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Folklaw 31 March 2006

Folklaw 31 March 2006

A Gokey Tale Scene 1: California, USA — truck driver employed by the city council, Curtis Gokey, reversing his dump truck down a street. He is working hard for his money. Scene 2: A dump…

A Gokey Tale

Scene 1: California, USA — truck driver employed by the city council, Curtis Gokey, reversing his dump truck down a street. He is working hard for his money.

Scene 2: A dump truck crashes into a parked car.

Scene 3: We are taken back in time to this particular car being registered at the motor registry. The name on the registration form — Curtis Gokey.

Scene 4: Present day. Focus on dump truck. A face sheepishly peers out of the window. It is Curtis Gokey.

Scene 5: Local court registry, a day later. Curtis Gokey in full flight, filing a US$3,600 claim for crashing into his own car. Case, quite rightly, gets thrown out of court as he can’t sue himself.

Scene 6: Local court registry, a day after Scene 5. Rhonda Gokey, lovely wife of Curtis Gokey, in full flight, filing a $4,800 claim for her husband crashing into his car.

Scene 7: Later that day. City Attorney Steve Schwabauer shaking his head. “You can sue your spouse for divorce, but you can’t sue your spouse for negligence”.

Scene 8: Rhonda Gokey: “I have the right to sue the city because a city’s vehicle damaged my private vehicle. I’m not as nice as my husband.”

Note to Jerry Bruckheimer: Please liaise with Folklaw if you are interested in commissioning a script for possible upcoming summer blockbusters: “Law and Gokey”, “The Gokey Practice” and “The name Gokey is very addictive”.

Stop emailing this stuff at work!

Roll on Friday reports the following email, exchanged between a firm’s HR administrator and a recruitment consultant from an agency they were using in late February. Folklaw really must insist that people remember that work emails are not private. They’re always watching…

From: Law Firm

To: Recruitment Consultant

Subject: Current situation

Hi. Just so you know, following my email on Friday, we have decided to stop using your firm. I’m afraid [candidate’s] interview will not go ahead and any CVs sent from you will be discarded.

I felt that your approach on Friday was not only rude but something that I don’t wish to carry on experiencing. I have received several opinions on your (numerous) emails and they agreed that your comments were unnecessary and unprofessional.

Please do pass on to your colleagues that CVs from your firm are no longer being received for any of the roles that I am currently working on.


HR Administrator

From: Recruitment Consultant

To: Law Firm

Subject: RE: Current situation

Hi . That is the best news I’ve had all day! Your firm is a total waste of time as a client in the recruitment world. I could explain why it is a total waste of time but you are a failed recruiter and so wouldn’t understand and I’m a successful recruiter and so don’t have the time.

I will however have the time to post to you a photocopy of my pay cheque for next month. I’ll address it for your attention at your offices. I’ve got lots of February starters and I think you will find a £7k pay cheque for one month quite appealing. How does it feel to know I will pay more tax than you will clear after tax next month? Shame you failed in recruitment, otherwise you could be rich too instead of being a glorified administrator.

All the best for the future, Pen Pusher!

Lawyers dont earn enough

If you ever needed more proof that lawyers don’t earn enough, here it is. Roll on Friday reports that Scottish solicitor Angela Baillie was found guilty of smuggling hard drugs to prisoners. Apparently she managed to convey 158 diazepam tablets and 14.85g of heroin in cigarete packets, an amount determined at her hearing to be enough “for supply to the prison system generally”.

It seems that a £30,000 ($75,000) a year salary at Glasweigan firm Richard Lobjoie wasn’t cutting the mustard for the wee lass, so she turned to cutting crack cocaine, which, according to authorities, netted her over £50,000 ($125,000) in a year. That £50,000 is now being sought under a ‘proceeds from crime action’. Folklaw imagines Baillie at least now knows one way to pass away the time whilst she languishes with her buddies.

BlackBerry use good for lawyers

Earlier this year, BlackBerry maker Reseach in Motion (RIM), settled with NTP Inc to the tune of US$612.5 million as it was claimed by the latter that RIM had effectively stolen some patents for use in its hugely successful product. The suit was much criticised for various reasons, including the fact that NTP had threatened to obtain an injunction preventing all BlackBerry use until the issue was worked out. RIM, obviously, could not let this happen.

What many people do not know, however, is that the lawyers for NTP, Washington DC firm Wiley, Rein & Fielding, received one third of the settlement figure. That’s over US$200 million — a figure that exceeds their average yearly revenue.

With this in mind, Folklaw surmises that we really should have changed the title of the Scottish solicitor story to [Non-American lawyers don’t earn enough].

Lawyers like courtrooms

In a move for which many in non-legal circles have been baying a number of moons, a trial has began in Portland, USA which has thrown some of the country’s eminent lawyers against each other in deadly, litigious battle. According to Overlawyered, Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam has said he expects “mutually assured character destruction” to result. The core issue is whether lawyers illegally prioritised their own interests in order to gain a lucrative settlement, when representing a class action suit for a number of people against multinational company, Nestle.

Apparently Robert F. Kennedy Jr. testified at the trial, which leads Folklaw to ask, “why stop there?”. We can think of many other celebrities, politicians and strange hybrids of the two (think California) who could have testified, and who might have added even more spark to proceedings. Or was that not the main thrust of the trial? Folklaw apologises for ever thinking little of the American judicial system, and apologises in advance for any frequent, future indiscretions.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Folklaw 31 March 2006
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