Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unauthorized Practice of Law, Consumer Protection and the Economics of Law Practice - Lots of Questions

By common perception, Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) is either non-existent or a victimless crime. You don't often hear about cases of non-attorneys representing anybody but themselves. The problem of UPL appears to be a minor one, if it even exists.

But the case of a fake lawyer trying a case is not the real problem, according to many solo and small firm lawyers. The real battle over UPL is when non-lawyers offer advice and forms to help draft wills, bankruptcy filings or divorce papers. In that context, they argue, UPL is a massive problem with dangerous ramifications.

If you need a will, why should you have to pay an attorney hundreds of dollars when online forms exist? If you want a run-of-the-mill divorce, why should a lawyer get involved in your dissolution? Lawyers often charge money for "how-to" information, and the information age is making that business model seem outdated. In some cities, nonlawyers are opening shops where you can come in and they will help you prepare a will form, a bankruptcy filing, or divorce papers.

The courts have even gotten involved in the legal form business. Tired of struggling to interpret and apply the unclear and inaccurate forms brought in by unrepresented couples seeking divorce, the Missouri courts have made "approved forms" available just by asking the Court Clerk. On its face, the Court forms seem to be a helpful tool that can save Missourians the cost of an attorney while allowing the Courts to function more efficiently. If I were expected to adjudicate dozens of "simple" divorces, I would certainly appreciate the assembly line approach.

The problem is that the intersection of law and people is never really simple, and divorce is a major transaction. Anyone who argues that a simple form, court-approved or not, will fully and fairly represent either side's interests is simply mistaken. Solo and small firm lawyers can argue convincingly that in the vast majority of divorces handled by the courts on court-approved forms, one of the parties is losing rights that a lawyer would catch. In fact, by providing forms for pro-se divorces, the Courts are helping some people hurt themselves.

On the other hand, people hurt themselves in court every day, and it's not the court's duty to hold people's hands and make certain they do what is in their own best interest. Hiring the second-best lawyer in the room hurts your chances, too, but I don't think anybody expects the Courts to issue lawyer rankings.

Of course, the issue of fees is at the back of everyone's mind. Feeling sorry for lawyers is a lonely past-time. The popular understanding is that lawyers start at $100,000+ salaries fresh from school, spend the rest of their lives increasing their wealth without heavy lifting or contributing to society, and retire as undeservedly powerful and respected members of the community. So, when we hear about lawyers missing out on a few fees wrung out of working-class divorcees, we tend not to get too choked up.

But the reality is that the economics of solo and small firm practice in store fronts is vastly different than that of large firms in mahogany board rooms. Many law graduates coming out of school have debts of $100,000 or more, and wind up with jobs earning well under $50,000.

The disappearance of "small" divorces threatens the very existence of the "street" lawyer, and those are the lawyers who disproportionately stand up for the average Joe, and create the vast majority of case law that protect citizens' rights. Miranda and Brown v. Board of Education were started in storefront law offices, not mahogany board rooms. But does the occasional Atticus Finch justify preventing poor people from getting divorced without hiring a lawyer they can't afford?

Does the provision of approved forms by Court Clerks constitute the unauthorized practice of law? Of course not. Does the provision of forms with simple advice on how to properly fill them out constitute the unauthorized practice of law? We may be getting into a gray area. If John Doe opens up a shop or a website and advertises that you can come in and he will help you draft your own will or divorce papers, is that the unauthorized practice of law? I believe that it is - but will we find a prosecutor willing to file the case, when the maximum fine is a few hundred dollars?

Would it help if we made the remedies for Merchandising Fraud available in cases of Unauthorized Practice of Law?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does the provision of forms with simple advice on how to properly fill them out constitute the unauthorized practice of law? We may be getting into a gray area. If John Doe opens up a shop or a website and advertises that you can come in and he will help you draft your own will or divorce papers, is that the unauthorized practice of law? I believe that it is"

The people seeking "help" with the forms.. are obviously not wealthy people.

I think we both know that paralegals do this type of work all day long - granted they supposedly work under attorney supervision, but how often do the attorneys REALLY look over the work? Not often.

Oops, did I just spill a huge secret the general public wasn't aware of? Probably not. It should not come as a huge surprise that your high powered, costly attorney, hardly does anything but appear in court and work deals.

So yes, as a Legal Assistant, this topic is a touchy one.

Most people seeking "simple divorces", have no property, no children, no assets, no debts...nothing. Why should a person without the means, pay $1,500.00 basically for forms that are readily available online? Why NOT get help from someone other than attorney for a couple hundred bucks just for filling in the forms, resulting in the same outcome?

As for a simple Will.. well, they are pretty damn simple. Frankly, I honestly don't understand why people pay for them if they don't have much in the way of property, etc.

I mean.. my question is.. does an attorney know how to fill out the "simple forms" better than I do?

I highly doubt it. This is not to say I think that I am more educated than my attorney, obviously not. The more complex cases REQUIRE an attorney.. but for these types of simple matters.. come on..

3/25/2009 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The argument would be stronger if supported by verifiable facts.

Brown v Board of Education did not start in “storefront law offices”. It was started by the NAACP. --In 1950 the Topeka NAACP, led by McKinley Burnett, set out to organize a legal challenge to an 1879 State law that permitted racially segregated elementary schools in certain cities based on population. The local NAACP assembled a group of 13 parents who agreed to be plaintiffs on behalf of their 20 children. Following direction from legal counsel they attempted to enroll their children in segregated white schools and all were denied.

Ernesto Miranda was started by Alvin Moore (a court-appointed attorney). Not much information about Moore is available. Did he operate out of a storefront law office? Who knows? The appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was an effort of the ACLU.

3/25/2009 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

The disappearance of "small" divorces threatens the very existence of the "street" lawyer, and those are the lawyers who disproportionately stand up for the average Joe, and create the vast majority of case law that protect citizens' rights.

Gotta disagree. Realistically pricing DUI cases would kill street lawyers, they can survive without divorces. Covering your overhead with small divorces is a miserable way to practice law. It's such a shitty piece of the pie, I'm not sure it's worth fighting over.

I agree that non-lawyers helping fill out forms is probably unauthorized practice of law. I also agree with anony 10:39 that a skilled paralegal could probably accomplish this task without error in most circumstances. (Assuming you're dealing with people of limited means and assets). The problem, of course, is that the non-lawyer would not be in a good position to recognize when it's not "most circumstances." I don't think this is something I'd trust the free market to work out, and some level of licensing would be necessary to protect consumers.

Lastly, my oh my do you romanticize street lawyers. All that standing up for Average Joe crap is the gloss over the simple fact that the guys would rather hustle than have a boss. The fact that most "street" lawyers are motivated by a desire not to have a boss does mean they're pretty easy to get worked up about The Man. But their business model can't support dreamy causes or pound of flesh cases. Hustlers don't work for free. It's kind of the first rule. Standing up for the Average Joe is a sales technique, not a civic commitment.

None of this should be taken to mean that I think less of street lawyers than other lawyers. Sticking it to The Man is certainly more dignified than feeding The Man grapes.

3/25/2009 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Realistically pricing DUI cases would kill street lawyers".

Did Sophia let the cat out of the bag?

This is the way much of criminal defense operates.

The court will teach these Pro Se litigants, who went to "form fillers" for assistance, that they should have hired an attorney.

3/25/2009 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:24 I would bet you're an attorney.

3/25/2009 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Did Sophia let the cat out of the bag?

Come on... everybody involved knows that DUI money is the easiest money there is.

This is the way much of criminal defense operates.

Sadly, the way much criminal defense operates is unfairly maligning the work of the public defender's office. People are paying a premium for a probable illusion of better representation.

3/25/2009 2:47 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

Sorry. You folks don't have a clue. Lydia Carson, (a classmate of mine in law school does default dissolutions for $276.00: ... and that includes the filing fee. From the Website: “You answer questions regarding the custody, visitation and support for the children. We will prepare the documents accordingly, and we will also prepare a Marital Separation Agreement (at no additional cost) which outlines in specific detail all the provisions regarding the children. The child support will either be an amount you and your spouse agree upon, or it will be determined for you by the court, according to the Child Support Guidelines.” Why do we need to license lawyers, if anybody can practice law?

And Sophia, you are obviously a "Stall Fed" lawyer. Are there shyster "Street Lawyers"? Yes. But the vast majority of Solo and Small Firm lawyers represent small businesses and working people and pick up way over 66% of the pro bono cases cranking their way through the system. BTW: I don't think Brian Cave represented the NAACP in Brown v. Topeka, (I believe it was a lawyer by the name of Thurgood Marshall --- And Sophia, I found your post offensive. It may come as a shock, but there are folks who consider "not having a boss" also meaning, they don't have to answer to a "boss". Not kiss ass to keep that "boss" happy. Would prefer to represent their client, without having to answer to that "boss" about the representation. Not be a whore to the system, (and I mean no offense). Call Bill Shull in Warrensburg if you have a question about Solo and Small Firm lawyer representation in assisting Legal Aid.

Look at the most significant civil rights opinions rendered by the Supreme Court of our USA. Share with me who represented the Appellants? Was a Solo or Small Firm lawyer, wasn't it? Wasn't a "legal aid" lawyer, was it?

Dan makes a very valid point. Solo and Small Firm lawyers comprise 66% of the Missouri Bar. We represent the "little guy", (in my case, many times, pro bono -- and I have helped make some damn good changes defining the rights of people involved in family conflicts!) How many pro bono cases do lawyers working for the State or the big law firms take?

Our "Puppy Sharks" are graduating with a $1,500.00/mo student loan nut. They have to pass a background investigation, pass a Bar Exam and are required to take, at least 15 hours, yearly, of continuing legal education to keep them abreast of changes in the law. They are subject to the rules layed down by our Supreme Court, subject to getting reamed by the OCDC if they don't. Think the guy on Craigs List offering to help you fill out forms, has to do so?

Bottom line? Either require lawyers be licensed or not. If so, add teeth to R.S.MO 484.020 to include viable teeth: Merchandising Fraud, which would allow our AG to go after those that aren't ... or change the law to allow any person to practice law.
Warm Regards

3/25/2009 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are puppy sharks?

3/26/2009 3:35 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Karl T has been writing about solo and small firm practice issues and a whole lot of other topics every week in his "Friday Night Ramblings". Puppy sharks is a term of endearment for young lawyers.

There's a link in my blogroll . . .

3/26/2009 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...


Does Lydia Carson have a paralegal? I find it impossible to believe she's doing that much work herself for $100.

And I didn't use the term "shyster," I used "hustler." More like hustling for the loose ball. It's the term I've heard these guys use themselves, it wasn't meant to be insulting. I also don't think of all solo and small firm lawyers as hustlers. Street lawyers don't show up on short lists for court appointments.

And Sophia, I found your post offensive. It may come as a shock, but there are folks who consider "not having a boss" also meaning, they don't have to answer to a "boss". Not kiss ass to keep that "boss" happy. Would prefer to represent their client, without having to answer to that "boss" about the representation. Not be a whore to the system, (and I mean no offense).

No offense taken. Bad news, tough guy... we all work the system. We're all supposed to be committed to the rule of law. There are laws and courts within which to resolve disputes. Unless you're fomenting revolution, you're a whore to the system, too.

And it may come as a surprise to you, but there are solo guys out there who do a very poor job of representing their clients because they refuse to have a boss, or learn, or really answer to anyone. Some people have the experience and personality to pull off not having a boss. Others don't. You assume that all bosses require ass kissing and make you do significant things you disagree with. That's not particularly fair. Nor is it fair to so harshly judge people who value interpersonal skills and compromise in the work place.

It's great that you've found a way to have your own practice, take good care of your clients and do pro bono work. It's not necessary for me to pretend that all solo practitioners are like you in order to respect what you do. If you insist on identifying with the entire class of solo and small practitioners, then, yes, you probably will take offense when people note it's not a class of angels. (No class of lawyers is.)

Finally, I'm sympathetic to protectionist arguments. We just need a better one than "law school is really expensive and it's hard to become a lawyer." We're supposed to be adding value.

3/26/2009 8:58 AM  
Blogger craig said...

OK, as a layman I have to weigh in. What is the problem with doing a lot of the "form filling" in regards to divorce or wills that you pay a lawyer for yourself? A huge number of people use Turbo Tax annually, and the IRS code is at least as complicated as most divorce or probate laws.
I do my own taxes on Turbo Tax (which would make me technically smarter than Tim Geitner), and I have sold a house on my own. I have also met several lawyers that I could out litigate just by what I learned on watching "My Cousin Vinny".
Attorneys take themselves way too seriously. Many other professions are much more complicated, but there are aspects that a person without formal training can do.

3/26/2009 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lydia has a damn fine paralegal. I have had the pleasure of talking to him a few times personally. She is also an outstanding attorney.

HOWEVER Karl.. your link is not a valid on.. try to post it again please.

Why? Because there are, and always have been, HIDDEN FEES. This goes with any sales pitch. "Free consultation" blah, blah, blah I HIGHLY doubt that is a legit quote ($276.00) and I would like to see it in writing without an asterisk beside it.

That is all.

Anon 10:39

3/26/2009 12:36 PM  
Blogger I Travel for JOOLS said...

When it comes to legal matters such as wills or divorces, I don't believe the general population has enough knowledge to know what decisions to make or even what questions to ask to make those decisions. Look at the subprime mortgage mess. A lot of those people claimed they didn't understand the terms of their loans or they were misled. People may think their divorce is simple, for example, but how can they really know how a divorce could affect them in the future if for example a former spouse dies soon after a divorce, etc.? I don't really believe there's such a thing as a simple divorce.

I do agree most paralegals have the knowledge to handle common legal matters and filings. Certainly in most legal matters I have had, a great deal of the work was done by the paralegals.
However, I would not trust a storefront or web based operation unless they were strictly regulated and regularly inspected.

3/26/2009 12:45 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

Here is a complete breakdown of Lydia's fee schedual:
$276.00 is the complete cost PROVIDED it is a "default". NOTE: the definition of "default" contained in the schedual.

3/26/2009 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I found.. your link still does not work. As you can see from my link.. no posted pricing.

3/26/2009 1:36 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

Go to:
on the bottom of the page you will see a "button" to look at the forms you download in PDF format.

3/26/2009 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

$100 to do the wife's name change in the petition. Nice. $50 every time they need to change something on the forms. These fees aren't hidden, but the average client will find them unexpected when they occur. Looks like a classic loss leader to me. And more power to Carson if it works.

3/26/2009 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I managed to find it. What I have determined by the language, is that a paralegal is doing every ounce of work. =)

Actually, after reading through it... it is a very well written "simple divorce" model. If all attorneys applied those same price ranges and methods to uncontested divorces.. we probably wouldn't be having this conversation right now. (i.e. there would be no need for form preparers.)

3/26/2009 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

And... Ms. Carson's file retention policy appears to be contrary to Formal Opinion 115 - "Attorney may not withhold property belonging to his client to enforce payment of fees and expenses."

I'm filing a warning shot.

(Agreed with anony 2:04 that the price structure appears fair. Except that name change part. Which isn't only overpriced but anti-feminist.)

3/26/2009 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sophia, I'm guessing you've never won a DUI or DWI case for any client of yours?

3/26/2009 6:40 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

Sophia, she is not in violation of any ethical rule. She returns the clients original documents at the end of the case and only retains a copy for her own records. She is not required to make a copy of her copy available to the client. If she chooses to do so, she can charge whatever she wants. Although a clients file, is the clients file, cover to cover, and MUST be returned on demand, (with the exception of documents the attorney has paid for and the client not reimbursed, like depositions), I know of NO ethical opinion requiring an attorney to continue providing services after the case is closed, especially when the client has not paid for services already rendered.
Warm Regards

3/26/2009 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...


Does her definition of "original documents" include all pleadings and filings with the court? What disturbs me about the language in her contract is that the layman reading it wouldn't know he had the right to demand a copy of his file. It's easy to exploit the ignorance of clients in that regard. And the reference to a "lien," which last I checked is unreasonable to think exists under missouri law, would only heighten that perspective for the client.

We've got a lot of wiggle room in this area. I'd prefer to see lawyers staying away from using files to enforce fee payment, no matter how tricky they think they're being. Keep pushing it and we'll end up with some ugly case law that limits everyone's freedom of movement.

Anony 6:40,

Interesting. The fact that you would say such a thing seems to presume that a lawyer could easily charge a DUI fee to walk a defendant through SIS. I'm sure that's not what you meant.

3/26/2009 7:29 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

I have a similar provision in my contract, (which BTW has been reviewed by the OCDC):

9. RETENTION OF RECORDS: Any documents generated or received by Law Firm shall be immediately forwarded to Client such that Client has his/her original documents which comprise the complete client file; Law Firm shall retain a COPY of the afore referenced documents for a period of FIVE years after the closing of the file. CLIENT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE DUPLICATE FILE RETAINED BY LAW FIRM IS THE SOLE PROPERTY OF LAW FIRM AND SHALL BE DESTROYED AFTER FIVE YEARS.

I certainly understand your concern. It took 3 years of lobbying to change the file retention rule to now allow us to destroy a file after 10 years of no contact with a client. It took 4 years of lobbying to get a statute of limitations on Bar Complaints, (5 years, the same as a malpractice claim). Currently pending is the vacation rule: upon notice filed, you and your family can take up to 21 days vacation without having to worry about anybody calling something up. Also pending is the "telephone conference rule", a rule mandating that judges use telephone conferences for case status updates, rather than forcing lawyers, (on their clients dime), to appear in court.

Point being? Solo and Small Firm lawyers are the backbone of our American system of justice ... and they are under attack from without and within. Increased legal expenses are the result of court mandated mandatory forms,requiring lawyers to expend more time for a given result. The solution is not to make these forms available on-line, but review the necessity of having this volume of forms to start off with.
Warm Regards

3/26/2009 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just try doing a BANKRUPTCY on your own.

Screw it up, and you could end up with in being dismissed and you on the hook for your debts or you could even end of in Federal Prison

Its no game in that court.

3/27/2009 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dan, Lydia appreciates you having a forum set up for bashing her.

You dick.

3/27/2009 7:41 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Really, anonymous? I'm to blame because a friend of hers dragged her into a conversation, and people have discussed information she publishes on the internet? And she doesn't have the good judgment to email me to voice her concerns, but relies on anonymous commenters? I don't know Lydia, but from what I've heard from mutual friends, she's a whole lot better than that . . .

If she really is upset, I hope that she will take a second and think about who she should direct her anger toward. I'm not sure she should be angry, since she just got tons of free publicity for being a good source of inexpensive divorces, but if she is, it's certainly not my fault.

3/27/2009 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...


Your file retention policy is the near polar opposite of Carson's. I like the way yours is written.

Currently pending is the vacation rule: upon notice filed, you and your family can take up to 21 days vacation without having to worry about anybody calling something up.

21 day vacations? Must be nice. That this rule should even be considered is unfortunate. Lawyers should be communicating with each other about scheduling matters, not unilaterally noticing things up. Certainly not trying to sandbag the opposition. Still, I don't think this is a good rule. Would it only apply to solo practitioners? What ever happened to getting your docket covered? Again, who takes 21 day vacations?

Also pending is the "telephone conference rule", a rule mandating that judges use telephone conferences for case status updates, rather than forcing lawyers, (on their clients dime), to appear in court.

As a practical matter, I sympathize with the desire to save clients money, but I don't see the defense bar letting this happen. If it's limited to "everybody get out your calendar" events, I think it's a good idea.

Ms. Carson and friends,

Yes, it sucks to have people talking about you on the internet. Once Karl started pimping you, it was kind of hard not to talk about your form. It's well-organized and priced fairly (with one exception I noted). Your paralegal was complimented. I'd think that someone reading this thread would be inclined to hire you. People looking for cheap divorces seem unlikely to make stands on feminist principle over $100.

3/27/2009 10:53 AM  
Blogger KC Sponge said...

I couldn't understand how this post generated 27 comments - until I came here and read them. Goodness, exhausting!! =) I'd pay a hefty sum to shut them up . . . no offense intended, of course.

3/27/2009 12:59 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...


I have been quietly observing, but I must ask a few questions:

1. How old are you? (approximately is good enough)
2. Do you work for a large firm or a government funded office? Which?
3. How long have you been at your current place of employment?
4. How close is your office to the court in which you do most of your business?

I'm not trying to pry into your personal life. ---I'd just like to know a little bit about the mindset behind your comments.

3/27/2009 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Whistleblower... why in the hell would she answer those questions? Why do you care what mindset she is in?

"I'm not trying to pry into your personal life."

Yeah, you just want to know her age, how close she works to the court.. which I'm sorry.. Why the HELL would that matter? What insight would that give you about her mindset?

Your comment was annoying.

That is all.

3/27/2009 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Dan, REALLY.

And your disingenous remarks are nauseating.

"What? Poor little me? What do I have to do with it??

"Its only complimnets. Sure, there are smears about her prices, and a suggestion of an ethical violation, but she got TONS of free publicity!"

Tons? Over two thousand pounds worth?

Are you having delusions of grandeur, or what?

3/28/2009 4:56 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous critic of me -

First of, "yeah, Dan, REALLY" what? It's kind of hard to decipher what thought you're agreeing with when so many have been expressed on this thread.

Second, if you're trying to be literal, "tons of free publicity" would actually be 4,000 pounds or more. While it's tough to weigh publicity, I'd say that the publicity she has received more than a couple tons worth. You seem to think that my blog is a bunch of manure, and there's a place here in town that sells composted manure for $47/cubic yard, and each cubic yard is about a thousand pounds or more. SO, doing the math, my boast was that she has received around $200 worth of free publicity.

I don't sell ads, so there's no direct pricing available, but I bet she spends at least a couple hundred bucks on her website, and I'm pretty confident that this blog post got more hits in a day than her website gets in a year, so, yeah, I think she got tons worth of publicity.

An alternative method of measuring would be to weigh everyone who read it. If that's your measure, I was being far too modest.

I don't know where you picked up a self-pitying note in my previous response, but I assure you I don't feel like "poor little me". Perhaps you misinterpreted my point that it's not my fault. Truly, it's not - and if you're thinking of delusions of grandeur, if anyone thinks this forum was set up to bash her, I can assure you that this forum was set up for purposes other than praising or bashing Lydia Carson.

3/28/2009 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Anonymous Needs-to-get-more-sleep,

Do you understand that every time you complain, you make it more likely that I will go into greater detail with my criticisms? Perhaps you'd like to see a more thorough explanation of how charging $100 for a name change is anti-feminist? Or maybe you can explain how my opinion on that constitutes a "smear"? Is NOW part of her referral network?

You're seriously (or, rather, comically) shitting up the thread in a way that makes Carson look bad.


Has been a consistent theme throughout these comments. Either leave it that, or engage the substance.


You're the guy who thinks Cole County Judges have asserted themselves as a sovereign nation and are responsible for hijacking the gold standard, right? Yeah... all IM you all my personal info. :)

3/28/2009 10:02 AM  
Blogger whistleblower said...


I would have hoped that you had matured; even just a little bit.

If you think the power to invalidate an Act of Legislature was bestowed upon Missouri Circuit Court Judges then you should have no problem providing reference to such authority in our Missouri Constitution.

Under a constitution which delegates and limits power, the burden is on a claimant to point to the source of that power.

--Should you decide that such an Article does exist; what in the definition of those words would support your claim? Or do you believe that government has unlimited power, and it is up to the citizens to take it away?

Do you really think a circuit court judge has the power to PERMANENTLY ENJOIN the Missouri Legislature?

As for the questions I presented in my last post-

If you are young, you may not take as much vacation time as those with grandchildren, or those who have figured out that there is more in life than "billable hours". You also may not have the seniority needed to take that many vacation days. How many vacation days do you acquire per year under your contract? Hence my age and time at present job question.

If you work for a large firm, it would be easy to get someone to step in when you aren't available. Solo practitioners don't have that luxury. Believe it or not; some judges are real asses when it comes to an attorney's scheduled vacation time. How do you schedule a family vacation if the court can put you on the docket for those days. –You have no protection from that. The reason for asking if you work at a large firm.

If you work close to the courthouse; making the trip is no big deal. If your office is 45 minutes from the courthouse, many times, it would make more sense to appear via phone conference. The reason for asking your proximity to the courthouse.

Would answering – I’m in my late 30s. I work for a large firm (been there 5 years), and the office is 5 blocks from the courthouse have given up too much personal information?

3/28/2009 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of these "lydia" comments are offensive and "wildly off-topic"
Why didn't you delete those Dan?

Is it because she didn't email you as you requested to kiss your ass and request that they be removed?

3/30/2009 6:04 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

They're neither offensive, nor wildly off-topic.

3/30/2009 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me there's a lot of Lydia Carson/Carson Law Center bashing going on here and other places online like Tony's Kansas City. She apparently made some enemies but that doesn't make her a bad attorney or mean anything said about her is true! All the accusations on these sites about her skimming money from clients or being on probation with the Missouri Bar Association as someone said on Tony's Kansas City in an older post could be just made up lies by those with an axe to grind! Check your facts before judging her!

4/09/2009 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probation by the Bar-yep!getting sued for mortgage issues-yep!
see - Lydia M. Carson

So much for the facts!

4/17/2009 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Dropped in here to check on an old whistleblower post. Didn't expect to see these recent trashy comments. Very subtle.


Check for yourselves:

4/23/2009 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because Lydia just recently got off probation. She'll get into trouble again though. She can't help herself. I wonder how the lawsuit against her is going?

4/23/2009 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. You're wrong. Carson's still on probation. She has another year to go. They just never changed her status on the site and besides, being on probation doesn't mean she can't practice law. It just means she will be watched very carefully and woe to her if she screws up again.

4/23/2009 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



and squeaky clean she isn't, so quit trying to make her out to be some sort of savior of the little people.

4/25/2009 7:51 PM  

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