Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 12:02 AM
Posted by Administrator
Before I moved up here to Northern Wyoming and began spending my evenings gazing at the moon as it rose over the ridge that marked the Canadian border, I practiced law in Palm Beach County. I wasn't alone, of course, there were several hundred other lawyers.

One of the big injury firms now has a TV ad that tells us that there are enough lawyers in the State of Florida to fill a football stadium...maybe 88,000 lawyers...or, maybe I don't remember the exact number recited in the ad. I'm not sure. But I do know this:

1/2 of the more-or-less 88,000 lawyer work here in Palm Beach County and that presents a number of problems. Here they are:

1) There are so many lawyers that nobody really has a reputation, anymore. In my day, not everyone knew everyone but enough people knew you so that if you were a liar or a cheat, word got around and your word became dirt.

2) There are so many lawyers that the judges don't know who everyone is. Judges here are elected which makes them politicians which means that they have to memorize the name of every voter in the county...because people love to be known and will always vote or a judge who says...after a year of not seeing you "Hi Bob, how've you been?" Nowadays, judges aren't always sure they've even SEEN the lawyers appearing before them. And, if they don't recognize them, they're not going to trust them.

3) There are so many lawyers that...inevitably and not as a result of meanness or bad manners...there are an awful lot who don't know what they're doing. Here is a secret...don't tell anyone....YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE THAT BRIGHT TO BE A LAWYER. You may have to memorize a lot but you don't have to have much more intelligence that my grandson, Eli. And, Eli is 4.

The net result of all of this? Here it is:
a) Lawyers can lie and act like idiots becuase word that they are lying idiots won't get around. So, lawyers on the other side ...unable to rely on reputation... have to do extra work to guard against the opposing lawyers (possible? probable?)bad behavior.
b) Judges make new rules to guard against lawyer lying and lawyers not knowing what they are doing. For example, Child Support Guideliens Worksheets---supposedly to make sure everyone is paying the child support they should...instead of just asking the lawyer "Is child support according to the guidelines?"...like judges did back when lawyers could be trusted. Judges second-guessing agreements because lawyers don't know what they're doing. More forms, checklists, hearings, questions...all add up to bigger legal expenses. Want a divorce? You probably can't afford the legal fees....

On the other hand..more lawyers=more competition so you can probably find a cheap lawyers pretty easily.

But, is a cheap lawyer what you want?

All of this is the result of building more and more law schools over the past decade or two and filling them full of kids brought up on courtroom TV shows.

The solution is obvious: build more law schools and make everyone a lawyer. You won't have to hire one...you'll be one.

Eli will be ready to begin law school in the fall.

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