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Rotten Apples in My Midst

A colleague and I were chatting. She griped that she’d encountered the “all-time worst” attorney recently. “He was bellicose, belligerent, and almost always wrong. But he never, ever apologized.”

I agreed that he sounded horrible, and told her she’d inspired me to blog about some of the worst lawyers I’d ever encountered. When I categorize the following as the “worst,” I mean it in multiple ways: most lacking in legal knowledge, most obnoxious personality, most…well, read on and see who I found to be among the worst of the bunch:

Photo by Architopher 

The Self-Centered S.O.B.

I had a closing scheduled for the afternoon of September 11, 2001. That morning, while the country was in chaos, my client called to say he had no problems postponing the closing (in fact, he'd prefer it). As many banks were not conducting wire transfers and the like as events unfolded, I thought that would be a perfect reason to adjourn. Alas, when I called the builder's attorney, a local lawyer I'll call "LL", he said: "Tell your client no f-ing way we'll postpone, as some fire in Manhattan is not our problem."


When I told his former partner the story a few years ago, she laughed and said that was “nice” compared to the time he told a rabbi who needed to postpone a closing to officiate at a funeral, “The sorry bastard’s dead. He won’t know if you get a substitute rabbi.”


The Drunk

Each time we spoke (this was in the 80s, when verbal contact was required) he was in a different mood. Nasty in the mornings, mellow in the afternoons. At the 4 pm closing he challenged the real estate agent to a fistfight! On the way out the door, the title closer whispered to me “I knew he was a major alcoholic, but that’s the first time I’ve seen him nearly drunk at a closing.”


The Inventive Thief

Many years back, my husband was reading the newspaper and asked, “Do you know a lawyer named Such & Such?”  Figuring he wasn’t in the paper because of something good he had done, I answered “Yes. What did he do?”


“Stole $6 million from his clients and is now claiming ‘financial-stress-induced-blackouts’ made him forget his ethics.”


The Jackass Know-it-all

This guy had little grasp of the law and a really bad haircut, but he swaggered about as if he was the reincarnation of William Jennings Bryant. Attitude may be important in sports and acting, but in negotiations, reeking of ridiculousness equals a very poor counselor-at-law.


The Sexist



The Arrogant Bastard



The Bizzaro Lawyer



The Non-Professional



The Sloooow Reader



The Plagarist





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