KILL ALL THE LAWYERS? A Client's Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers by Sloan Bashinsky

KILL ALL THE LAWYERS? A Client's Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers

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It's an enticing title, but real-estate lawyer Bashinsky doesn't propose to follow crazy Jack Cade's advice. The author of this unexceptionable self-helper simply wants to tell clients and prospective clients how to hire, fire, use and even sue their attorneys. Though not really the kind of juicy stuff to raise much objection among the ranks of Bashinsky's legal brethren or titillate jurisphobes (there's less of that kind of thing than one might suspect), the text does provide plenty of samples of how lawyers might goof. The advice isn't heavy. First the bad guys are described with all the cuteness a practicing attorney and Dale Carnegie graduate can muster (not a lot). Then, says our avuncular advisor, ""avoid all shysters,"" and ""avoid any lawyer who has a conflict of interest."" Also to be avoided: lawyers who are too busy and those who are not busy enough, those who have personal problems and those who don't have computers. ""Verbal fee agreements, while legal,"" the author tells us, ""are very difficult to prove."" But no matter, the prospective client will get the idea, and further be instructed on such material points as who customarily pays for transcripts, appeals and other costs of litigation. (And who do you think pays?) Legalese is translated to a fine point with a generally useful glossary and, in the text, with overdone asides. The author tells us ""at fault"" means ""did something wrong,"" ""litigious"" means ""suit-happy"" and ""concurrently"" is equivalent to ""at the same time,"" while ""consecutively"" may be read as ""one after another."" The whole package concludes with an appendix in the form of critical analyses of lawyers who have made their appearances, not in court, but in movies like The Verdict and Kramer vs. Kramer. The author kind of likes Perry Mason for his devotion to his clients. Bashinsky, too, seems devoted to his clients. But for those who want to fire away at the state of legal practice today, more than this Red Ryder popgun will be needed.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1986
Publisher: Prentice-Hall