Category Archives: Civilian’s Guide to Lawyers

Getting To Know You: Your first step with a new client may be your last

Lawyers dealing with all sorts of clients — sophisticated or not so sophisticated — need to start the potential relationship off right.  “Playing lawyer” with a nervous or demanding client can backfire.  Being a know it all or, conversely, claiming … Continue reading

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Born That Way: Taking US citizenship for granted and taking it away for nothing

Not all politicians are lawyers, but many are.  Lawyers do have more training than most people in the history, structure, content, and process of making and enforcing law, which is helpful since they are supposed to make and enforce the … Continue reading

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Puffing Professionals: Law firm immune for false statements to client

Here’s an example of how the legal system, through gatekeeping judges, seems to protect its own — lawyers.  There are many hurdles, some unique to lawyers, protecting lawyers from the consequences of their alleged mistakes by prematurely tossing claims that … Continue reading

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Prix Fixe: Setting standard legal fees is illegal price fixing

While there are other stories about the acceptance of the billable hour as a de facto standard for legal billing, this is one of the more entertaining I have seen.  This is the story of how the US Supreme Court … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Advertising, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Prix Fixe: Setting standard legal fees is illegal price fixing

Just Say No: Sometimes it’s not worth hiring a lawyer for your legal problem

Here’s some online advice by a lawyer suggesting when you should not hire a lawyer.  Often lawyers feel compelled, by their financial interest but also by ethics rules pushing them to genuflect to the bar.  Unlike most of these self-serving … Continue reading

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Trying Times: Fake your trial experience to attract clients

The general public and nearly all clients — even major clients with in-house counsel and lots of client-side litigation experience — assume that lawyers who claim to be litigators or trial lawyers must have substantial trial experience and go to … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Trying Times: Fake your trial experience to attract clients

F That: Judge issues 8 day jail sentence for client’s frustrated hallway comment

Courts are at the foundation of our democratic system, so criticizing a court and speaking your mind about courts, and judges, should be at the core of our First Amendment rights.  As the most rational of our democratic institutions — … Continue reading

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Disabled Lawyering: Lawyer impersonates colleague to double dip veterans’ fees

Just when you think you’ve heard all the ways a rogue lawyer might find to overcharge a client, along comes a story like this one.  It seems a lawyer used a friend’s identity to illegally double bill disabled veterans for … Continue reading

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Pyramid Scheme: Contract lawyers treated like slaves for lawyer profit

There’s a new layer at the bottom of the billable hours pyramid.  The top is still occupied by partners, followed by non-partner lawyers, and then by the fairly recent paralegal and other quasi-clerical layers.  But, in the last few years, … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pyramid Scheme: Contract lawyers treated like slaves for lawyer profit

Fire the Client: Law firm accused of malpractice knocks out estate administrator

A common complaint we hear about lawyers arises in the administration of wills, estates, and trusts.  Often the problem is that the lawyer double dips by serving both as the lawyer billing the estate for legal work (needed or otherwise) … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Firing a Lawyer, Hiring a lawyer, Lawyer Management, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fire the Client: Law firm accused of malpractice knocks out estate administrator