TV legal dramas like Law & Order tend to show off the theatrical side of being an attorney. Most of the time, however, the practice of law is merely composed of reading and writing. Every once in a while, an attorney will have the opportunity to present his case to a judge and a jury. And, generally speaking, even these hearings are typically mundane affairs. Nothing was ordinary for Florida attorney Stephen Gutierrez this last week as he was presenting his closing arguments to a jury in a case involving arson.
First and foremost, every attorney's primary responsibility is to their client. Unfortunately, one recurring factor tends to drag down even the best or most General Law case: communication. Under Washington Rules of Professional Conduct (and common sense), the client is the ultimate decision-maker for their own claim. An attorney is supposed to make recommendations, which will then allow the client to make an informed choice. With poory communication, this task becomes more difficult and can often lead to misunderstandings.
I'm sure that everyone has their own distinct viewpoint on the American court system. Some believe justice is well served through litigation, while others are of the opinion that American jurisprudence is a farce. Every once in a while a crazy (read: frivolous) lawsuit is brought, which is both unfounded and fun to read. That being said, let the fun begin. Case in point, have a look at Thomas v Bush, et al.
In the last year, Facebook has climbed over 1 billion active users. Most likely you or someone you know has a Facebook account and uses it religiously. What you likely didn't know, is that if you become involved in litigation, that Facebook account is considered evidence to the opposing party. Around the country Facebook is utilized more and more in court. In fact, in Virginia, an attorney and his client were recently sanctioned for over $700,000 for allegedly destroying the client's Facebook account to get rid of unwanted posts and pictures. Lester v. Allied Concrete Company and William Donald Sprouse.