Wednesday, June 27, 2007

You Give Law... A Bad Name

I've been in work-deal-hell, which is prone to happen at the end of a fiscal quarter, so no time to blog recently, but I had an interaction today that I just HAD to share with someone and, hey, you're (yes, you out there) someone! So here goes...

Every profession has its own sort of assholes, I'm sure, but the law has a particular brand of asshole that always astonishes me when a come across one. The My-Law-Degree-Makes-Me-More-Important-Than-Others* brand of asshole.

So I'm working on a deal that involves real property in states where my firm is not located (think states starting with an "A" in the deep south and southern midwest). Our client is going to be hiring local counsel in those states and the local counsel will prepare the deeds of trust/mortgages, etc. We are preparing the loan documents and will coordinate with local counsel on real estate matters. Because we really have a limited role on the R.E. side of things, we have a real estate paralegal who will be handling review of title commitments, surveys, etc.

I called the real estate person from the Borrower - Mr. In-House-Real-Estate-Counsel-Comma-Esquire - to introduce him to our paralegal and to get the title review and survey process underway. In my voicemail message, I gave Mr. IHRECCE (damn, I should have made the initials spell out something funny) the paralegal's contact information. Shortly thereafter, I received a call back. Mr. IHRECCE was calling to complain that I gave him the name of a paralegal contact. I quote (an excerpt): "I'm going to have high-level comments to mortgages and I want to talk to the person with control over the document, not some paralegal." 15 minutes of him telling me why our decision to have a paralegal review the title work and coordinate the real estate aspects of the transaction was going to inconvenience him personally and make the process so much harder to manage. Now, mind you, we aren't preparing the mortgages - those will be done by local counsel and he'll be passing comments to them on to local counsel, probably with a finance attorney in our office (me or the partner) in the loop.

And through his complaining and whining, it was all I could do not to laugh. See? I'm not invested in my job. The fact that someone can get this bent out of shape about being asked to deal with a (highly competent, experienced) non-lawyer in a transaction. It's, well, comical.** Who's with me here?

And, by the way, I basically told him to suck it.*** And to call our paralegal if he has any questions about my instructions.

Best Regards,
Leila, Esq.

*(Which includes the subset My-Status-As-A-Partner-Makes-Me-More-Knowledgeable-Than-You brand of asshole. This is the law firm partner who is working with an associate on a deal, but insists on calling the partner "nominally" on the deal instead of the associate who is contacting him (yes, it is always a him) because he doesn't want to "waste his precious time" talking to an associate. More here.)

**Of course, if I had to deal with this assjack every day, I'm sure a point would come (quickly!) when it stopped being so amusing. There was a similar character at my old firm. What a pill.

***But I said it in a nice way. And that's what counts.


10 lbs of awesome in a 5 lb bag said...

"the subset My-Status-As-A-Partner-Makes-Me-More-Knowledgeable-Than-You brand of asshole"

I've dealt with them before on numerous occasions. To say that it is extremely satisfying when you win a case against one of them is an understatement. Especially when they treat you like some kid who is an easy mark for them.

City Elf said...

I love it. How exactly does one nicely say "suck it," btw? Because I usually just say it the mean way, I think.