A Small Town Lawyer’s Opinion on Keeping One’s Views to One’s Self.
Published to: 000113, 000115, 000116, A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective, Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer, West Virginia Lawyer - Tips and Techniques
on September 25, 2013 8:14 pm
I am at the beach with my wife, for a working vacation, so those are the photos I place here.
My well-intentioned lawyer friends, and a few “marketing types” have told me, “For gosh sakes, do not talk politics or religion on your blog. You will lose clients.”
No, he will never be cast as the lead in True Grit.
My response is this: if you were in a dark alley or one the battlefield, and under attack, and needed me, would you care more about:
1. My politics;
2. My religion: or
3. My ability to kick your attacker’s ass?
I love both versions of True Grit, John Wayne’s and Jeff Bridges’. And, I am stunned to have my friend Siri tell me that there is another version, 1978, starring Warren Oates. That one can’t be as good, because I never perceived Oates as having true grit, but I digress. I know nothing of Mr. Oates, and will check him out on Amazon Prime streaming video.
The interaction between the feisty, religious, 14 year old girl, seeking to avenge the death of her father, and one eyed Rooster Cogburn is fabulous. She saw something in him which she adjudged to be “true grit”, and she wasn’t wrong.
Someone like this, of course. Nicest gal I know.
I want the kind of client who is like that girl: fundamentally decent, desiring to have justice done, and willing to trust a grizzled, flawed, but decent and accomplished, lawyer to guide her or him through the maze.
If that is not what you want, HIRE THE OTHER GUY! Only hire me if your child is worth more to you than you are. If you are not yet that type of person, I will likely accept your money or your case, but we will have tension.
And do not hire me if my politics, religion, or philosophy has to be the same as yours. Mine is not the same as anybody else’s. I not running for office; I am working to protect your interests and your family’s and to get a good result.
Assuming you are not perfect, if you follow my advice, we will still get you through it.
It is the same for serious injury claims. It is easier to represent the truly deserving person than the one who won’t cooperate or who gets “dollar signs” in his eyes. I recall the cashier at the Wal Mart cash register who called me to warn me my client was bragging about the “big bucks” I was going to get her. This was pre-Internet. Now such brags are “on steroids”.
What do I do with the abusers and the fakes? If they cannot and will not follow my advice, I withdraw and let them search for someone closer to their own values.
Not surprisingly, I am more the guy that the person who perceives herself to be disadvantaged likes to hire. There are others that the more nasty and abusive people tend to hire……hmmm? I wonder why?
I started to make a 10 line post on my personal Facebook page. But, I am here, listening to the surf, while my wife is shopping and exploring, and my post turned into an article. Here it is:
I have been pleased to stay away from politics on Facebook lately, especially anything that tweaks the pro-gun fanatics, but I am on vacation and I am hearing the name of Senator Ted Cruz, over, and over, and over during our ten hour drive yesterday.
Watching him on the news last night, I reminded myself, “You can’t judge a book by the cover.”, but the truth is, from listening to him and observing him, I know that I could not stand even five minutes with the guy. He would totally creep me out, and I promise you he would not like me.
It is clear to me his 21 hour rant is his first audition for America’s top job. The thought that someone so radical, so self serving, and so disingenuous would do anything in public service led to another thought……….Anthony Wiener! It is clear to me this guy is a wiener too.
The Affordable Care Act is probably beyond what 99% of all of us laymen can follow, so my thoughts are fairly simple.
Here they are:
1. I took a lot of flack on FB for supporting John McCain (and his pretty side kick??!!) I assured my critics she would “come around”. Ouch! No one is right all the time!
2. I warned my FB Friends that Obama was inexperienced, way too liberal, and naïve on foreign policy.
3. I was pretty much right on.
4. But, his decisions re: Afghanistan were measured and moderate. Reference: Bob Woodward’s “Obama’s War”
5. He wound up our fiasco in Iraq, but followed Fareed Zacaria’s advice to do so by following Patraes’ and Bush’s corrected and improved path.
6. He kept his word and passed health reform. That’s why he was elected, right?
7. His wife is arguably the best First Lady ever, and I like them all (First ladies that is). We all know that with her size and build she could be big as a house, but she knows about nutrition and fitness and practices what she preaches. She is addressing a horrific problem in America and making some progress. She absorbs vicious and scathing attacks from the processed food advocates.
8. “The Prez” and his wife appear to be faithful to one another. They endure constant racially biased jibes and insults with dignity. Doubt that one? Come get your hair cut in my barber shop.
9. Their children aren’t getting in trouble.
10. He doesn’t have a whacky Mom or brother diverting our attention. (No, Bush doesn’t have a whacky Mom or siblings. His Mom speaks what is on her mind. I like that. And I like his Dad, and I like his style as a former President. Even like his moderate brother.)
11. My Israeli friends don’t trust Obama or like him very much, but I HOPE that he, Secretary of State Kerry (who I disliked a lot when he ran against Bush), and the Clintons are doing some great things internationally, some of it blessedly behind the scenes. (And, yes, I figure Bill is still a Hound Dog, but a friendly one.)
12. Bill Clinton’s foundation has been doing great things.
13. Bush’s programs for AIDS prevention is doing great things worldwide.
14. Bill Gates and other billionaires are actually helping the world, and our country, out of their pockets.
(What?……… “Get to the Point!” Ok. Did I mention I am writing this while on vacation? Sorry. )
15. The world seems to be growing in its respect for us.
16. For an instant in time, Putin, Assad, Iran, and countries in the Middle East have taken a pause and are giving some thought of making some deals. (It will blow up, but at least there is a potentially pregnant moment.) I have offered to mediate for a fair fee.
17. Yes, Obama’s foreign policy in the last several months has been muddled and mushy, but it seems those people over there are a bit crazy. I suggest that you read “From Beirut to Jerusalem” by Thomas Friedman if you want to get a sense of why these people hate each other and us so much and kill so often.
18. Don’t call me “Rand Paul”, but I, for one, do not want to help fundamentalist Muslims gain power anywhere. Remember the “moderates” are the Muslim Brotherhood. They believe what they believe, at least as strongly as our fundamentalist Christian right. It is hard for a strong “natural law” thinker to respect the views of other since he/she has “The Holy Grail”.
19. But the Muslims appear to be much more willing than the Christians to kill people for not agreeing with them.
20. As I said, Obama passed the healthcare bill that he said he would. The American people elected him to do just that. He was the WINNER!
21. The Republicans fought it like crazy. They lost. Their efforts not to fund it, and their refusal to work pragmatically to fix its flaws are major reasons that I am now an independent. The Republicans owe the American people and our system of government more respect. Congress must fund the programs it creates.
22. I represent people who often do not have insurance. We live in a poor, rural, mountainous state. I drove through those mountains yesterday. They are a special place, but not a place where it is easy to find a job and make a living.
23. Their kids have a Medicaid or C.H.I,P. medical card, but they make $9-$12 an hour and have NONE for themselves.
24. The poor slob who is hit by a drunk or inattentive driver who has no insurance gets emergency room treatment; then no one want to help her.
25. When the treatment should be $20,000 worth but is only five, it is nearly impossible to prove their case. All personal injury lawyer and insurance adjusters know “Damages are tied to ‘specials’ “. Specials are medical bills, expenses, and lost wages.
26. They cannot afford the risk of trial. So, they settle.
27. The divorcing Mother has to put my retainer on a credit card, so she sure cannot afford medical care for herself when she needs it. In WV, a disabled parent, by default, loses custody to an able, fit, parent.
28. My seriously ill, and currently disabled, lawyer friend has spent many, many, months in the hospital and survives because his wife is a teacher. What if he had no insurance?
27. Sole practitioner lawyers pay every penny of the premium for himself, family, and staff, for their medical insurance and his disability and extended care insurance. His “insurance” is his own good health. If he loses that, he may lose everything.
28. Maybe that’s why I had my “end of the world dream” last night.
29. I think it is time for a prayer that our country does not want to “take a Cruz” any time soon.
Gazing into the future?
This post was written by Burton Hunter