Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

# 47. They can be a touch pompous



Some lawyers pressed to produce billable hours become paranoid about people wasting their time.

There was a lawyer in Sydney who had his secretary call me and ask me to wait on the line, so I would be ready to speak to him. I assume she then told him that I was on the line and he could pick up his telephone without wasting valuable seconds of his time. I transferred the call back to my secretary just in time for him to come on the line, so he could wait for me while I toyed with the idea of getting my secretary to say that I was too busy to speak to him. This is the sort of legal drama which is not usually covered on TV.

In some cases, lawyers are right and there are people dedicated to wasting their time.

As an articled clerk, I would knock on one partner’s door and he would shout “enter”.

I would then go into his office and stand silently in front of his desk while he finished writing with a scratchy fountain pen.

He would them look up and that was the signal for me to tell him in one sentence, what I wanted.

He would then say either “ Continue” and I would stumble on or he would say “I am too busy” and I would stumble out.

Whether it was a “stumble on” or a “stumble out” job, he would tell me to put the file in his in-tray and that would give us both a break for a few weeks.

You don’t get training like that anymore.

In extreme cases, lawyers can be like bus drivers who do not stop at the bus stops to pick up passengers as it interferes with the timetable.

So rather than thinking pompous, think psychotic. I hope this helps.



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