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What Kind of Civil Litigator Are You?

This came to us from local white shoe tipsters who obviously had too much time on their hands -- thanks, fellas!

Top 30 indications that you’re probably a sleazy civil attorney, South Florida style (if 3 or more apply it’s a rebuttable presumption):
(1)        You’ve got a red “YES” next to “10 year disciplinary history” on the website.

(2)        You have a law firm called “[insert your name] and Associates, P.A.,” but don’t have any associates.

(3)        You serve, or are the recipient of, a 57.105 motion in more than half of your cases.

(4)        You’ve had Rule 11 or 57.105 sanctions imposed against you more than once during your career.

(5)        You’re in motion calendar an average of one or more times a week.

(6)        You routinely have 2-3 motion calendar hearings before different judges on the same morning.

(7)        You surprise opposing counsel with your case law in the middle of the hearing, despite having sat next to him for 20 minutes before the hearing.

(8)        You highlight the Court’s case law, but not opposing counsel’s.

(9)        You’ve ever had a raised-voice argument with opposing counsel outside the courtroom, douching out everyone in the hallway.

(10)      You make lengthy speaking objections during depositions despite the fact that everyone knows they’re forbidden.

(11)      You permit your staff to negotiate settlements and/or argue substantive issues with other attorneys.

(12)      You boast on your website of your admission to practice in the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida or the Supreme Court of Florida.

(13)      You regularly tell your assistant to wait until after 4PM to fax or email something to opposing counsel.

(14)      Pre 2005: you used to turn your fax machine off at 5:30 every day.

(15)      You’ve ever condescended to/dressed-down someone who works in the Clerk’s office.

(16)      You’ve ever moved to recuse a judge based on an adverse ruling.

(17)      You’ve ever tried to bait a judge into making a recusal-worthy statement.

(18)      You ask for punitive damages and/or 57.105 sanctions in your initial Complaint.

(19)     You’ve ever refused a request for a reasonable and routine extension of time to respond to discovery/serve an amended pleading, etc., because “your client” said no.

(20)      You think it’s OK to notice hearings and discovery without clearing dates with the other side

(21)      You’ve ever had a judge yell at you to “go outside” because you and your opposing counsel loudly argue over the language of an order after a ruling has been made.

(22)      You’ve paid a settlement to a former employee for a sexual harassment claim anytime after 1995.

(23)      You’ve had your firm sued for malpractice more than once.

(24)      That whole meet and confer requirement just doesn’t apply to you.

(25)      You have an AOL email address on the Florida Bar directory.

(26)      You routinely cite to Fla.Jur., Corpus Juris Segundum, AmJur, Trawick, etc. without citing actual controlling authority.

(27)      You trial court filings are in anything other than 12pt Times New Roman or Arial font

(28)      You own a smartphone and deny having read an email within 4 hours of it being sent during normal business hours.

(29)      You mention to the court during a hearing how long you’ve been practicing law.

(30)      You like to mention to opposing counsel how long you’ve been practicing (because your facts and law suck).


  1. I actually had a case against someone who falls into 23 of those categories.

  2. I actually fall into 23 of those categories.

  3. But which Star Trek character are you? I am, of course, Q.

  4. Sounds like what some of the white shoe "litigators" should have as their record, if the judges weren't cowed or too easily impressed!!

  5. This list is also known as the Spencer Aronfeld playbook (c).

  6. Haha that's a pretty good list, but I'm sure some might not be too pleased with this. Remember, only pick the best lawyers for your defense!

    Chester Jones |

  7. I have worked for many of these!

  8. I'm guilty of some of these, but only because my senior partner ordered me to.

  9. Re #27. Century Schoolbook is the most professional font/type. Not that I have or will ever go there,but I think it is required before people named Scalia or Ginsburg even read your brief.

  10. Sadly, this is the Playbook of many attorneys down here. Sorry, but if the shoe fits you're a scumbag.

  11. Shut the blog down now, because it will never get any better.


    NB - dont ever shut the blog down.

  12. Hilarious! Really curious who you have in mind with this one.

  13. Best.



  14. (31) You ask the female associate on the other side of the case to bring you coffee during mediation

    (32) You wear shirts that have your name spelled out in full on the cuffs

  15. (33) After graduation from law school, you insisted on being called by your middle name and your first name became an initial.

  16. (34) You refuse to agree to vacate a clerk's default where there is textbook excusable neglect (and you can't possibly win the hearing) because "your client told you to."

  17. (35) Your motions begin with "COMES NOW"

  18. (36) you wear a navy blazer (that looks like you slept in it) and khakis to court

  19. OK, I'll try: you call judges by their first name while in court waiting to appear before them.

  20. HEY! W. The Fuck.

    s/ Fake...B. Learned Hand, I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, F. Lee Baily, E. Allan Farnsworth, I. Leo Glasser, L. Ron Hubbard, C. Montgomery Burns, A. Bartlett Giamatti, A. Neville Chamberlain, C. Vernon Mason, E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, G. Harrold Carswell and W. Mark Felt.

  21. Your firm's website is under construction. You include PCA's in the published opinions section of your bio. You include your paralegals in the "professionals" section of you firm website. You tout your firm as a "boutique" when nobody's really heard of you.

  22. You put a "III" after your name , but you're not. Or even if you are .

  23. You always refer to "this honorable court" in pleadings and during your daily appearance at motion calendar .

  24. You bring pastelitos to calendar to share w the court , staff and opposing counsel .

  25. @8:03: you're kidding, right?

  26. add this - Wearing a bow tie with Topsiders.

  27. Family court is a regular stop for you

  28. You're defending a case in Complex before Judge Thornton and you've never read the CLP and file shit that's 30 pages long, no meet and confer, etc.

  29. You respond to each written discovery request with a page-and-a-half of objections, followed by the phrase "Notwithstanding my objections, I have no responsive documents/information."

    You also file a Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint without ever picking up the phone to simply ask the plaintiff's counsel for more time.

  30. You use requests for admission.

  31. I use 14 point Times New Roman like the courts says I should and now I'm a dirtbag?

  32. That's only the eleventh circuit dirtbag

  33. You drop F-bombs on the blog.


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