Have you ever done something kind of off the cuff that you later regretted? Well, I certainly have. As a matter of fact, with my initial blog post about in-house lawyers, I really stepped in it big time. Here is the back drop on what happened.
I had a case several weeks ago going to trial. I was so frustrated by the way this particular lawyer was treating my client that I took it personally. This lawyer was questioning witnesses that were friends and neighbors of the plaintiff, and asking questions about the event that happened to this plaintiff (dog attack) such as, “Well, did you know that the plaintiff was raped by knifepoint when she was 16 years old?” My client was understandably horrified by what this lawyer was publicly doing to her. My client felt like if she were to take this case to trial, she would be shamed by the defense attorney in front of a very public forum. Against my advice, she forced me to settle her case for not as much money as, what I (and my 2 focus groups) believed was fair for her. She gave up.
It was with this back drop that I hammered out a bastardization blog of in-house defense lawyers. I slammed them all hard. I even listed their individual names.
It was a mistake. I took it down within 18 hours but the damage was done. I hurt a lot of innocent people, and some very good friends and great lawyers who happen to also be in house defense counsel. My reason for doing it was not justified and I did it out of anger. It was very poor judgment on my part.
I do honestly have a problem with the “in-house” lawyer system. I firmly believe it is wrong, and full of conflicts of interests. A man cannot serve 2 masters. Many states have ethically outlawed the system, and if I had my way, I would do it here as well. However, that did not justify the harsh words in my blog.
To my many defense “In-house” lawyers, I apologize. I know I hurt some of you and for that, I am very sorry.
I know we will continue to work well together as we have for over 20 years with some of you. I will continue to be stirred by passion for protecting my clients against a system that too often does not work in their best interests.
See you soon.