Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Legal Rebellion

Far be it for me to be cynical ...

No wait, cynicism is my job. Let's start over.

Far be it for me to take things at face value, so I've got a question for you: When is a rebel not a rebel?

Answer: when it's someone contributing to the American Bar Association's Legal Rebels website section.

If this is the revolution, I think we can all stay quietly in our homes.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing. It's just a tad of a misnomer. Check it out.

As I write this, the most recent offering from a rebel is " 13 New Year's Resolutions for Improving Client Service. "

Some pretty radical stuff.

OK, there's a picture of the author sporting a goatee and wearing a T-shirt. I guess that's pretty rebellious, but the resolutions somehow failed to make my blood boil.

They're prefaced by this: "Feel free to adopt any of these you want."

Down With the Establishment - if you feel like it!

Or don't bother.

The unorthodox proposals include trying to understand that clients want good results that are acceptable to them (actually, that's a combination of two of the resolutions), and reading self-improvement books.

Take that, you client-hating, non-improving conservatives!

I can't argue with these resolutions, but as a lifelong rebel, I can certainly add to them. Here are a few:

Eat. Clients hate it when their lawyers faint in court because of low blood sugar. To be on the safe side, always carry some protein bars in your suit pocket.

Sleep. Clients hate it when their lawyers fall asleep in court. Be sure to get some sleep before going to work. Carry a cup of coffee with you at all times.

Fornicate. Clients hate it when their lawyers are grumpy. You don't need any more advice.

Viva la revolucion!

Fee Calculation: Have you ever wondered what an injunction is worth?

OK, I haven't either, but now we have guidance from the Delaware Court of Chancery. That court, in a "Dear Counsel" message in a case called In re MoneyGram International Inc. Shareholder Litigation , has valued an injunction at $1.2 million.

(Really. It says "Dear Counsel." Considering the result, this guy really meant it.)

The math is fascinating. Those of you in the class-action-plaintiff world will enjoy it. This is what happened:

The plaintiffs got an injunction involving shareholder voting, plus a $10 million settlement. The court vice chancellor said that at that stage of the litigation, a 25 percent contingency was the proper amount for attorney fees.

Then he awarded the plaintiff lawyers $3.4 million.

Are you doing the math?

It was $1.2 million for the injunction plus 25 percent of the remaining $8.8 million.

This is why we have class actions. An individual plaintiff might have been a tad annoyed.

Park Concept: I recently had to endure a couple of days wandering around theme parks with the family and I discovered what the main activity there is: waiting in line.

I admit I'm not a fan of theme parks, so maybe I missed something, but it did give me a great idea for a new park: Lineland!

You pay for admission and then do nothing but wait in lines.

Maybe you could see some things go by or get offered snacks while you're waiting.

And - this is the best part - you should be able to buy express passes to get to the end of the line and be able to go home.

I'd pay.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.