Sunday, June 23, 2013


I get tired of hearing lawyer jokes. I don't think they are funny. I also don't like racist or religion jokes. It's easier to attack lawyers, though.  Throughout the ages, society has had a love-hate relationship with lawyers. I get it. We represent the best and the worst qualities in people. Some of our clients are greedy, and some of us lawyers are, too.  Some of us represent criminals, and society wants to feel safe. Some of us represent people with big money to get away with things they shouldn't get away with.   Some of us are simply down right greedy and selfish. Most aren't.

This weekend I went to a trial lawyer convention with some big wig lawyers. I assumed some of them must practice law primarily for the money.  i found that and many do not. I met some kind, compassionate people who feel called to the law. I think about what makes us look bad and I cherish the ones whom I admire.  Here are the characteristics that make the difference.


1.  Abundance of commercials, usually poorly done, leaving the impression that the lawyer only cares about money.

2.   Class actions for stupid things, like Southwest Airlines drink coupons, with the lawyers raking in millions.

3.  Lawyers who take cases, but won't try them. If you want to do litigation, you need to be willing to go all of the way.  Law firms should not be run like factories.

4.  Civil defense lawyers who tell you they don't want to settle cases until they have billed enough hours so they get paid a lot of money. Honestly, several lawyers have told me that.

5.  Lawyers who have ego issues and make their cases all about them and think little about what is in their clients' best interest.


1.  Lawyers who have dinner with their clients because the clients are despondent about their predicaments.

2.  Lawyers who promise the dying mother that she will protect the mother's children and make sure the children have a future.

3.  Lawyers who reduce their contingent fees because, under the circumstances, the client needs more money than he or she is due.

4.  Lawyers who battle through trial and beyond, never giving up, to obtain justice for their clients. Good lawyers are persistent lawyers ready to fight and willing to battle as long as it takes.

5.  Lawyers who put their clients first, truly listening to and empathizing with the clients, and always working to get justice for and to protect those clients.

Now for my lawyer joke:  How many lawyers does it take to promote justice?  Just one. Justice can prevail one case at a time.

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