In this world of lawyer jokes and sometimes deserved disdain of attorneys (have YOU been injured in an accident?), it is rare that something new and different appears to cause one to think about one's profession. However, badmagic
managed to come up with an utterly unique comparison between lawyers and pillbugs (or hedgehogs). It got me to thinking....
I can't stand the constant barrage of ridiculous ads on TV for lawyers. Does your child have birth defects? Do you have [fill in disease here]. Were you in an accident? Did you stub your toe on your landlord's steps? Did a passer-by dis your dog? Are you a tax cheat? Are you a deadbeat who wants more disability? We can help! In this "something for nothing" society, responsibility seems to always lay elsewhere for anything that might possibly happen, and generally exists wherever someone has more money than you do. Ridiculous settlement reports that seem highly inflated for the type of injury fuel this "lust to litigate." And with law schools churning out thousands upon thousands of graduates, there isn't a shortage of people out to make a name for themselves by being the "next McDonalds burn victim lawyer."
The whole ideas of fairness and justice are quickly fading away, and people are just as quick to blame the lawyers. Of course some attorneys are dweebing little bottom feeding scum who don't deserve to have legs. That much is clear. But behind every bottom feeder there's a greedy client. And in front of every bottom feeder is a judge who refuses to sanction them for frivolous suits (yeah, there are state and federal rules that call for sanctioning the lawyer for bringing ridiculous claims. That would be money out of the lawyer or law firm's pocket, not the client's since the client isn't supposed to know better.) Most judges used to be lawyers. Perhaps that should change.
So, what do I think about people who ask me for free legal advice? (Since that was the gist of badmagic
's posting). In general, I don't mind too much, unless it is someone who feels some type of entitlement to my brain. They also have to understand that many lawyers are specialists. I limit my practice to trademarks, copyrights, computer and Internet issues, licenses, contracts, corporate stuff, and a smattering of other stuff. Attorneys are actually prohibited from giving advice in areas they aren't up to speed in. If someone asks me about their divorce, their wills, their speeding tickets, their car accidents, their boat sunk in international waters, their lying politicians, or their daughter the drug dealer, I can only advise them to find a lawyer who covers those areas of the law. If they have all of those problems at once, I'd go to the Wills and Estates lawyer first. If you need brain surgery, would you go to the ob/gyn? Some of you might, but it is not generally recommended.
Anyway, there are times when I actually will kinda hide or curl up in a ball or scamper away from the free legal advice issue. Being as I wasn't dressed for a scamper, I actually did hide when I heard "the lawyer from Black Rose is doing yoga on my floor" because the mindset was just not quite right for serious questions at that particular moment. Of that, I refuse to provide more comment other than the fact that none of my then current thoughts were on legal issues.
So ask all you want...I might give you a useful answer if I'm not otherwise occupied. And keep throwing rotten vegetables at the tv when you see those stupid commercials. As for comparing me with insects....I will leave that to your discretion.