Pundit Fights Make Bad Law

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5 Responses

  1. when they go shopping for lawyers, they are looking for someone with no client control whatsoever — or, at least, someone willing to subordinate good lawyering to feckless theatricality.

    DING DING DING DING DING! Ken has hit the bullseye on this issue.

    I had the debatable fortune to find my first legal employment in a vanity law firm run as a project by a second-tier pundit and found myself surrounded by older, more experienced lawyers, who wanted to exercise their taste for overwrought literary drama in their pleadings.

    Geller's presumed behavior described here is not substantively different than the chap I ultimately reported to at this early stage of my career. Fortunately for me, the judges who got the fire-breathing pleadings I pumped out under their direction were quick to counsel me to knock it off, and my immediate superior quickly realized that I needed to become a competent lawyer first before I could be permitted to indulge myself in the sorts of theatrics in which he was indulging, so I got some reins put on me. Towards the end of my time there, I was instructed by the top guy to find some reason to sue [insert disliked political whipping boy here]. When I said, "But you have no standing to claim any injury by them," I was reprimanded for being insubordinate. That was when I knew I had to get out.

    (In my defense, the job market really sucked at that point in time; when the economy later picked up, I jumped ship and took a bland insurance defense job which made me much happier. And improved my economic circumstances, but that's a different story.)

  2. Contracts says:

    Perhaps this inability to understand how the courts actually operate sheds light on these pundits' war on the courts? I mean, if you think every motion and ruling is actually about the merits, is it any wonder that every adverse ruling is evidence of some conspiracy?

    If Orly Taitz was serious about making money, it appears that she'd have a good audience for a seminar on courtroom procedure.

  3. MOG says:

    It's all about the money. If the client is a big pain in the ass, charge a higher fee. These pundits have plenty of cash to throw around, so if they want to air their half-brained press release and call it a motion to dismiss, who is the attorney to care if they're getting paid enough to do it. Sure they have to take the wrath of the judge, but that's a small price to pay if they can significantly improve their financial well being in the process.

  4. MOG, my experience is contrary to that. Nearly every such pundit (excepting only the very biggest names in Punditland) has functionally limited financial resources to pay for luxuries like vanity litigation tactics, and so they seek out lawyers who are ideological fellow-travelers, preferably ones who are dazzled by the bright lights and prospects of fame, by the pundit's celebrity and notoriety, and by the vision of "making a difference," so as to pay those lawyers in the coin of an illusory promise of fame and the stroking of ego, rather than in actual money.

  5. jared says:

    "This will probably sound like dreary law wonkery to our non-lawyer readers."

    On the contrary…good lessons here for anyone whose success relies on knowing his audience. Also, funny as hell.