If they needed legal representation, and had the money to pay for it, I would represent them.
Simple provincial attorney that I was, I assumed that was my obligation, and that every attorney operated the same way.
I never asked any clients about their politics, and my policy served me well. I met and represented hundreds of wonderful people, without ever having the slightest idea what they thought about right-to-work laws.
I discriminated against nobody.
So, imagine my surprise when I heard about a Wisconsin attorney who declared that he would no longer represent Republicans because he didn’t like an amendment to the Lemon Law that Republican representatives had passed.
I thought it was a wonderful idea, and immediately started a similar policy in my own office. But it soon became problematic.
You see, I’ve never been a member of any political party, so I couldn’t just draw an easy line about who I would and would not represent. My policy meant I couldn’t represent Republicans or Democrats because they have both been drinking the Marxists’ Kool-Aid for more than a century.
In order to secure my representation, I required potential clients to sign a statement of ideological purity. If they refused to declare that minimum wage laws were a violation of the right to liberty of contract, I would not represent them.
If they refused to aver that government moratoria on bank foreclosures violated the Contracts Clause, they couldn’t be a client of mine.
Unless they swore on a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” that it violated the Takings Clause to take private property and give it to another private party, out the office door they went.
Even clients who I thought would have no difficulty meeting my standards disappointed me. I asked a client charged with a drug crime if he thought federal food and drug laws were patently unconstitutional.
“I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “I just want you to beat this charge.”
He was insufficiently ideologically pure, and I had to refer him to another attorney.
Unfortunately, within a week, I had lost all my clients. I realized I had to either revise my policy or find a new line of work.
Now, I’m back to my old policy. It doesn’t matter to me if you like to dig up dead bodies or if you vote for Marxists. If you’ve got the bills, I’ve got the skills.
More from The Dark Side
- THE DARK SIDE: Medicaid case fails test for jury
- THE DARK SIDE: On dogs and baseball
- THE DARK SIDE: Everything about practicing law I learned from Ecclesiastes
- THE DARK SIDE: Lack of judicial temperament is like obscenity
- THE DARK SIDE: I love ‘not guilty’ verdicts
- THE DARK SIDE: Where have all the burglars gone?
- THE DARK SIDE: Citation to unpublished opinions is like crying Wolff
- THE DARK SIDE: On ‘filled milk’ and the Beatles
- THE DARK SIDE: Don’t let your clients sign land contracts
- THE DARK SIDE: Appeal to what is best in jurors