Category Archives: Civilian’s Guide to Lawyers

Innocent Targets: Target class action settlement worthless to consumers

Consumer class actions are supposed to bundle many small consumer claims together so justice will be done.  Normally, such small claims wouldn’t be viable on their own because there’s not enough at stake to justify the legal fees, even a … 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, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Legal Roulette: Malpractice insurer seeks to drop claims after the fact

Insurance is a form of gambling:  You put your bet down (call it a premium), then the wheel of life starts spinning, and you see what happens while the wheel spins for the term of your policy.  If the ball … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Firing a Lawyer, 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

New Jersey Casino: Contingent fees are not for everyone

New Jersey sued Exxon Mobil for billions in environmental damages, using a private law firm, which gets a big piece of the taxpayers’ pie, even though the state has plenty of lawyers of its own who are paid much less.  … 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

Lying Detectors: California polygraphs sex offenders for “dangerousness”

The intersection of science and the law is a confused place:  Lawyers used to bending facts and law to suit their clients often cannot tell real science from quackery and many scientists get their understanding of the law and court … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Legal Commentary, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Search and Destroy: How lawyers aspire to unmask and sue negative online comments

In the good old days of the internet, everyone thought they were free to say what was on their mind, and share it with the world.  As many people pursued pornography, recipes, Star Trek trivia, and so on, there were … Continue reading

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

The Retention Dance: Law firm claims duty to forward potential client’s inquiry to his employer

Nearly all law firms now have websites, which are primarily marketing tools to impress potential clients.  I suppose some firms would say their websites are not looking for business, they are just “informational,” whatever that means, but that’s certainly how … 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 Commentary, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Talking to Yourself: Lawyer discourages overcommunication with needy clients

Legal problems make many clients nervous — even if it’s something minor than can easily afford.  The whole legal process, including lawyers and courts and so on, just makes you worry. And the superior, condescending attitude of many lawyers, even … 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 Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Bailing Out: Malpractice defense lawyers recommend bailing on difficult clients

Many legal malpractice cases are based on snap judgments gone wrong, perhaps during a trial or other court appearance.  A failure to object at a key time or making a mistake in an argument might qualify for this.  Others have … 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

Trolls Have It: Patent plaintiff loses, but prevails on legal fee issue

While the law is supposed to be objective and the results of lawsuits foreordained by the facts and law, litigation is really an art (not a science) and a gamble entirely dependent on human unpredictability.  The outcome of litigation depends … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Getting Robed: Election of state judge gets expensive, dirty, and stupid

In some state courts the judges are appointed, usually by executive nomination and often with legislative approval.  (All federal judges are appointed this way, and many for life.)  In other states, judges are elected, like governors, legislators, and other state … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Legal Commentary | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off