Monday, December 13, 2010

The Nutmeg Lawyer (law, humor)

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle


AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: The Nutmeg Lawyer, by Attorney Adrian Mark Baron


BLOG DESCRIPTION: The Nutmeg Lawyer is a humorous blog that discusses the daily trials and tribulations of being a lawyer. Its great for marketing tips, legal advice and has funny stories about what its like to practice law. the American Bar Association selected it as one of the top 100 legal blogs in the nation on their ABA Journal Top 100

MY REVIEW: If you are an attorney or wish to become one, or if you wish to get an insight into the inner workings of a law office and the mind of an attorney, may I suggsst The Nutmeg Lawyer?

The posts are fascinating, and it's a look into a world that most people don't know exists, having been weaned only on the Law and Order franchies and Perry Mason. The lawyers here (in addition to Adrian Baron, there are various guest-bloggers from a variety of lawyerly disciplines) write on their subjects with great insight, and its interesting to get this bird's eye view of the profession.

Sample posts - from a guest blogger
Some things I’ve learned in 23 years as a divorce lawyer

Nobody Said Law School was Easy Billy (caption to a video, not shared here)
Editors Intro: As I write this post, I am glancing out my frost covered window as my car warms up courtesy of my automatic car starter. (By automatic car starter I mean a first year law student intern from one of our prestigious local law schools. Good work Billy). Shivering from the cold, my thoughts take me to Attorney Diana Mercer. If you practice family law in Connecticut, you may remember Attorney Mercer from her days as a mediator in Milford and surrounding courts. If you are wondering whatever happened to Diana, let me update you. She was smart. She left the cold of New England for sun filled California.

Diana was kind enough to take a break from surfing, lunches with movie stars, mining for gold and whatever other things I assume all Californians do on a daily basis. We prodded her to do a guest post for our blog, and thankfully she complied. Our sincere thanks.

Some things I’ve learned in 23 years as a divorce lawyer: Guest Post by Attorney Diana Mercer
You pick up a few tidbits of wisdom that they don’t teach in law school when you are a divorce lawyer. These scenarios happened back when I was practicing as a divorce litigator. Sometimes people ask me why I became a full time mediator 12 years ago.

Here’s why:
One of the first things you learn as divorce lawyer is that not everyone is very good at picking a spouse. It stands to reason that a successful marriage probably depends on picking a good mate. I had a client once who married a man who had been acquitted of murdering his wife with a poison spear made by attaching an Indian arrowhead to a broom handle with twine and covering it with curare. “But he was acquitted!” she protested. Never mind that he made her teenage son call him “Mr. Daniel Loomis” even after they were married, and he beat her within an inch of her life. The lesson learned: homemade poison darts do not make for a happy marriage.

Once you’re in the middle of your divorce, it’s important that you cooperate with your lawyer. Everyone’s done things they’re not proud of, and it makes sense to share most of those with your lawyer, before you’re confronted with them in open court. When I first started practicing, I had a contested custody case. To me, my client looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder, and she seemed pretty convincing. Imagine my dismay when, on cross examination, the husband’s attorney starts shaking a videotape in her direction, shouting, “and isn’t it true that this video tape, made for commercial distribution, depicts you having sexual intercourse with a chainsaw?” My jaw dropped, my face turned ashen, and the room started to spin. The judge, knowing I was just a Baby Lawyer and sensing I didn’t deserve to be pummeled publicly over this, dropped his gavel onto the bench with a bang, calling “recess! I’ll see counsel in chambers!” We settled that case. Lesson to be learned: If you used to be a porn star, it’s unlikely your ex will forget that little fact, so tell your lawyer about it before cross examination starts.

Sometimes, no matter how far it appears a marriage has broken down, there’s still hope for reconciliation. I was sitting in court one day, waiting for my case to be called, and listened to a man give testimony in support of his motion to vacate his divorce judgment on the grounds that he didn’t know that he was getting divorced. He testified that while his wife had filed divorce papers on him many times in the past, that they’d always reconciled. He’d received a copy of the most recent papers, but they’d continued to live together, eat dinner together, put their money in a joint bank account, and they even slept together.

I started to nod off, as all this testimony was taking awhile, but my head snapped to attention on cross examination when the wife’s lawyer, barely able to contain his indignation, blurted out, “yes, but while you were all lovey-dovey making hamburgers on the barbeque and watching TV holding hands, isn’t it true that your wife SHOT you? Didn’t you realize then that your marriage was OVER?” Sheepish, the man replied, “well, she’s got a hot temper all right, but I got better and a week later we went to Disney World and had a great time!” The lesson learned: it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

And people wonder why I was drinking Maalox directly from the bottle. So now I’m a mediator, and a writer with a new blogging addiction I probably won’t shake anytime soon. If you do read my book(s), Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Penguin/Perigee 2010) and/or Your Divorce Advisor, I’d appreciate a 5 star review on I’d love to be your friend on Facebook, and to hear from you at the Huffington Post as well as on my new video blog Making Divorce Work I’ve issued a challenge to myself to mediate my own tenuous relationship with my father. Check out Project Vic on the blog. I blogged from Cabo in my bathing suit on Thanksgiving---that’s how real I’m being, LOL. Walking my talk is important.

Author Background:
Attorney Diana Mercer is the founder of Peace Talks and the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and A Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Fireside, 2001) After 12 years of practicing as a top divorce litigator, she now devotes her practice solely to mediation. She has conducted over 4000 mediations, and has received over 450 hours of specialized, professional Family Law Mediation training.

--Champagne Corks, Mickey Mantle & Muskets
--Mobile Law Offices, Free Biscotti & The Decline of Western Civilization
--When Did My Life Become An Endless Saturday Night Live Skit?
--The Art of the Schmooze
--Maybe He's Just Not Into You. When the Prosecutor Doesn't Like You.
--Everything I Know About the Law I Learned from the Mafia
--North American Field Guide to Clients
--Above the Law Hits Below the Belt
--Law Practice Doesn't Have to Be Civil War. 8 Tips on Becoming a Reputable Attorney
--Nutmeg Lawyer Profiled by Connecticut Law Tribune
--Law School & The Danger of Becoming a Jackass
--Saving Old Glory from Obama?
--The Musings of a Cranky Old Twit

NEW reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Retro reviews published on Tuesday and Thursday

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1 comment:

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