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How Important People Think

There aren’t nearly enough Arizona legal blogs, which is the primary reason why I keep the Arizona Appellate Blog in my feed. The constant use of “we” and “our” in posts that are either the product of a depressingly underwhelming group effort or the bizarrely haughty statements of an individual rub me the wrong way. So do somewhat regular comments that seem to indicate its author or authors believe they’re writing to a captivated audience awaiting each post with baited breath. If they are, I can’t imagine who comprises their audience. Regardless, it’s not a worthless blog, as it at least has original content and isn’t just blatantly pimping someone’s services. It’s a sad state of affairs where lawyers writing because they have something to say and not only something to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, lawyers, Uncategorized

Forgettable Advice

A stranger sent me this email a few days ago: Hi, I’m not sure if you can help me, but thought you could possibly point me in the right direction. Would you be able to suggest two or three sources (books, articles, website, people) that were helpful when you were starting out in your legal practice? I’m a recent graduate of [better law school than I went to] and I’m working on a research paper on starting up as a solo practitioner or small law firm. Any help you could provide would be very graciously appreciated. Maybe I’m a sucker and am wasting my time, but I try to respond to everything that hits my inbox. That includes a fair amount of stuff that may be spam or just lazy people hoping I can do a … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Practice in General

Who Needs Lawyers Anyway?

I came across a fascinating post about the unauthorized practice of law after Mauricio Hernandez at the Irreverent Lawyer wrote a post of his own discussing it. It was the sort of thing that took a little time for me to digest before writing about it. For those too lazy to click through, the original article is about a woman with a very strong background in criminal law who moved here then took and passed the Arizona bar before becoming a capital staff attorney in Maricopa County. Ignoring some off-putting personal attacks that may or may not be deserved and a bizarre part in the closing paragraph that tries to make it a red-state-blue-state political problem, it’s a thought-provoking piece about the flagrant unauthorized practice of law by a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Ethics, lawyers, Practice in General, Professionalism

I May Be Amazingly Brilliant and Tall And Good-Looking But I Am Still A Nuts-And-Bolts Criminal Defense Lawyer Available To YOU 24/7

Over at a public defender, Gideon wrote yesterday about a fascinating overturned conviction: Michael Skakel has just had his convictions reversed and a new trial ordered by former Appellate Court judge Thomas Bishop, who was designated to preside over and adjudicate Skakel’s petition for writ of habeas corpus. The allegations revolve mostly around Skakel’s representation by famed celebrity lawyer Mickey Sherman, in that Skakel alleges that Sherman did a terrible job representing him. That “famed celebrity lawyer” was actually the subject of a post at Simple Justice in 2010 after he pled guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay federal income taxes. The post was about how being a celebrity comes at a price and noted how Mickey Sherman was alleged to have converted for personal use money intended to … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Marketing

Chris McCann Is So Gonna Sue Me

Chris McCann is a California lawyer who really doesn’t think very highly of my blog. He only recently found out about it, I think, as he just started bombarding me with emails and waited until yesterday to leave a bizarre comment. Chris’s problem is that he’s upset about a post where I mentioned his name in passing over thirteen months ago. He may be a little slow working the interwebs, as he also just stumbled across one of Brian Tannebaum’s old blog posts too, the one I had cited as the basis for my thoughts. Chris left a bizarre comment there yesterday as well. No one can accuse Chris McCann of not being proactive. Getting back to the real issue here, why he’s upset, I think it’s probably … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics, lawyers

They Love Me, They Really Do!

Previously, Avvo was content to link other people’s profiles to me and ask me to claim other people’s profiles, but now it seems they’ve stepped up their game. This morning I received an email saying I’ve been ranked a 7 out of 10. I’d say it’s pretty much the feeling an actor gets being nominated for an Oscar, but I’m trying not to let it go to my head. Curious to see how my big 7 stacks up, I went and found the profile for Tom Horne, Attorney General for the State of Arizona and a lawyer who Avvo once thought worked for me. Embarrassingly for me, he’s apparently moved on to bigger and better things. He’s a 7.3 now. Well aren’t we fancy, Mr. … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Marketing

The Future Former Lawyer of Lindsay Lohan

Every lawyer wants his name in lights, right? We all crave billboards and bus stop signs and seeing our faces on the evening news at least once a week, right? Any attention is good attention, isn’t it? Why then aren’t lawyers throwing elbows to help out tabloid superstar Lindsay Lohan? This blurb at the Superficial amusingly jokes about Lindsay Lohan’s newest lawyer’s performance and her reaction: Within the first five minutes of representing her in court he hit on the judge then spent the rest of the time rubbing his lucky rabbit foot which even to someone as dumb as Lindsay Lohan, was a sure sign she’s going right the fuck to jail. So now she wants a new lawyer, but surprisingly there’s not one in Hollywood who will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers

Doing It All

I had a long weekend of work, but I’m ready for trial. The work I completed over the weekend wasn’t trial prep, though, because that was done long ago. I spent the weekend tying up loose ends. Trial is like a really shitty vacation. You have to make sure all your ducks are in a row so you can take some time off. Instead of dipping your toes in the water and watching a sunset with your adult beverage of choice in hand, however, you get to endure grueling combat all day every day for days on end. It’s a break from your daily stress during which you forget about your normal troubles in favor of some more pressing troubles. Did I mention that … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Trial

Availability

In the process of calling out a lawyer named Christopher J. McCann who apparently felt the need to employ some scumbag marketing tactics by having someone else send out a request for a guest post, Brian Tannebaum wrote as follows: I just wonder why Chris has hired someone to go find lawyers and try to sell himself on their blogs. Can’t he send his own email, or “call directly?” Where’s the “personal service” Chris. Chris? That highlights a fascinating phenomenon that would probably be easiest to explain with some examples. I know a lawyer who sucks. Okay, I know a bunch of lawyers who suck. They never answer their phones. They never respond to emails. They can’t even be bothered to respond to a desperate text for a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers, Marketing

Carbon Copy Criminal Defense

Arizona has pretty good discovery rules. The state has to disclose quite a bit fairly early in the process compared to many jurisdictions. The defense also has a duty to disclose, which mostly consists of providing the state with a list of witnesses, exhibits, and defenses that may be offered at trial. Courts generally don’t enforce the rules as they should, but they’re still quite helpful. At the very least, the defense gets enough to prevent nasty surprises in most cases. The notices themselves contain a lot of boilerplate language. Writing a disclosure notice from the ground up would waste time. Plus, things like diagrams of the scene and maps of the area aren’t normally the first thing a lawyer thinks about when mounting a … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers

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