Yeah. You can’t scare me, I work with lawyers.
And in general, I have an abiding loathing for lawyers.
Not the ones I work with (of course) – mostly; but just the general concept.
Part of this, I believe, can be attributed to living in California.
(California, I believe, is an old Spanish word meaning the land of lawyers.)
California has way too many lawyers.
I have often proposed that law schools in California be subsidized by the government paying the schools x amount of money for each lawyer they do NOT turn out.
Because of so many lawyers, in California you can always find some asshole willing to take on any kind of ridiculous lawsuit.
This is one reason why even the simplest of contracts in California needs to be pages and pages long, to try and head off some asshole lawyer who is looking for any excuse to sue you.
(I used to tell clients who complained about the cost and lengthiness of contracts, that they could pay us now or they could pay a whole lot more to another lawyer when you end up arguing it in court.)
One thing you also need to understand is that law school does not prepare a person to be a lawyer – law school teaches you the law.
Not how to apply it properly.
Not how to properly prepare court documents.
Not how to draw up a contract.
So these naturally argumentative people fresh from taking the bar exam think they are the hottest of hot shit, and have an unreasonably high opinion of themselves and their abilities and they run smack into the law office staff.
You know, the people who have been actually dealing with this crap day in and day out, the people who understand the nuts and bolts of getting something filed with the court, served on the right people, etc.
Baby attorneys are the bane of the law office staff.
Some baby attorneys figure it out, calm the fuck down, and settle down to learning what their place in the law office is and learning from the people with more (practical) experience.
They grow up to be decent, and sometimes even good, attorneys.
Some baby attorneys never get over themselves.
Those are the assholes who are suing you for really stupid stuff.
The assholes usually don’t win.
But they do find ways of getting paid.
Those cases the assholes bring still have to be defended, which means that even though you did nothing wrong, you still, at the very least, have to pay your own attorney.
And because actually going to trial can be incredibly expensive, the asshole attorneys are usually hoping for what’s called a nuisance settlement – i.e., they want to see how much money they can squeeze out of you for agreeing to go away.
What a racket.
And presumably, these ass hats can sleep at night.
Some lawyers are truly doing the work of God (in whom I don’t believe) – truly helping people.
When I was working as a legal secretary/paralegal, I stayed firmly on the transactional (contracts, corporate, real estate, etc.) and estate planning end of the legal rainbow. When people would ask what kind of law my boss in Los Angeles practiced, I would tell them, “Anything that does not require him going into a courtroom.”
Here is my favorite lawyer joke:
A zombie is walking down the street and sees a butcher shop; feeling a bit puckish, he enters and asks for a pound of brains.
Butcher: What kind of brains?
Zombie: What do you got?
Butcher: Well, we have scientist brains for $5.00 a pound.
Zombie: What else?
Butcher: We have doctor’s brains for $10.00 a pound.
Zombie: Anything else?
Butcher: We have lawyer’s brains for $200 a pound.
Zombie: $200 a pound! Why so much?
Butcher: Do you know how many lawyers we have to kill to get a pound of brains?