A Lake Charles, Louisiana lawyer’s welcome-to-the-neighborhood letter is the toast of Twitter.
A Charleston, South Carolina attorney is attracting attention for the rather inflexible conditions he sets on opposing lawyers’ wish to contact him. He offers a choice of two ways.
(1) Call my cell any day between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. If I am not already on the phone with another opposing counsel, I will answer and spend up to five minutes on the phone with you. At the end of our five-minute talk, I may instruct my staff to schedule a longer meeting with you if you satisfy the criteria set forth in #2 below. Please note that I spend just five minutes on each call, so if I don’t answer when you call, wait a few minutes and try again. My cell is XXX-XXXX. Call only between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. as I spend the rest of my day focused solely on achieving my clients’ goals.
The second way to reach him might prove even less appealing — check it out. [FITSNews]
From Scenes of Clerical Life (1857), “Janet’s Repentance,” chapter 2 (paragraph breaks added):
Old lawyer Pittman had once been a very important person indeed, having in his earlier days managed the affairs of several gentlemen in those parts, who had subsequently been obliged to sell everything and leave the country, in which crisis Mr. Pittman accommodatingly stepped in as a purchaser of their estates, taking on himself the risk and trouble of a more leisurely sale; which, however, happened to turn out very much to his advantage. Such opportunities occur quite unexpectedly in the way of business. But I think Mr. Pittman must have been unlucky in his later speculations, for now, in his old age, he had not the reputation of being very rich; and though he rode slowly to his office in Milby every morning on an old white hackney, he had to resign the chief profits, as well as the active business of the firm, to his younger partner, Dempster. No one in Milby considered old Pittman a virtuous man, and the elder townspeople were not at all backward in narrating the least advantageous portions of his biography in a very round unvarnished manner.
Yet I could never observe that they trusted him any the less, or liked him any the worse. Indeed, Pittman and Dempster were the popular lawyers of Milby and its neighborhood, and Mr. Benjamin Landor, whom no one had anything particular to say against, had a very meager business in comparison. Hardly a landholder, hardly a farmer, hardly a parish within ten miles of Milby, whose affairs were not under the legal guardianship of Pittman and Dempster; and I think the clients were proud of their lawyers’ unscrupulousness, as the patrons of the fancy’s are proud of their champion’s ‘condition’.
It was not, to be sure, the thing for ordinary life, but it was the thing to be bet on in a lawyer. Dempster’s talent in ‘bringing through’ a client was a very common topic of conversation with the farmers, over an incidental glass of grog at the Red Lion. ‘He’s a long-headed feller, Dempster; why, it shows yer what a headpiece Dempster has, as he can drink a bottle o’ brandy at a sittin’, an’ yit see further through a stone wall when he’s done, than other folks ‘ll see through a glass winder.’ Even Mr. Jerome, chief member of the congregation at Salem Chapel, an elderly man of very strict life, was one of Dempster’s clients, and had quite an exceptional indulgence for his attorney’s foibles, perhaps attributing them to the inevitable incompatibility of law and gospel.
The standard of morality at Milby, you perceive, was not inconveniently high in those good old times, and an ingenuous vice or two was what every man expected of his neighbor.
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The developer of Do Not Pay, a free app for fighting parking tickets, has now turned his attention to small claims court [Caroline Haskins, Motherboard]:
The app works by having a bot ask the user a few basic questions about their legal issue. The bot then uses the answers to classify the case into one of 15 different legal areas, such as breach of contract or negligence. After that, Do Not Pay draws up documents specific to that legal area, and fills in the specific details. Just print it out, mail it to the courthouse, and voilá — you’re a plaintiff. And if you have to show up to court in person, Do Not Pay even creates a script for the plaintiff to read out loud in court.