Thursday, January 15, 2015

What Is Best In Life? Watching Your Opponents Hose Themselves.

Civility, professionalism, and excellence are all qualities a good lawyer should strive to attain.

My opponent today apparently missed that memo.

So there we are, in a pre-trial conference with the Judge's administrator.

Yes, we have difficult clients and yes, it's a bit of a thorny problem but there's no reason why it can't be resolved once the emotion is removed from the equation and the matter hammered out. If we can't settle it today, the court will send it to mediation and if that doesn't do it, then its on to trial. Of course each of these steps cost money so it makes a lot of sense to settle it here and now.

Unfortunately he doesn't seem to want any of it.  After all he's an older attorney and apparently thinks he's all that.

He rudely states that the offer I'm making on behalf of my clients won't settle it as his clients want their attorney's fees for the case.  Yeah and I'm sure my clients would love his clients to pay their fees too, and if wishes were fishes....

I and the court administrator both point out that it doesn't work that way, after all under the standard rule, each side bears it's own attorneys fees.  Since he's mister big experienced attorney he knows this or should know this as well.  In other words he's just posturing instead of really trying to work toward a settlement.

He doesn't seem to care, and he claims my clients' claims are frivolous, which they aren't, and the court administrator points out he didn't file any motion for Summary Disposition which should have been done if they were.  Of course he didn't, because while factually intensive its a pretty darn good claim on a complicated problem.

He ends up declaiming that it will take that payment of his clients fees  to settle the case and then he starts shouting -- including at the Court administrator and trying to talk over her and throw his weight around.

Big mistake and she's having none of it.

You can, if you're so ineptly inclined, be a jerk to opposing counsel (not a good idea as it really doesn't help things, but sadly lots of attorneys do it).

But, being rude, obnoxious and shouting at a Judge's administrator? You're shouting at the one who has the Judge's ear and has been there and done that, and it is not going to win you any points with the Judge nor the Judge's staff.   In any case it is quite unacceptable behavior from an attorney.

So while we sadly didn't settle the case, we did manage to establish to the court's knowledge that opposing council is an ass, and that he is unwilling to work towards settling a case and as such not acting in the real best interests of his clients.

Will this matter?  Probably it won't sway things all that much, but he certainly made a big and unfavorable impression on the court, and that sure can't hurt any.


JoeMama said...

Life is a campaign. While the other guy may have hosed himself for gain in a tactical skirmish, you established yourself as a Pro.

Karmic compound interest suggests that you will reap many benefits during the multiple battles coming your way.

Great job!

Old NFO said...

Gotta love it! :-) Karma WILL come back and bite him in the ass...

Aaron said...

JoeMama: Thanks, and that's the plan.

OldNFO: Yep karma will come around, and all he did was redouble my desire and efforts to get the best result for my clients.