Monday, December 07, 2009

The Lawyer is an Ass

The title is a complement. The full quote is "tell Dave OK, but he's an ass."

I finally resolved a dispute last week. Resolution was a lot harder than it needed to be.

First, the other side tried the "we'll tell you how this is going to be" tactic. Then they hired a lawyer that knows nothing about construction. Then he involved his partner "a construction lawyer" who specializes in "cram downs." His words, not mine. Threatening letters. Half hour "conversations" ensued in which I said maybe 50 words, including "hello" and "goodbye."

Any uncomfortable facts were ignored. Law that was inconvenient was labeled an "asserted theory." I was accused of "fraudulent" conduct. (My response citing the applicable fraud statutes and reciting the underlying facts didn't stop the accusations.)

So, I quit talking to the "construction" lawyer and took to written communication. No responses for days and then I was accused of delay.

Then a tentative settlement that reflected the validity of the ignored facts and applicability of the inconvenient law. I'm thinking the other side got a bill from the lawyers.

But we weren't done yet. Settlement Documents sent as PDF's so as to make revision more difficult. Revisions done with no highlighting so as to hide subtle changes. Artificial deadlines. Threats.

So, I resorted to something I should have done earlier. Just say no. Take it or leave it. They took it; but, as noted above, I'm an ass. I can live with that.


Lifehiker said...

Like I always say, "Right makes might!" Attaboy, Dave.

The Curmudgeon said...


The sad part of your post is realizing that this sort of thing goes on in Atlanta too. I thought this might be a disease confined to Chicago and New York.

Whatever happened to Southern courtesy?

Jeni said...

No lawyer here -but you already know that, Dave -however, when you have to resort to tactics the other side doesn't like and then they call you the "ASS" I think I'd be inclined to say if that's the truth, that it takes one to know one -put the onus back on that guy. But if people would play straight from the beginning -saves time, probably a lot of money too -and who would want that? Seriously, I think you can handle the name calling Okay cause you proved your point, got it all done, etc. Some people are just sore losers, arent' they?

Dave said...

Actually, guys and lady, I don't mind dealing with snakes, as long as they are snakes who know what they are talking about. I really don't like dealing with people who want to bull their way through because they don't know what's, important and what isn't and, more so dealing with the same sort who play games.

Back when table stakes poker was a new, frightening and intriguing thing, OK; but, I've been there and done that, let's just work the deal and be done with it.

Finally, there was a lot of fake courtesy from the other side, depending on whether they were playing good versus bad at the time.

fermicat said...

The personal attack on you sounds like a sign that they didn't have any better argument to use. Glad you won for your client. If being an "ass" is what it takes, then you did the right thing for that client.

The few times I have hired a lawyer, I appreciated it when they were somewhat of an ass when it was necessary to push things to a conclusion.

Anonymous said...

It was my "ass" he saved. I'm glad his "ass" was on my side. I'm lucky to have a friend like Dave, who happens to be a very good lawyer. Thanks Dave!

Dave said...

You need to get out more Anon. Thanks.