In Pennsylvania, attorney advertising is governed by Rule 7.2 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. As part of these rules, a lawyer may not use “inherently subjective terms” like “experienced” to describe their practice. This rule seems to be observed more in its breach than in lawyers’ adherence to it. Google “Experienced Pennsylvania Lawyer” (or just click that link) and you’ll see what I mean.
I made this on my iPhone yesterday, and it currently serves as my lock screen.
Feel free to download and use it appropriately.
Tell your friends and share as much as you’d like. Get the word out there that police may not search your phone without your consent or a warrant, thanks to Riley v. California.
While you’re at it, turn off location services.
Edit: I had a colleague point out to me that the text is obscured by the unlock dots on some Android phones. An Android version is below the fold.
Today in Making People Stupider, I present to you the Jezebel article by Erin Gloria Ryan titled “About That Time Hilary Clinton Smeared a Tween Rape Victim“.
Read it. Please. Yes, including the comments section.*
Here’s are two highlights :
On the other hand, how massively fucked is it that our legal system expects and encourages attorneys to treat rape victims like this? And that even Hillary Clinton didn’t have the balls to set her career goals aside for a moment and stand up to what she must have known was bullshit, even in the midst of a time in her career she claims was devoted to serving children and families?
Hillary Clinton didn’t ‘laugh at a rape victim’ as the coverage errantly insists, but she definitely was the sort of lawyer who would attack the credibility of a rape victim in pursuit of legal victory.
You’re right, Erin. It couldn’t possibly be that Hillary was doing her job as a criminal defense lawyer and had an ethical obligation to defend her client however she could—it was that she had “career goals”. She should have “had the balls” to roll over and sell her client up the river, in derogation of her ethical duties to her client, because she’s the sort of lawyer who DARES to attack the credibility of a complaining witness.
Oh, and “the children”.
I was going to write a much longer, angrier, piece about the history of what criminal defense lawyers do, our ethics, our duties to our clients, etc., but it would be wasted
I’ll just say this: criminal defense lawyers have an ethical obligation to defend their clients. There is no “I understand, but…”. It simply is.
Erin Gloria Ryan, shame on you for making people stupider today .
*I am ashamed to say I broke Rule 1 of the Internet and argued in the comments.
Judge Papov looked pissed.
“You’re really going to instruct your client not to answer the question and waste everyone’s time, Mr. Rushie?”
“Judge, you’re not giving me much of a choice here…”
The judge didn’t even bother to hear argument. He looked at me, looked at my older adversary, and made a decision as soon as we reached the podium.
A week ago I had instructed my client not to answer a question in a deposition because it called for privileged information. The other side filed a motion to compel a response.
Before coming to court I had done the research and written a brief on the issue, confirming that my instruction not to answer was appropriate. No judge in their right mind would force my client to divulge privileged information with 5th Amendment implications, especially when the case law was this clear, right?
Of course, this was discovery court, where the dreams of young lawyers go to die. When it came to justice or convenience, convenience always seemed to win out. At one point the judge mentioned “If you don’t like my decisions, maybe you should work out your disputes before hand.”
As the judge glared down, I think this was the last place in the world I wanted to be. It was 85 degrees, and was packed to the brim with dozens of lawyers hoping to be heard quickly and get out. I waited over two hours to be called. Until my hearing, the judge had been moving through his docket quickly, mostly making decisions that seemed almost arbitrary. For a brief second, pressed shirt now drenched with sweat, I pictured myself laying on a beach somewhere drinking a piña colada. I could hear the ocean.
Judge Papov brought me back to reality and bellowed, “Mr. Rushie, I told you once, and I will not tell you again. Instruct your client to answer the question. I don’t have all day.”
Gary turned and whispered in my ear. “We can’t give them that information, right? You gotta fight for me…” Gary was right.
Victory. Not just victory, but epic victory. Judge Lawlor not only dismissed the case against my client, but also sanctioned the other side and their attorney, Chad Cooper. This was going to a fun call to my client…
I have to be honest, Chad Cooper might have been the worst lawyer I ever had the displeasure of dealing with. The only positive thing I could muster up about Chad is how much I loved mopping the floor with him on every motion or court proceeding. His suits never fit right, and he didn’t make a lot of sense in court. I couldn’t believe anyone was paying this guy money to represent them. Every time I dealt with Chad I felt a sense of disdain and dislike. Part of me took great pleasure watching Judge Lawlor constantly rip him apart.
They key to winning this case was easy, really. File lots of motions, overwhelm him, and give him no mercy. “The Chadster”, as I liked to call him around the office, wouldn’t respond on time. Then the judge would get angry, and sanctions would be issued. Chad was always so overwhelmed. This was a constant theme throughout the case:
“Hey Jordan, it’s Chad… I’m a little jammed up this month. Do you think I could get a 14 day extension?”
“Chad, the best I can do is give you three days. That’s it. If you don’t like it, put it before Judge Lawlor again. Actually, I think I would like to see Judge Lawlor. Wouldn’t that be so much fun? I’ll even wear a tie like a big boy.”
“…three days is fine, Jordan. Thanks.”
From there, the Chadster would put together a half hearted, sloppy reply. After about six months of this pattern, Judge Lawlor had enough. Chad and his client got sanctioned, and my client was let out of the lawsuit. I immediately sent Chad a letter informing him that I was going to sue him and his client for bringing suit in the first place.
“Jordan, have you ever done an eviction before?” my boss James asked me. I had been working for a small firm in suburban Pennsylvania for about three years now, and was beginning to hit my stride as a lawyer. James was letting me handle files from start to finish with more regularity.
“Nope. But I’m sure it’s not rocket science. Just give me the file, old man,” I said with a grin. “This one sounds boring.”
The case was simple enough. A woman named Agnes was renting a house from one of James’s biggest clients. She hadn’t paid her rent in a long, long time. The client decided he didn’t want her living there anymore. Too easy, or so I thought.
I drove to the courthouse that day and filed the paperwork. A few weeks later I had a default judgment and a writ of possession, meaning I could have the constables remove the tenant with force, if necessary. The constable posted notice on the house, and we made arrangements for the eviction. Again, too easy. Chalk this up as another win.
“How is the eviction case coming along, Jordan?” James asked me a few weeks later.
“Great! We got a default judgment. I’m going to the house tomorrow morning to remove her. Next time consider giving me an interesting assignment, old man,” I said laughing.
Read the rest of this entry »
It is Tuesday at 9.30am and I am in the booth.
The booth is a tiny box where I have the honor of talking to my client through an inch of bullet-proof glass. I say “talking”, though it’s really more like yelling, since it’s pretty hard to hear through that glass.
“Booth” is a misnomer too. “Booth” reminds me of the precursor to something fun. You buy tickets to a movie or carnival rides at a booth. No such fun was happening today.
Really, the booth is purgatory, a limbo my clients sit in after they’ve made their way from the prison and to the courthouse basement’s holding cells, but before they enter the courtroom where they await final judgment.
This particular morning, I am wearing a navy flannel Brooks Brothers No. 1 sack suit, a white shirt I freshly pressed at 5.30 that morning, and a somber tie that reflected my mood.
In gross juxtaposition, my client is in an orange prison jumpsuit and has a thermal on underneath to keep warm. I guess this hell follows Dante’s rules.
My client is a good man who’d recently made a series of terrible decisions, all of which led to where he is today. Despite his cock-ups, he was truthful and admitted his mistakes not only to his family, but to members of his community.
Then the police became involved.
And he got arrested.
And his mistakes became a “case.”
And that’s how we ended up on opposite sides of the same sheet of glass on Tuesday at 9.32am. Read the rest of this entry »