Hang The Bloody DJ, Burn Down The DiscoSo it's that time of the year again when all around the United States, thousands of folks flock to convention centers, airport hotels, and bingo parlors with highlighters (one color for each different issue you spot in the essay portion), pens, typewriters, and flashlights (just in case of a power outage) to take that legal version of getting whacked with paddles and forced streaking through the campus known as the Bar Exam. In California, this exam lasts for three days, so those of you in Illinois or New York, quit your complainin'. (California has something called "performance" tests in addition to the standard essays and multi-state. These tests are supposed to measure your aptitude for the practical side of the law--here are some documents or a client file and write a research memo in 2 hours. Of course, in the real world, if you have to write a legal memo based on a review of a real client file in 2 hours, watch your malpractice insurance rates rise faster than my blood pressure after listening to an RNC PR flak). For those of you rushing off that cliff with the rest of the lemmings, good luck. And please, remember you have the duty NOT TO BE STOOPID.
You would expect that the Bar Exam would weed out all the folks who keep trying to push the square peg through the circle hole, and yet the short bus of the legal profession always seems to be full.
Let's take, for example, the Family Lawyer who was a partner in a short-lived two person firm who decided to switch over to litigation. Trusting Lawyer made him a partner (despite the fact that Family Lawyer only had three years of legal experience) because Family Lawyer was the godfather to Trusting Lawyer's daughter and had been Trusting Lawyer's college advisor (Family Lawyer started law school a bit late). Now, as a litgator, Family Lawyer was a complete fuck-up. When asked to draft things, he would just cut and paste from other briefs or discovery without bothering to check the rules on whether he could do that. He didn't serve opposing counsel notice because he didn't know he had to serve opposing counsel notice (to non-lawyers out there, that's just like not unzipping your fly before you take a piss). He simply flat out refused to do the most basic of civil procedure research. And yet because he was a partner, he tried to exert his authority over yours truly, a litigator with six years under my belt--and when I called him on his shit, he'd go to Trusting Lawyer to get his take on the issue and then, when he found out he was wrong, tell Trusting Lawyer I was the one who spouting the wrong position. The partnership fell apart within the year because Trusting Lawyer realized he was doing 90% of the work (including fixing up Family Lawyer's fuckups) and yet Family Lawyer was still getting 50% of the take.
And then there's Asshat Housing Lawyer. His client, the Dragon Lady, is a Not Breaking Any Stereotype Canadian Chinese woman with a husband on the run from the SEC and two children. The gist of their lawsuit is that our client, a homeowners association in the desert, has discriminated against her because she's not Jewish and she has kids. Asshat Housing Lawyer filed a preliminary injunction motion requesting that the no-kids-living-in-the-community clause not be enforced. See, here's the problem with that motion--Dragon Lady, her husband and her kids live in the community. So obviously, that no-kids provision isn't being enforced, derrrrrrrr. Or in other words, Asshat Housing Lawyer was going to the Court and saying "Hey Court, please tell these guys not to enforce the no-kids provision that they aren't, well, enforcing." Needless to say, Asshat Housing Lawyer's motion was not granted. (And as to the not-Jewish thing, well, the current president of the homeowners association is a goy, so it really sucks to be Asshat Housing Lawyer if this gets to trial.)
Please guys, when you pass the Bar, please don't be stoopid, OK? My blood pressure is high enough as it is.