When I concluded Part 1 of this guide, we were faced with a dilemma. What if you find not one but several lawyers advertising on TV for the type of injury you've suffered?
Let’s imagine that after your house was destroyed by a creeping mold, you fell victim to your insurance company’s too-quick and too-paltry settlement scam. After you failed to get full value for your house, you decided to sue your insurance company.
So far, so good. But when you watch TV to find a lawyer, you see an unending stream of commercials for lawyers calling themselves “Your Too-Quick and Too-Paltry Settlement Scam Specialists.”
What do you then? How do you choose which too-quick and too-paltry-settlement-scam lawyer to call, based on nothing other than a TV ad?
While many commentators suggest flipping a coin, my advice differs. All of the lawyers who are advertising on TV will undoubtedly be “experienced” and “competent” and “attorneys you can trust." So far, so good. But I still think you should consider a few other factors.
While the thumbs-up sign displays a can-do attitude, this lawyer's hairstyle could be a warning sign
Since lawyers who advertise on TV don’t generally disclose information about themselves other than the type of cases they handle and their phone numbers, your options for comparing one lawyer to another are limited. Even the names of the lawyers flash by so quickly
that you can't be expected to read them.
But you do have options. In choosing your lawyer from TV ads, why not consider the lawyer’s hairstyle and eye color? Since hairstyle and eye color are often altered by stylists, I’d also consider the lawyer’s height and weight.
How does this work in practice? Pretty well, actually. Most commentators agree that lawyers with blue eyes and neatly-combed hair should be selected before lawyers with red eyes and long, unwashed hair. As for height and weight, lawyers usually achieve better results if they stand more than four feet tall and weigh less than 350 pounds.
But I realize there’s a problem with my advice. How can you use hairstyle, hair color, height, and weight as selection criteria if you don’t know what your lawyer looks like?
Lawyers don’t usually appear in their own TV ads. Even if you do get a glimpse of your lawyer in the ad, how can you determine whether what you’re seeing is real? Couldn’t that silver-haired, smooth-talking “lawyer” be just another local actor taking a break from community theater, or perhaps a federal judge who likes to spend his lunch hour trying to recall what it's like to be a regular human being?
After further consideration, I’m going to change my strategy. Go ahead and hire the first lawyer you see advertising on TV. After all, life's a crapshoot, isn't it? It’s not called “jackpot justice” for nothing.
Just hope your new lawyer has been licensed more than six months, knows something about the law of your state, and values good hygiene--especially if you ever hope to meet him in person.
Mr. Roth is now in excellent health, after back surgery in April, and exercises regularly. But he said: “I know I’m not going to write as well as I used to. I no longer have the stamina to endure the frustration. Writing is frustration — it’s daily frustration, not to mention humiliation. It’s just like baseball: you fail two-thirds of the time.” He went on: “I can’t face any more days when I write five pages and throw them away. I can’t do that anymore.”
If he's like a lot of bloggers I know, Roth will be reconsidering his decision to quit very soon . . .
"I know I cannot paint a flower. I cannot paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning, but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time."--
It's interesting to hear Colbert deconstruct his character "Stephen Colbert" without irony, e.g.--
We create our own reality on the show. I’m in a cocoon of the
character’s creation. Even within that reality, he’s in a cocoon. Unless
I’m doing something like the Correspondents’ Dinner, testifying before
Congress, doing the rally or something where I’m purposively injecting
myself into a story, there’s no benefit to pushing him up against
reality. While I’m an improviser and enjoy discovery, the show follows a
script. I have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen. It’s a very
crafted, controlled environment.
In the past few years, lawyers have become increasingly slick and sophisticated in the production of their TV advertisements.
Don’t let this scare you.
It simply means that in selecting a lawyer based on TV ads, you’ll have to spend a little extra time actually watching and evaluating the ads. This easy-to-read guide will help you do just that.
In selecting a lawyer to hire for your legal case, you should never call the first phone number you see flashing on the screen. Instead, you should sample a variety of lawyer ads. Not two, not four, but several.
To get a good variety, try this simple trick. First, set your alarm for 2 a.m. That's when lawyer ads are as thick as mosquitoes in the dankest Southern swamps.
Next, turn on all the TVs in your house. Tune them to different channels. Finally, run from to room to room watching lawyer ads until the sun comes up.
As you’re running from room to room, use a notebook to record the type of cases the TV lawyers are soliciting. Do the lawyers specialize in medical devices like hip or knee replacements? Is their specialty pharmaceutical drugs that cause liver failure, heart attacks, or even death? Do they work on trucking accidents, the bloodier the better?
Make a complete list of lawyers and their specialties. In the morning, match the type of lawyer with the type of injury you’ve suffered.
If you’re suffering from debilitating breathlessness when you clean the gutters, for example, you don’t want a lawyer who specializes in cases of unanticipated indigestion caused by misprints in cookbooks. What you want is a gutter specialist—ruling out, of course, any lawyers who are actually “in the gutter.”
What if you find not one but several lawyers advertising for the type of injury you've suffered? This is where things gets tricky. Perhaps you've developed an unsightly skin rash from overindulging in Sinfully Rich & Nutty Ice Cream—and all night long, you see commercials for lawyers calling themselves “Your Sinfully Rich & Nutty Specialists.”
What do you then? How do you choose which sinfully rich and nutty lawyer to call, based on nothing other than a single TV ad?
In Part 2 of this guide, which is coming soon, I’ll tell how to do exactly that.
Don’t use the credit card, he tells himself. It’s a refrain he's been repeating over and over like a song stuck in his head, a mantra that makes him turn inward despite the brilliant sunshine reflecting off the hood of his car, the beauty of the wildflowers in full bloom along the highway.
Don’t use the credit card, he tells himself again. They’ll find you if you do. Why are you even carrying the credit card? Sure, you can use it for cash advances, but it’s stupid. Stupid! They’re on your trail. One more cash advance and you’re a goner.
In a speech given upon receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Norman Mailer Center, Joyce Carol Oates commented that Mailer "represented not only the most passionate and ambitious writing of his generation but the spirit of a kind of American writer who will possibly not come again. Norman was the very antithesis of minimalism—he was a maximalist."
The book is a compilation of some of the writing I've done on this blog over the years. Although I'm fully aware that the world doesn't need more blog compilations, I'm publishing mine anyway, mostly for the reasons I noted in the book's foreword, which you can read for free by clicking "look inside the book" at Amazon.
Though some of the selections in the book are still being read daily on this site, I'm willing to bet that no one has read all of the posts I've included--about 125 posts from a total of over 3000. Most of these posts were written without internal links (which don't translate well into book form), specifically because I hoped one day to collect them in print.
You can read more about the book at Amazon. Both the book's description as well as its Table of Contents (available by "looking inside the book") will give you a good idea of what's inside.
I've already sent How to Feed a Lawyer to a number of bloggers and writers who expressed interest in my writing over the years. I'm willing to send out more. If you're a blogger who wants a review copy, send me an email and I'll be happy to oblige.
It is commonly thought that lawyers should be “civil” with one another, meaning they should concede ground to their opponents merely because as lawyers, they're all secretly in league with one another.