v line

Quite simply the best legal resource that we have come across on the Web. - CNN Wonders of the Web


Genuine unretouched 2005 photograph of Library Founder, Ralf R. Rinkle, Esq. being awarded his 23rd consecutive Nobel Prize in Law by Queen Nobel of Sweden.

SOME MAIN ROOMS

LEGAL TOPIC AREAS

MISC BUSHWAH

PREMIUM ROOMS

ARCHIVES

PREMIUM LEGAL RESOURCES LEGAL FORMS ASK A LAWYER

HOW LAWYERS CAN PROVE THEIR INCOMPETENCE ON A MAILING LIST

I represent the defendant in a f/c action and want to remove the case to federal court. Service expires on Sunday. I cannot remove under the complaint, but the affirmative defenses and counterclaims involve federal questions. I have good reasons for the removal. I have not done much none-BK federal practice. Can anyone please help and either call me or respond to me directly? I’m ignorant and lost.

Thanks!

Otis Campbell
Attorney and Counselor at Law
911 Main St.
Mayberry, NC
Cell: 555-555-5555
Fax: 555-555-5551

That’s a real message sent by a practicing lawyer one Friday evening to a very, very large law-related mailing list with publicly accessible archives. Only the name and address have been changed. You didn’t know who to feel sorrier for – the lawyer or his client. In a matter of minutes, off-list messages flew, taking odds that whatever responses the lawyer received would be the extent of his research.

The lawyer knew that he was in over his head, and he knew enough to venture forth in search of help. That part was certainly honorable enough, but where did he go wrong? He broadcast his plight to practically the entire world, revealing not only his lack of expertise but also his time constraints and his name and address. It would be an easy matter for a curious client, gruntled or disgruntled, as well as opposing counsel to simply search him out and expose him. Just how would he justify billing for research that he got some list subscriber to do for him?

What should this desperate lawyer have done? First, he shouldn’t have expected a listserve to do all of his work for him. Second, he shouldn’t have revealed everything, right down to his name and contact information. It would have been a wiser course of action to indicate a rough version of the facts, leaving out identifying details. Even taking the route of subscribing to a listserve under an assumed name and omitting contact information would’ve been a safer course of action. But at least you have to credit the lawyer for his honesty and candor.

Google+