Lawyers Get Advice! | Courthouse News Service
Friday, December 1, 2023 | Back issues
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Lawyers Get Advice!

Yet another shocking survey result came to my attention last week.

This was the headline on a press release: "Survey: Nearly Half of Lawyers Say Mentors and Peers Are 'Go-To' Sources for Legal Career Advice, Beating Out Family Members."

Are you as stunned as I am?

Why would anyone bother to do a survey of this?

Did the surveyors have any idea what a mentor is?

Here's a partial quote from Merriam-Webster: "Someone who teaches or gives help and advice."

So doesn't that mean everyone you go to for advice is a mentor?

If not, why would you go to someone who's not a mentor for advice? Would you prefer them to stare at you blankly or refuse to give advice - therefore, not being a mentor?

And when did mentors and peers get into a competition with family members? Does the family member category include drunken uncles and toddler nephews?

The survey was conducted by something called Robert Half Legal, a "legal staffing and consulting solutions firm" - not a law firm or a group of lawyers.

So a non-law firm was telling us that lawyers get advice from other lawyers.

I think.

Is this information helpful in any way?

Is a problem revealed here that needs fixing?

I'm confused, but I do have a suggestion. Consulting firms should get advice from their potential clients about how they might be helpful - rather than getting that advice from their peers or family members.

My favorite part of the survey results was that 2 percent of the lawyer respondents said their source of career advice is "other."

I'm guessing that means dogs.

The only explanation I can come up with for this survey is the possibility of the opposite result. What if it turned out that most lawyers don't turn to mentors for advice?

That would mean they're turning to people, or inanimate objects, that do not give them advice.

Faced with this information, we'd advise that lawyers to turn to people who do give advice.

But fortunately, we don't have this lack-of-advice crisis except for the minority that turn to families (which could include small children and the insane) and dogs.

So only a few of you need help.


We can relax now.

Repetitive redundancy. My favorite sentences of the week come from a California Court of Appeal ruling in CVS Pharmacy Inc. v. Superior Court of Sacramento County.

The appellate panel quotes the trial court as saying: "But it may well be that plaintiff's hunt for an appropriate class plaintiff is ... a magical unicorn. It's a mythical creature that does not exist."

As opposed to ordinary non-magical, down-to-earth unicorns and mythical creatures that do exist.

I do so love nitpicking.

More entertainment. Here's a challenge for you. Can you tell the difference between these two trade designs?

I know. They're almost identical.

If you don't believe me, check out an entertaining ruling from the 11th Circuit, Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order v. Florida Priory of the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order, in which we learn that two perhaps-charitable groups have been litigating over their trademarks for six years now and they're not done yet.

I won't spoil it for you, but the best part yet again is a quote from the trial judge who said that both sides were "more interested in dressing up in costumes, conferring titles on each other and playing in a 'weird world of princes and knights' than in performing charitable acts."

I think I may have seen these guys at Comic-Con.

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