I just finished examining Undesirable Blood: Secrets and techniques and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (affiliate backlink), the e-book by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou. I couldn’t put it down. Yes, I examine it in dinosaur model (e.g., hardcover, relatively than digital), but you know I’m a dinosaur. It was a website page-turner for me, reminding me of Kurt Eichenwald’s e-book Conspiracy of Fools (affiliate backlink) posted a lot more than a ten years back about the Enron scandal. And, if you are far too young to have significantly memory of that, get thee to the internet. Enron executives fancied by themselves the smartest guys in the home, and they had been — right until they weren’t.
The same could be stated for the tale of Undesirable Blood, which reminded me of Enron in some ways but established in the Silicon Valley and about a distinct sort of business, Theranos. You can examine all about the e-book and its issue in any number of spots. I’m not composing a e-book assessment listed here, but relatively asking yourself about what these intelligent folks had been pondering.
So, what superior segue to however an additional installment of lawyers and judges and “what had been they pondering?” In general, we are intelligent folks, at minimum we consider we are (a sentiment not essentially shared by a lot of non-lawyers and opposing counsel and customers). Even so, the antics of lawyers and judges who must know superior, and who must do superior — but never — carry on to astonish.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the case of the choose who went ballistic when his dry cleaners purportedly dropped a pair of his trousers. This choose sued the cleaners for a lot more than $50 million dollars, I guess, figuring that he could consider the cleaners to the cleaners.
The cleaners identified them, but the choose dropped significantly a lot more: his task, his name, and now, at prolonged last, he’s getting disciplined. No ponder the regular particular person has dropped respect for the legal method, in particular for shenanigans these as this and how prolonged it normally takes to impose willpower. Probably general public humiliation, these as the shares, may possibly be anything to take into account bringing back again. We could connect with it the “Laughing Inventory.” Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Creating this choose seem like a piker for suing only for $54 million is this ex-law firm who was concerned in a scam 10 situations larger. (I ponder how a lot of pairs of trousers that would equal?) Pleading responsible in a incapacity bribery scheme, this law firm will not get the shares, but anything superior: 27 years in jail. I will certainly be taking a grime nap by the time of his possible launch, but since he’s currently 58, he may possibly perfectly be far too.
We lawyers consider that mainly because we are smart, that suffices. But, as just one researcher has pointed out, intelligence is not the same as vital pondering (in other words and phrases, “What had been they pondering?” — or “not thinking” as the case may possibly be). Law school is “supposed” to educate us how to consider critically, but in some cases, it has not adequately taught that (e.g., the latest bar test passage charges) or mentioned the “risk v. reward” principle. Perhaps some folks just like to gamble with their professions and their reputations.
A previous Fisher & Phillips companions, who has been sentenced to everyday living in jail for killing his spouse, did many stupid factors. A single was killing his spouse, for which he was convicted, and the second was not expressing any remorse at sentencing, which the trial court docket identified telling. Memo to all lawyers who may possibly discover by themselves at the mercy of the court docket: present some remorse it couldn’t harm.
In these days in particular, it should not be important to tell folks, like lawyers and judges, to look at their language, but evidently old ways of saying factors die hard. Exhibit A: Decide Stephen Millan in Miami-Dade Circuit Court docket. His explanations for particular inappropriate remarks provided the following: he utilized the individual expression whilst expanding up and he utilized the expression “thugs” which folks in his courtroom considered had been directed at them, whilst the choose claimed the words and phrases had been directed to folks in other courtrooms (unless of course folks in the other courtrooms had the Harry Potter extendable ears, how would they hear and know that the remark was meant for them?). Did the choose make that excuse with a straight deal with? He also engaged in ex parte carry out with the defense law firm, whose customers had been the subject matter of the “thugs” remark.
The Florida Supreme Court docket, in its get, acknowledged that Decide Millan has taken steps to handle his misconduct. He has examine articles or blog posts about racial bias and taken courses on racial equality in the court docket method. Pardon my skepticism about his purported behavioral conversion. ATL Government Editor Elie Mystal shares my skepticism.
If regulation educational institutions educate college students to “do as we say, not as we do,” then with any luck , the University of Denver Sturm University of Law will consider its personal guidance and pay women of all ages professors comparably to adult men. What does it signal if a regulation school does not abide by the regulation and has to be chastised monetarily by the EEOC as perfectly as acquiring an oversight check for its failure to do so?
Supplied the however-depressing data of how women of all ages fare in the profession in excess of the prolonged haul, you would have considered that regulation educational institutions would be leading the demand for equality, as an alternative of getting rebuked. Hopefully, whoever produced the selection of pay non-parity wasn’t instructing Con Law. Keep in mind, regulation educational institutions, you are not exempt from #Me Much too and #TimesUp as Berkeley Law uncovered many years back.
And last, but unquestionably not minimum, did you observe that I did not talk about any of the authorities lawyers engaged in the many pursuits that feel to consume a lot more and a lot more time and media consideration these days? My dad and mom taught me that if I couldn’t say anything nice, to not say anything at all. (One more cause for not hanging out on social media.) Res ipsa loquitur.
Jill Switzer has been an energetic member of the State Bar of California for a lot more than 40 years. She remembers practising regulation in a kinder, gentler time. She’s had a numerous legal occupation, like stints as a deputy district legal professional, a solo practice, and many senior in-house gigs. She now mediates entire-time, which presents her the prospect to see dinosaurs, millennials, and people in-between interact — it is not normally civil. You can access her by e mail at email@example.com.