Dear reader,

Pass this letter to any lawyer that you know.

The last recipient to break the chain ended up working in the Attorney General's Department.

Behind every heroic legal action there is a lawyer advising against it

legal cartoon, sports, Paul Brennan

Most lawyers advise their clients against suing others unless there is no other alternative. Clients find this frustrating and it has over the years led to disappointment with the legal profession.

Many clients are no longer ready to be denied, what they rightly suspect is the absolute joy of slapping a writ on their enemy. Of course, litigation is expensive but with increasing wealth, clients have ample resources to engage in court actions even if it means the sale of their home. As for the stress, many see a court experience as excellent material for a book and therefore worthwhile.

Commencing a court action is something that you only do once, unless you have a very understanding spouse. Therefore, it is essential to get it right.

Sadly, many clients come to a lawyer having already chosen a target. They may want to sue passing motorists, retailers or old boyfriends. This is such a waste. Other clients will risk having to move house by suing their neighbours or put a blot on their resume by suing their boss.

If asked, lawyers can direct clients to safer ground on which to conduct litigation such as their social club committee where disputation and outrage is regarded as quite usual be it golf, Rotary, tennis etc. Clients should avoid the more argumentative members and target the treasurer or secretary as these positions attract the more sensible members of the club who are more likely to give up in the face of senseless litigation. Club members seem to enjoy any disaster which befalls their treasurer or the secretary and your decision can prove very popular.

After service of the writ a lot of the fun can go out of litigation and therefore it is important to choose the right target for a quick victory.

Lawyers advise clients to avoid litigation but if you are dealing with unscrupulous people sometimes you have no choice.

© Paul.Brennan 2010. All rights reserved.

Extract from

Enjoying Committee Meetings - The Secret

Trainee lawyers, paul brennan

Most people put up with being on committees as they are often the best way of getting things done. But, for many of us, it can be like being in prison.

A man in a Rotary Club of which I was once a member was quite obsessed with committees. He organized a weekend away in an army camp for all the newly appointed office holders in Sydney Rotary Clubs. We had a different speaker every half hour. On the first morning, I was listening to a talk called “What the secretary has in his bag” when my mind left the room. This has happened many times in committee meetings over the years. As I got older I found myself moving my lips in sync with imaginary conversations. I worried that the other committee members would notice but many of them had blank expressions and lip movements too.

It started to happen to me at home, especially at dinner with my four children. My family and I put it down to deafness as they had to say things to me two or three times, before it registered.

Many years later, I had a routine medical examination and to my surprise, my hearing was declared A-OK. I explained the issue to the nurse and she asked if I had ever been in Rotary. Apparently, there is a recognized medical condition called Post Rotary Committee Traumatic Stress Disorder (“RCTSD”). It is a little bit like an alcohol induced blackout where sufferers are unable to remember what went on at the meeting. Some Rotary Committees are suspected of repeating the same committee meeting year after year, a little like Ground Hog Day. Initial findings by doctors have found beneficial effects such as improved sleep.

Nowadays, when asked to join a committee, especially to be the secretary, I start to cry. I have found this works very well.

© Paul.Brennan 2010. All rights reserved.

Extract from

The Twelve

Legal cartoon, legal receptionist, Paul Brennan

Lawyers are hated for being arrogant, pompous, aggressive, tactless, confrontational, pedantic, expensive, unscrupulous, ruthless, negative, devious and slow.

For many centuries, lawyers have been tight lipped about these 12 legal characteristics or “the 12” as they are known, but many now admit to feeling pressured by clients and others to live up to such a high expectation.

Lawyers have come to resent the daily drudge of being right all the time and find themselves bucking tradition by speaking to their staff normally rather than in the more customary “irritated” tone of voice.

“Sometimes, I have what my secretary calls a “normal day”, said one lawyer, “staff found it strange, at first”.

A recent study has found that lawyers are living off a reputation earned centuries ago and many, now, rely on their secretaries to add the sort of unpleasantness normally expected of lawyers. However, without Law School training, many secretaries struggle to meet such an exacting standard. Clients, who believe that their lawyers are too arrogant to see them, would be shocked to learn that it is a fear of being found out that is driving lawyers into isolation. However, the cracks are starting to appear. “ I find my lawyer quite nice”, said one client who did not wish to be named.

Senior lawyers blame legal education. “They come out of law school, they don’t know how to behave and would not know a Res Ipsa Loquitur if it hit them on the back of the head”, said one Managing Partner of a large law firm, “We have become so concerned that we have decided to take legal education in house. Basically, clients do not want advice, which is easy to follow, they can get that anywhere”.

Top Legal bodies believe that increasing demand for lawyers has flooded the profession with people who cannot be trusted to display the right attitude. While stressing the importance of women in the legal community a spokesman said, “They made a promising start in the 1980’s and we had hopes of adding “scary” to the list. However, while they have an excellent command of the 12, they have developed a less than obvious style, which has made them approachable and that is the slippery slope”.

The profession has turned to training organizations which have demonstrated success with medical, dental and other receptionists. One legal spokesman said, “We were interested to know how receptionists are able to generate such aggression and ill will among clients and patients with such minimal interaction”.

With lawyers in disarray, some accountants have seized the opportunity to develop their own 12 with a view to increasing their charge out rates. One accountant said, “We have been working on “pedantic and slow” for quite a while, however we are now ready to tackle “expensive” and “negative”. With “boring”, “incredibly tight” and “no sense of humour” under our belts we only need 5, or is that 4, more”.

© Paul.Brennan 2010. All rights reserved.

Extract from

legal cartoon, court of appeal, Paul Brennan

Lonely Hearts

High Court Judge seeks understanding lady for brow beating maybe more.


Financial Planner (no previous convictions) wltm# well heeled mature (if possible aged) partner.


Accountant, bald, glasses, nsoh* seeks financially prudent soul mate to share a life which may not be long but will certainly seem so.


A sole legal practitioner in regional Australia wltm person of their dreams.  knowledge of conveyancing desirable but not essential.


Senior Partner, who has worked hard to establish a thriving law firm, now wishes to marry. Suitable candidates must be non-lawyers who are prepared to comment on all aspects of the firm decision making process and lord it over the other partners and staff. The right candidate will be supplied with a BMW and a life style which is conducive to sticking their oar in.


Interested? Please apply in confidence to John Fytit

# wltm Would like to meet.

* nsoh. No sense of humour.


© Paul.Brennan 2010. All rights reserved.

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In this Issue

- Behind every heroic legal action there is a lawyer advising against it

- Enjoying Committee Meetings - The Secret

- The Twelve

- Legal Lonely Hearts


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