Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Getting the Best Out of Your Lawyer

A 10 Step Guide

1. Avoid violence, either physical or verbal, unless absolutely necessary.

2. Avoid eye contact, displays of emotion (deep gratitude excepted) or sudden movements near your lawyer.

3. If you find it necessary to communicate with your lawyer, do so as obliquely as possible, preferably in writing on one side of a sheet of A5. Do not use red or green ink. Keep underlining and block lettering to a minimum.

4. Pace your correspondence. Try to allow at least 3 months between telephone calls, emails and letters. Law is an ancient profession and, even today, many lawyers still work to the rhythm of the seasons.

5. If you expect a reply, proceed to Step 7.

6. Do not attempt to communicate with your lawyer in person at his/ her place of work unless for the purposes of carrying out Steps 7 or 8. Never communicate with your laywer out of office hours.

7. Make frequent unsolicited large payments on account of legal expenses.

8. Give your lawyer gifts and small treats from time to time. It helps maintain his/her attention.

9. Emphasize that as far as you're concerned it's not the winning or losing but the taking part that's important.

10. Always be very nice to The Secretary.


Blogger Ces said...

We have exceptional lawyers and maybe I am an exception BUT I like lawyers. My sister is a lawyer, our friends are lawyers and they are very nice and also happen to be legal eagles. My husband's lawyer gives me gifts! He just gave me a gift this weekend. Everytime he goes to the Carribean he also brings me shells because he knows I collect shells. He speaks softly and gently and wins all his cases!!!

11:42 pm  
Blogger Within Without said...

A high powered lawyer who can actually laugh at herself and her profession!

Lawyers, of course, rule the world. They make the planet tick, even though we may not want them to.

My lawyer is a great guy, plain-speaking, funny, intelligent, sensitive, understanding, self-deprecating

I'm sure as much as you joke about it, and this is super funny, you're like that too.


2:07 am  
Blogger kj said...

well, i'm taking the other side. with the exception of cherry pie, the 3 lawyers referred to by ces and ww, and possibly 2 others practicing on the usa east coast, the steps you have outlined, cp, sound just about right.

for the record, i have worked with dozens, probably hundreds of lawyers in my young life, and i admit to high standards. cherrypie is a shoo-in for my respect and affection.

2:47 am  
Blogger Ces said...

Cherry Pie are you a divorce lawyer?

3:24 am  
Blogger CeCe said...

Haven't had to deal with a lawyer yet. Hope I never have to. I'm fond of notaries for the easy stuff.

4:20 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Oh and of course abandon punctuation at the earliest available opportunity said opportunity herinafter being defined as the party of the first part and the defunct punctuation herinafter being referred to as the party of the second part except in those particular circumstances wherein the party of the second part being required for correspondence with the outside world herinafter being defined as the party of the third part otherwise colloquially described as customers being in communication with their legal representatives shall append an occasional and only wherever strictly appropriate full stop otherwise known as a period to said correspondence nevertheless all colons semi-colons and other descriptive marks shall be omitted for the purpose of precise inexactitude...

Why DO they do that, CP?

10:36 am  
Blogger Dave said...

Some of my best friends, at one time in my life, were lawyers. I used to wargame with them. They never seemed to know the rules as well as I did (but then, I worked in insurance, and so was used to interpreting small print).

11:00 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Ces - you are so refreshing. I haven't quite got to the levels where I can holiday in the Caribbean but I shall look for some cockle shells next time I'm on Cleethorpes beach if you like.

Fortunately I haven't done matrimonial work for years. I got so disillusioned by all the arguments over custody of the strimmer when they couldn't give a hoot about the kids. I now stick to property law. Much more dull, far less need for tissues.

WW - you have to laugh as the alternatives are just too awful.

KJ-the type of lawyer outlined in my spoof are getting rarer, but sadly they do still exist as you know. I would always use my best endeavours to attain your exacting standards.

CeCe - may you ever remain so fortunate.

12:33 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

This comment is made on the Twenty Fifth day of October Two Thousand and Six between Cherrypie ( "the Commentor") of Dipping Toes of the one part and Mark Gamon (" the Commentee") of Somewhere Suvvern of the other part WHEREAS the said Commentee has requested a response to a question which has baffled lay persons since time immemorial and the Commentor is desirous of granting to the Commentee an answer in full and final satisfaction NOW THIS COMMENT WITNESSES that in consideration of the natural animal attraction and affection of the Commentor for the Commentee the Commentor wishes the Commentee to understand that FIRSTLY it is purely a device to confuse and befuddle such lay persons as hereinbefore mentioned and SECONDLY to avoid the types of ambiguous situations as are set out in a recent tome by Lynne Truss and THIRDLY because it avoided ink splots from clerks' quill pens changing the entire meaning of a document and FOURTHLY because we studied long and hard often well into the night to learn this stuff and we are darned if we are not going to use it at every available opportunity to display our skills and expertise EXCEPING AND RESERVING unto the Commentor the right to remain silent for the rest of the afternoon TO HOLD the same unto the Commentee in fee simple absolute in possession of all his faculties, teeth and hair IN WITNESS of which the Commentor has set her mark the day and year first hereinbefore written in the presence of anyone who had the misfortune to chance by and stayed long enough to get to the end.

12:55 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Dave- I am not one of those lawyers. And I'm a woman, I wrote the small print.

12:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

could be worse CP, you could be an Estate Agent.

1:09 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Pete - shame on you! I could NOT be an estate agent. I have friends, morals and more substance than style.

1:17 pm  
Blogger Joyce said...

so THAT's where it all went wrong....

3:11 pm  
Blogger should-be-working said...

Hillarious post. Lawyers always tell the best lawyer jokes. :)

12:06 am  
Blogger Ces said...

CherryPie, there is something about legalese - it just turns me on!

12:16 am  
Blogger Within Without said...

Brilliant legal text response to Dave, CP...but I wonder how often the words "natural animal attraction" have been used in divorce or property cases...

12:37 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...



1:33 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Yes, I wondered about that too. I'm taking professional advice about this misuse of my name. I suspect I may have a case for deformation of character.

Anyone know a good lawyer?

Sorry, is that an oxymoron?

2:10 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Boys. Boys. I think it's a simple misunderstanding. I assumed WW was referring to 2 different responses and combined it into one.

But even so, I don't think you have a possible action because a defamatory remark has, by it's very nature, to be injurious to not enhance one's reputation. Besides, Winnipeg is outside the jurisdiction.

2:49 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Ahem. I said said he was deforming my character. Not defaming it. By comparing me to someone in their fifties he's clearly distorting my true nature out of all recognition.

3:33 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Dave - Quite! Now all is clear.

3:59 pm  
Blogger Mise said...

lol..my lawyer, who is also my friend, would love this if he had a computer ... I'll get his very nice secretary to print it out for him!

4:14 pm  
Blogger Within Without said...


Oh, ahem, yes, this appears to be all my fault.

It seems I meant to say to Cherry Pie, brilliant legalese response to Mark (not Dave).

My apologies Mark (and Dave).

Please don't sue me for deformation. CP has already agreed to act on my behalf.

Now what about that use of the term, "natural animal attraction."

10:13 pm  
Blogger kj said...

cherrypie, i need to rehabilitate myself. i was too harsh about lawyers. i have changed my mind. since this is your noble profession and i hold you in the highest regard, i have reevaluated my postion totally.

plus i don't want to get a reputation with you that i am exacting. and don't forget i kiss on the lips....


12:45 am  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

Having spent so much of my adult life dealing with lawyers and reading contracts I realised that lawyers have hijacked the language. I mean they control the legal system with legalese which is a piss poor mishmash of latin and Artorian Englishe...this is done to confound the average person and make them feel stupid...

What a brilliant idea.

6:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like my lawyer but am intimidated by him. I am new to needing a lawyer, but strangely I instinctively follow most of these rules already! I was thinking of sending him the largest bottle of Grey Goose I could find for Christmas!

6:14 pm  

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