Category Archives: Civilian’s Guide to Lawyers

House Rules: Clients should think twice before trying bar-sponsored fee arbitration

As we’ve noted before, arbitration (and its neutered friend mediation) is a private replacement for civil litigation in court.  Many parties consider arbitration when the local courts are slow, perhaps to get a private “judge” with some special expertise, or … Continue reading

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Yikes: Law firm sues client for negative Yelp review

The internet has opened unlimited channels for everyone with something to say to communicate with the world.  Whether everyone has something worth saying and anyone is listening are still issues.  The days of information that is systematically filtered and edited … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Firing a Lawyer, Hiring a lawyer, Lawyer Advertising, Lawyer Management, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Passive Aggression: Juror research limited to “passive” means, while clients can’t just scrub own online records

Social media provide possible sources for lawyers of the public or semi-private thoughts of clients, opponents, witnesses, and even jurors.  This can be a goldmine for witness impeachment or an opponent’s admissions, but it can also be an ethical trap … Continue reading

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More Is Rarely Better: Spending more for lawyers only guarantees a bigger bill

An otherwise political debate about differences in how laws are unevenly enforced for the one percent versus the rest of us became distracted by suggestions that people who can afford to pay more for their lawyers get better lawyering as … Continue reading

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Jury Duty: Judge jails lawyer for complaining that jury duty conflicted with client duty

There are several common “types” for judges — so common that they are frequently portrayed quite accurately on TV and in movies.  You’ve got your passive, cerebral, experienced judge — the ones who never yell or make snide remarks.  Then … Continue reading

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eBandAids: California Bar prescribes higher bills to “fix” firms’ e-discovery incompetence

The legal profession tends to lag behind the rest of the business and professional world when it comes to understanding and embracing technology.  Usually it’s the demands of the junior — more technically adroit — staff who may move things … Continue reading

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Blame the Clients: Law firm lays off new law grads just before graduation

Before a doctor practices on real people, they have to take lots of academic courses, but they also get quite a bit of practical, “clinical” experience, starting with cadavers and moving up to living people under close supervision.   Lawyers, on … Continue reading

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Fat Fees: Beware of flat fee deals with too much fat

For companies, government agencies, and a few individuals who use lawyers in bulk, it may make sense to pay wholesale, and not retail hourly rates, by hiring your own lawyers as employees.  This makes more sense for steady work where … Continue reading

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Off The Cuff: Retired judge gets reprimand for allegedly sexist remarks about sexism

Lawyers are the foot soldiers in the legal system — the boots on the ground in modern cliche.  (Clients are the prisoners of war.)  Trial judges might be the lower-ranking officers, while legislators (and higher ranking judges) are the generals.  … Continue reading

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Client Baggage: Sometimes other clients can help you deal with lawyers, sometimes not

Sometimes civilians who have experience dealing with lawyers can give other civilians useful advice about finding and dealing with lawyers.  Other times, however, the civilian’s personal story (or rant) just shows how far off track you can go with a … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Firing a Lawyer, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , | Comments Off