MAKING HUMOROUS predictions about the typically conservative legal profession and joking about the top 10 legal mistakes ever made has won Paul Brennan, of Sunshine Coast three-lawyer firm Brennans Solicitors and Migration Agents, a place on Channel 9’s ‘Mornings with Kerri-Anne’.
This week, Brennan, author of The Law is an Ass — Make Sure it Doesn’t Bite Yours! explained to Kerri-Anne Kennerly and her audience that there are 10 key legal mistakes that have consistently been made through the ages. In his light-hearted analysis, Brennan joked that of these mistakes, “fighting with the parent of your offspring” is a must not do. “You have so much to lose,” he said.
He suggested that over time, studies may begin to reveal most clients do not have “novel legal issues”, but rather similar ones. “Clients would hear rumours of a centuries old secret code known only to lawyers. Could it really be that irrespective of country, social standing or occupation clients tend to make the same old legal mistakes again and again?”
He proposed an imagined circumstance where amid these allegations of old legal conspiracy, a discovered ancient legal scroll would reveal that the 10 greatest legal mistakes of that time were the same as the 10 greatest legal mistakes of this era.
But of his top 10 list, Brennan hypothetically asked what would happen if clients started to believe that making mistakes that can lead to litigation is not necessarily good for them. What if they began to suspect that legal mistakes cause heart attacks? he asked.
Lawyers, he suggested, would deny it, and would develop new experiences for clients, “give them more choice and introduce more interesting legal problems”.
“We would run TV advertisements with messages like: ‘Law can be thrilling, exciting — sue someone today’. I may be called upon to reminisce about my High Court tussle over two goldfish (unreported), or my incisive questioning of an undercover police officer about his groin,” he joked.
Brennan’s latest book The Law is an Ass —Make Sure it Doesn’t bite yours! is available at www.brennanlaw.com.au.
1. Fighting with the parent of your offspring. You have so much to lose.
2. Disputes with your neighbour. The only full resolution is to move.
3. Buying one house without selling the one that you own. Bank bridging finance is required when you cannot sell quickly enough and there is the possibility of losing money on a distressed sale. I know you must have it but just wait for once in your life.
4 . Trying to get blood out of a stone. Winning is good. Getting paid is better. Ensure your opponent can pay up.
5. Fighting legal cases you cannot win. There may be other ways to beat your opponent and save the cost of legal fees.
6. Using a ‘Do it Yourself’ will. You can’t even find your car keys most of the time. However, if you are broke anyway, no problem.
7. Being your own lawyer. Even lawyers don’t do that.
8. When arrested, not calling a lawyer and trying to talk your way out of it.
9. Not getting a lawyer to review a lease or business contract. As many small businesses fail this is a sure way to invite trouble.
10. Any type of litigation relating to defamation.