Posted Mar 01, 2013 10:50 am CST
The thing I hate most about being an attorney is dealing with abusive attorneys (“You’re Out of Order!” January). Most of the attorneys I deal with are professional and polite, but there are some who make the rest of us look really bad.
I am a relatively new attorney, practicing since 2009. I am also a young-looking woman. I practice in an area many trial lawyers don’t respect: I enforce judgments. Admittedly, enforcing judgments is not as “sexy” as being a trial lawyer, but it has its own challenges; and I assure you, I do what I do far better than most trial lawyers can, simply because it is my niche. It is not as simple as one might think.
But there are some lawyers who cannot keep their disdain to themselves and feel the need to disparage what I do in the most insulting fashion. I have been called “little girl” and “little idiot,” and have even been told by opposing counsel that he, a prominent medical-malpractice attorney, “was not afraid of an insignificant in-house attorney that collects money.” I have defeated each and every one of these jerks in court, easily. And I will continue to do so. I only look young and inexperienced.
On occasion, I have had male attorneys try to physically intimidate me. One particularly disturbing incident occurred just outside the courtroom. He was a lot taller than me, even in my 3-inch heels, and he literally pushed me with his chest so that I had to take a step backward. He tried the same with my client. What he did not realize was that I am not intimidated by that sort of behavior. Where I come from, women are definitely not helpless. But the fact that he felt he could do that still floors me.
Parties can disagree without being disagreeable. As attorneys, we have so much stress already. Why make it worse? Take it easier on one another.
Costa Mesa, Calif.
I’m not sure if the case highlighted in the story is about an uncivil attorney or a religious fundamentalist church that misinterprets the First Amendment and believes it can do no wrong. It was, however, the lawyer’s job to explain that to them. Also, let me know when they decide to do something about the incivility of some judges.
Ellen Beth Gill
One good tactic is to ask the other person to “Put that in a letter, and copy everyone else.”
John P. Fenner
Boca Raton, Fla.
I can relate 100 percent to “The Dream Bar,” January. I was brought to this country when I was 13 years old. My parents obtained their green cards going through the motions of having their parents submit applications for them. By the time my parents had obtained their green cards I had “aged out” and had to go back to the end of the line when my mother submitted a new I-130 for me.
Fast-forward 16 years after my arrival to this country, I finally managed to attend law school.
Before entering law school, my first thought was to serve my country in the middle of a war. Thus I enlisted in the U.S. Navy, even though I had a bachelor’s degree, and have honorably served in the defense of our country (currently serving with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14, Afghanistan), so it makes me sick to read comments [at ABAJournal.com] from individuals who lack the knowledge to comment on the matter and then have the gall to call themselves lawyers.
Rolando E. Rodriguez