Litigation is the common path for most young attorneys. In law school, the vast majority of subjects are taught through case law, i.e., litigation. In fact, most transactional courses are presented through the litigation lens: contracts, debtor/creditor, real estate transactions, etc. So it’s no surprise that most law school grads head straight to the litigation department. A year or two of being beaten senseless, however, many lawyers begin to investigate these rumors of some happy place in the firm called “trans-act-shun-ul-land” and eventually take up residence there. The rest accept their fate as permanent citizens of Scorched Earth. Here’s why:
As lawyers, we all struggle with deadlines. Am I right or am I right? The Big Kahuna of course is getting that damn brief in on time. Over the years I have developed a foolproof method of writing briefs that have not resulted in an malpractice claims. In fact, I’ve actually won the majority of the legal duels. So behold, here is my brilliant method:
We all like to do the New Years resolutions thing, but let’s face it, there some resolutions that we, as lawyers, simply shouldn’t make. They’re a waste of time. Let’s just get them out in the open and save everyone a lot of heartburn:
While serving a six-year sentence at a large, Midwestern law firm, there was a senior associate — let’s call him C. Romagnon — who later came to epitomize for me that attorney who no one can stand but who most partners want grinding on their files: at the office at all hours, always available to kiss partner ass, always available to chastise fellow associates, and completely unaware of the world outside his career and case files. Over the course of my time at the firm, he had many wise things to tell me. Here is a small sampling of his wisdom on varying subjects.
When I was in law school, I advanced in the mock trial competition based almost entirely on my written brief, NOT because of my oral argument skills. At least that’s how I felt. And I felt that way because I simply hated oral arguments. (Nothing like standing before a panel of egotistical, sharp-tongued law professors who could skewer you at the drop of a gavel.)
I was allotted 15 minutes to present my argument. I took the podium. The room clearly had a bug infestation because I (and I alone) could hear the deafening sound of crickets. I swear I could also hear the old professors’ eyeballs squeak as they rotated them to look at me in disgust. I started. My voice cracked as I introduced myself. Then I began to read the statute at issue “. . . any false statement . . .”.
Last month we brought you 10 Funny Judicial Quotes. Readers followed up with their favorites. It was a dandy time.
Now, Venkat Balasubramani brought to our attention via Twitter an opinion (PDF) from the Court of Appeal of California whereby the court gave valuable career advice to car thieves and lands itself in the newly-created Top Judicial Quotes standings on Bitter Lawyer:
It is with a heavy heart that this Bitter writer must announce that Law Firm 10 has
admitted herself into a psychiatric assessment and rehabilitation program taken a well-deserved Bitter Sabbatical. She will hopefully be discharged in time to start posting again return to Bitter Lawyer on September 5, 2012.
In the meantime, let’s do a Top 10! Here are some of the funniest judicial quotes out there. (Did I miss some? Please enlighten us in the comments section.)
Today’s Bitter Vault post reminded me of when I told my boss to “take this job and shove it.” Well, kinda.
Fifteen years ago when I was an associate at my first law firm, I had the opportunity to switch from the “take-10-to-15-years-off-your-life-expenctancy” litigation department to the more easy-going transactional department. (Yeah, this was back when there were these things called “transactions”. Some of you younger attorneys probably learned about them in your contracts classes.) The transactional department had given me an offer to join their group, so it was time to drop the bomb on my litigation boss. Given that I would remain at the same firm, I had to be diplomatic.