’s last blog post..From the H-Files (The Hippie Files)–My First Love

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  8. It’s cool when things kind of fall into place for you, isn’t it? That kind of stuff often happens to me and I don’t really know what I’ve done to earn such good luck.

    A Free Man’s last blog post..Interview 2009

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  9. UnfinishedRambler, You’re right! Blogging IS IT! I wish.

    Headbang8, Thanks for the pep talk! I think you’re right.

    SSG, Sometimes, it’s good to see the right kind of risk pay off for a change. And, no, they don’t. But I do.

    SciFiDad, That’s because you have gonads of granite. You don’t even need buns of steel.

    NukeDad, LOL…great advice!

    Avitable, You nailed it. I was pleased, too, but I was a good little minion, so I wasn’t super surprised.

    PrefersFantasy, Great point, but I’d take it all the same.

    ChurchPunkMom, Thanks! You too, with your book venture and all.

    FreeMan, It is nice. I usually attribute it to being so damned good-looking.

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  10. My only advice: Overhead is the kiss of death.
    Take it for what it’s worth, stay lean and prosper.

    Dan Brantley’s last blog post..Scofflaw, Redux

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  11. Most excellent! (I’ve been without a computer for several days, so sorry if this well-wishing is late.) Striking out in a new direction is exciting. Still trying to bushwhack a path myself, doing the waiting thing…hope to have good news too very soon.

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  12. Good for you!

    Mama Dawg’s last blog post..Bits and Pieces

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  13. Awesome turn of events!! Good luck with all that. Do you think if I wrote “Legal Expert” on my Twitter description I could also charge that much for services? It seems to work for “Social Media Consultants.”

    BusyDad’s last blog post..Orlando! …or Bust

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  14. Dan, Thanks for the advice…the goal is to keep it low!

    ShieldMaiden, Hope to read about your leap soon, too, then!

    MamaDawg, Thanks!

    BusyDad, Thanks…and hey, if you’ve got the skills, then absolutely!

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  15. That judge just nearly brought a tear to my eye– that’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. More people should be fined for not grabbing a dictionary or a proofreader before submitting things more important than “siht liek htis”.

    As for you, honesty is definitely almost always the best way to go. So simple, no worrying about what you’ve told who or what will happen if people find out, and even if people are shocked, they don’t have to waste time and energy imagining the deep, dark truth behind your cover-up.

    Also, congratulations on moving things right along towards your dream– your hard work will pay off, I’m betting.

    LiteralDan’s last blog post..A conversation with M-: The wipe that shakes the barley

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