33 - August 2009
This month we help you to produce your own newsletter every month without fail.
How to apportion blame.
We all make mistakes. However, in my experience, it is easier and more convenient to blame others for your own mistakes.
Your family and friends can be relied upon to accept your version of events, however skewed they may be. But, others often try to understand your enemy’s position. This is of course infuriating. Suing your enemy is the best way to shut these doubters up.
Isn’t it risky to sue someone for something that was your own fault? Not at all, people do it all the time. However, it is prudent to let your spouse think it was his or her idea then even if things go wrong it will give you useful ammunition for years to come. Likewise, do not make the mistake of choosing your own lawyer, it is best to follow a recommendation of say a hated in-law.
It is essential to get rid of your first lawyer early on then you can blame him or her for messing up your case. If it is a particularly hopeless case, change lawyers several times. This should help to muddy the waters.
At some stage, it will start to become clear to the other lawyers that your case is particularly weak and even the judge could start to side with your opponents. Please don’t worry. You are going to court to insist on your right to a fair hearing, the facts should soon become secondary to the various skirmishes. A good tactic is to sack your lawyer and represent yourself. The fundamental wish to give you a fair hearing can often override the judge’s sense that your case is a joke.
At the end of the day, provided that you have laid the groundwork of multiple lawyers, a domineering spouse who doesn’t listen to reason, interfering relatives and a crazy, unreasonable opponent then you can feel safe in the knowledge that the legal system, lawyers and society in general, are to blame.
Extract from Suffering 101. (c)Paul Brennan 2009.
This article appeard in the The Australian on 18 July 2009.
This (Aggro) Life
With the advent of “boxasize” the traditional ladylike slap on the face is being replaced by the right hook and upper cut
Some time ago, I was backing into a public car parking space. A woman beeped her horn and when I stopped to let her pass, she deliberately cut into the --- my--- space.
I got out of my car and politely explained to her that she had taken my space. At first she explained that she was in a hurry and needed the space, then that she saw it first, then that I was a dickhead - I do not know how she worked that out.
She was in her 40s with that scary blond, gym-user look. Alarmingly, she then said “get out of my face” in that tone the police use before they apply the Taser.
At that moment fate intervened. A crowd of people who happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop were so outraged at her behavior began shouting at her to move her car.
She turned and strode over to the bus stop and for something under a minute had what is best described as a shouting match.
She was on her way back to me when my wife intervened and attempted to reason with her. “Are you going to try and hit me?” she hopefully replied, to which my wife responded “No, you are in bad enough shape as it is”.
My wife always gets the best lines.
“Outgunned” she drove off and victory was ours.
Road rage, trolley rage and all sorts of other rage is becoming well…all the rage. One supermarket incident ended with a customer being hit with a flying frozen turkey.
But there are those who take advantage of peoples’ propensity to be wound up and use provocation to win disputes aided by the system.
In these politically correct times the police are less likely to take a view and let people off with a warning. People can end up in court over something as petty as a car parking space dispute if they do not keep their cool.
If you are a crazed individual with a short fuse and a criminal record then go for it. But, for ordinary people, confrontation with strangers is best avoided as you can no longer be sure of their reaction. A lone gunman who recently opened fire in a US church was immediately and unexpectedly shot dead. Incredibly, God was given credit for the kill.
Statistically there are more loonies alive today than ever before, or at least it seems that way.
Now, it is acceptable for security guards emboldened by the terrorist threat to resort to physical violence to resolve disturbances rather than urge moderation.
As a lawyer my job is to advise clients to walk away from potential legal issues. In retrospect, would it not have been better for me to avoid the dispute all together and drive on? Well, certainly yes, but only over her dead body.
A week later, I read in the Darwin Awards that a man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
I see my parking space woman quite often, running along in a sporty, intense manner. She doesn’t recognize me. I would like to keep it that way.
© Paul Brennan 2009.
Let sleeping clients lie
You would expect every lawyer to have a story about a client falling asleep on him or her. In fact, it is fairly rare and has happened to me, only once.
I was a defence lawyer appearing at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court near Victoria Station, London.
My client in his 50s was well turned out in shirt, tie, blazer and grey flannel trousers. He was on a suspended sentence. I told him that he was going to prison where he had been many times before, always for theft. Like so many clients, drink had been his downfall.
By 11am he seemed jolly. By noon he had a manic grin. I started to beg the list officer to get us on. Just before lunch he had become morose and disshellved which could hopefully be mistaken for remorse rather than extreme drunkeness. We were called on.
During my plea in mitigation the Magistrate drew my attention to the snoring coming from the dock which had grown to an unacceptable level which even the legal process could not ignore.
I looked into the dock and there was my client on the floor, fast asleep.
The Magistrate unexpectedly sentenced my sleeping client to probation and went to lunch. The courtroom cleared. We were alone.
With great difficulty, I woke my client up and tried to explain what had happened or at least my understandably inflated version of it.
But, by then he was unbearably drunk and seemed not to understand his good fortune and my role in it. He wanted money. He advanced on me with his hand out.
I did what many other lawyers have done over the centuries ...... a runner. Easily outpacing him on the stairs, past security, out onto the street, never to see him again.
“Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing”.
© Paul Brennan 2009
How to Produce a successful newsletter every month
Do you send out your newsletter every month without fail?
If you are like many business owners you just do not have the time to produce a newsletter which achieves your high standards. You could send out a second rate newsletter but unlike your competitors your sense of dignity gets in your way. So, your monthly newsletter misses a few months and soon you have lost the discipline and potential customers. The reason? There are more pressing matters in your business to take up your time than writing a newsletter.
The solution is to delegate. Brett Davies of Brett Davies Lawyers who has a successful newsletter says “We email out to 65,000 members each week. The majority of our members are lawyers, accountants, financial planners and business owners. They are a well educated lot. However, our message is made much clearer when we inject some “Law & Disorder” humour and design into our emails. Their cartoons are legendary and help our newsletter get noticed and read. As part of a public listed company we use “Law & Disorder” to up our ratings”.
Another successful newsletter producer Mark Davidson, Director Insurance Champions.com.au says “We use Paul’s witty, insightful legal articles together with his cartoons in our syndicated newsletter used by 170 advisors. What is the point of producing a newsletter if you do not at least try to create and/or source the best content? Paul’s articles hit the mark and always gets great feedback”.
Here are two ways that you can use right away to get your newsletter back on track for free:
Forward this Law & Disorder eZine to your clients.
Link your newsletter to the Law & Disorder eZine, or Law & Disorder website articles or Paul’s blog 101 Reasons to Kill All the Lawyers.Others have been benefitting from doing this. It costs nothing and keeps you "front of mind" of your clients. You have my licence to do this provided that you do not change anything at all and observe my copyright in the content and moral rights. I reserve the right to withdraw my licence from you at anytime especially if I feel (perhaps unreasonably) that you are not observing the spirit of this offer in some clever way.
The third way is to use Law & Disorder articles and cartoons in your own newsletter. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information and buy a licence to do so.
A wise man gets a lawyer
A fool represents himself
The genius has a contact in the Mafia