A Good Start...
December 23, 2004 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Let's face it: lawyers don't have a great reputation for being nice people. For example, an associate at Winston & Strawn leaves a somewhat abusive message [wav] for another associate at Latham & Watkins. Along those lines, here's a message [wav], with increasingly frustrated obscenities, purportedly left by a trademark applicant/appellant with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB); resulting Final Order [pdf] concerning disclipinary action of the attorney. Most recently: the Grinch who almost stole Christmas [pdf].
posted by monju_bosatsu (13 comments total)
other professions are just as bad. you wouldn't believe how verbally abusive software publishers can be. and salesmen. and CEOs. and middle managers ...

imo, lawyers don't care about their image because it rarely affects their bottom line.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:34 AM on December 23, 2004

Also, some lawyers build their reputations for being "sharks", so they cultivate an aggressive demeanor.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:48 AM on December 23, 2004

Yippee - Lawyer war Now I know its Christmas
posted by Cancergiggles at 9:04 AM on December 23, 2004

Actually, I was pretty impressed at the proper language usage. The occasional "fuck/fucking" notwithstanding, the overall tone was pretty civilized.

So, people get mad sometimes. Are we surprised at this because lawyers also get mad, and, well, we weren't aware they were people?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:05 AM on December 23, 2004

Well, if you read through the reprimand, apparently he left a large number of messages along those lines.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:05 AM on December 23, 2004

thanks monju, my bosses (attorneys) were very much amused
posted by lola at 9:06 AM on December 23, 2004

These are two different attorneys.

The first guy sounds like he may be reasonably pissed at an attorney at another firm with whom he is working. It sounds like the other guy screwed up some important documents.

The court order is for the second idiot who just sounds like he didn't get his way with a trademark dispute.

Here is one of his sincere apologies. Of course, the sorry ass won't even own up to simply being an asshole.

My phone calls were unprofessional and there is no excusing them.
All I can say is that my assistant was out with the flu for three
days and I was sick, as well, and taking powerful prescription
cough medicine. I was delirious.

posted by Blubble at 10:09 AM on December 23, 2004

Blame it on the meds. Right. Like the Atkins diet makes you a racist.

The guy with the Grinch brief is taking a pretty big risk on sanctions. He's counting on the judge having a sense of humor (I wouldn't - the fact that Christmas bullshit has infested every other aspect of my life doesn't mean it should show up in court filings.) Exhibit A, the original letter from Akin Gump, is a hell of a lot more amusing than the Grinch poem.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:31 AM on December 23, 2004

Understand that the more conflict a lawyer can drum up "in the best interests of the client", the more hours he/she is going to rack up dealing with that conflict, the more hours his/her opposing counterpart is going to rack up, and the bigger pay day for both of them - all at the expense of their clients.
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2004

On the grinch lawyer. I understand in civil cases it's common to file motions around Christmas just so the opposing attorneys has to spend the holidays writing a response.

It's a mental game as much as it is a legal game. If you're a partner don't forget to treat the other lawyer as a 2nd year associate. If they're female, talk to them using their first name especially if they never said it was ok.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:28 PM on December 23, 2004

Things are different in the Texas Courts. Here is an order [pdf] from a Texas Federal Judge (that's right, a Federal judge) ordering counsel to "get a life."

It gets a little crazy down there.
posted by The Bellman at 3:21 PM on December 23, 2004

insert generic anti-lawyer joke here

ironic; I'm taking the LSATS in a month and a half
posted by craven_morhead at 8:36 PM on December 23, 2004

craven_morhead, I'm all for anti-lawyer jokes and I just took the LSATs in December.

This is going to be one of those careers where, if you can't laugh about it, you're gonna explode someday.
posted by Maxson at 2:24 PM on December 24, 2004

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