I'm not that popular, so the occasional request for "linking" causes a raised eyebrow. This link request include an explanation as to why they wanted to link (remember, I'm an attorney here):
You asked for humor when connecting and I appreciate your honesty, but isn't a honest lawyer an oxymoron? (followed by other information on how he purported to know me)
What the heck!?
Why would anyone write that to a practicing lawyer, let alone a person they don't even know. However, I did respond, and I think it is a great topic to expand upon in this blog. My answer was as follows:
You would ask if an honest lawyer is an oxymoron -- and address that to a lawyer? Truly spoken by one who has never depended on the success of their lawyer to stay out of jail -- or bankruptcy.
Like any specialist industry, a starving lawyer is a dangerous thing; however, a good lawyer puts principal and "justice" above personal gain in civil matters, and his/her cient's every legal option before "quick exit" in criminal cases.
Defend a rapist, and then tell me about 'oxymoron's. Every accused deserves his/her day in court. If it were you -- would you not want the most vigorous defense? Vigorous, is also a mandate of our professional code of ethics -- but that has nothing to do with dishonest.
It is worth understanding that most attorneys are not after "your money" -- they are in business like anyone else, and they sell a service. That price is controlled by the market and the demand for the services being offered by the litigator. However, absent the few bad eggs, and the starving lawyers that have to close a deal in order to pay their mortgage (true in any profession, I fear), lawyers have a duty, and most discharge it, to turn down cases where he/she is being hired to nonsensical legal posturing, or harassing lawsuits. We have a responsibility to speak plainly and clearly in non-legal jargon to clients so they can understand their position, and always attempt to resolve issues without resorting to court action unless absolutely needed.
So why the frequent, unbridled hatred of law? Having studied this for some time, I have concluded it is the result of of two items: power and fear. The law is a terrifying thing. You can, in a matter of one hearing, be sent to jail for life, be stripped of your positions, lose all your money, and essentially be totally destroyed by one judge (or a jury) presiding over your case -- and you are powerless to stop it. As a result of this tremendous fear, a strong dislike is engendered for the entire legal process, and a fierce desire to "stay away" from the organization and "group" that can so hurt you. Lawyers not only represent the outward face of that "group" (the judiciary), but also are the only avenue available to the average individual to protect themselves. This harbors a monopoly, and generates tremendous ill will.
Very, very few laymen have any idea of the work and preparation that goes into even writing a basic contract and researching facts for a case. The time, effort, and solemnity of the task is missed -- all because the client often blames "the law and the courts" for "requiring such nonesense." Fear.
Very few of us are truly dishonest. Those that are, are sought out quickly and removed from practice. Your (as a client) welfare is far too important to trust in the hands of a lawyer who is corrupt or not giving the appropriate due to your wants and needs.
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Sean R. Hanover, Esq
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