A lot of people got their MPRE results this week (I’m looking at you, the newly deemed effical, Legally Fabulous and deemed effical in two jurisdictions, BL1Y). For everyone that passes with no room to spare (Legally Fab) and the assholes that studied 32 points too many (BL1Y), there is someone that you know that is going to have to take the test again.
I want to jump start your preparation with a few things that most likely was missed in that handy hornbook of yours from scenes from a lawyers office.
Client A and Client B were involved in an accident together. In full disclosure, Client B has one additional case with your firm that is going to settle tomorrow for more than $100,000. But today, Clients A and B are arrested for Crime X. You receive the call from the criminal attorney informing you that Client A is rolling over on Client B implicating her in a massive insurance fraud scam. What do you do?
A) I am a civil attorney that slept through professional responsibility. What the F*** do I know?
B) When does that contingency fee pay me?
C) No habla Ingles. (*A menos que usted sea el ajustador de seguro.)
D) Fire Client B. With a sad face.
E) Let your partner make the decision. This is way above your pay grade.
You have spent six months investigating Client A’s alleged accident. You have determined that the case is worth, at most, nuisance value because liability just cannot be proven. You communicate this with the client and tell them that you cannot continue as their attorney. Your client is disinclined to acquiesce with your request. What do you do next?
A) You file the case because your client believes in you. And his mob contacts will make you believe in you.
B) You file the case because your client repeatedly strokes your ego telling you that “you can do it, I know you can, you can be the best attorney in town.”
C) Did I mention the mob contacts?
D) Fire the client. With a Mambo Italiano sad face.
E) Let your partner make the decision. He can deal with the client’s mob contacts.
Opposing counsel has brought an action against your client. Despite her claims that she has many “theories” as to what your client “did” to the Plaintiff, the complaint is simple and based on one legal theory. Unfortunately (for her), the law at issue in the complaint is inapplicable to your client and will be dismissed as legally insufficient. In an effort to help her out and save her the embarrassment, you address this issue with her. She refuses to dismiss (or amend) her cause of action. What do you do?
A) You file your motion to dismiss. Without any fanfare, theatrics or grandstanding.
B) You file your motion to dismiss. Serve her and her client by taking out full page ads in the major newspapers. Personally serve a copy of the motion that is artistically crafted with calligraphy, parchment and in a moleskin cover.
C) Engage opposing counsel in discussion on her “theories” while in front of the judge. As she continues to wax rhapsodic about the evilness of your client, quietly slip on a tinfoil hat.
D) Hire an Plaintiff impersonator to fire the opposing counsel. Wayne Brady style.
E) Let your partner deliver the worst beat-down in the history of motion practice. Covertly videotape and post on the firm website.
Pencils down. Remember, there are no wrong answers.