15 October 2003

Yet Another Interlude
I hate arrogant lawyers. (Yeah, so I'm a lawyer, and sometimes I'm arrogant. So sue me.)

   I especially hate arrogant lawyers who try to turn their personal disagreements with former associates into lawsuits. Most especially of all, when the grounds for the suit are directly barred by both the Rules of Professional Conduct and an on-point state Supreme Court opinion. In fact, it would be hard to find an opinion closer to being "on all fours" with the facts in this matter outside of a first-year law school hypothetical. This matter, however, is not a law-school hypothetical. It is instead an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Illinois's relatively harsh enforcement of Rule 8.4 (the "must rat on your buddy" rule). I will, of course, fulfill my ethical responsibilities under that rule.

   Fortunately, I get to be an unforgiving SOB on this one. I have been hauled into it precisely because I have no litigation practice in the local courts. Thus, I don't have to be nice to potential cocounsel. Or even the judge (well, respectful, but not nice).

   As a hint to all new lawyers (and prospective lawyers, and even—as in this case—lawyers who have been practicing for years): If you're going to apply for equitable relief, don't present a proposed order that exceeds the statutory limits for that kind of relief. In three respects. In an ex parte hearing. Maybe you'll get away with it. Maybe, though, you'll run into a second-career lawyer whose first career was the management of violence. Like me. (This is just the tip of the iceberg in this matter; the rest will be revealed in due course in the pleadings.)

   Yes, as a matter of fact I am pissed off. Not at my client, who did some things differently than I would have, but by no means incorrectly. But at the profession, because my state has no CLE requirement, let alone one in ethics. Sure, the Bar stood up to the abhorrent Matthew Hale. But that is not the only kind of sleazebag who brings shame and disgrace on the profession for generations to come.