Schiff Hardin, Small Law Firms, Solo Practitioners

The Solo Practitioner Strikes Back

solo practitioner solo practice hang shingle.jpgRichard Zachary is a solo practitioner in Chicago who has mixed it up with Biglaw many times in his career… and has come away unimpressed.

In a recent filing in Cook County Court, he vented about the shortcomings of the big firm lawyers he’s come up against. He’s currently representing an individual suing a corporation represented by Schiff Hardin. He describes an attorney there as follows:

Some paper-shuffling third-rater trying to camouflage his own culpability with defamatory rhetoric [who made me] realize that there are depths of chicanery to which some legal professionals will not hesitate to descend.

Richard Zachary is both irate and poetic, a wonderful combination.

The motion captures the frustration that solos experience in their clashes with Biglaw. More incensed turns of phrase, after the jump.

Zachary states that he’s been practicing law for 22 years “working as a sole practitioner on behalf of aggrieved or injured plaintiffs, almost invariably against law firms with immeasurably greater resources.”

He filed this plaintiff’s reply in support of a motion to reconsider an order after allegedly being accused of presenting a “fabricated letter” and a “false” and “prevaricated” pleading. Those accusations inspired him to throw down a gauntlet from earlier centuries:

Plaintiff’s counsel could easily proceed to assail each and every paragraph in the trumped up pathetic rigmarole which is headlined as an “Opposition,” as though written by some contemporary of Coke or Blackstone who simply cannot bend his English to state “Response.”

He also noted typos:

Pace the contemptible little footnote on p. 3 of the “Opposition,” plaintiff’s counsel made a typographical error in the Motion to Reconsider…

And accuses Biglawyers of being more familiar with banquet china than with the truth:

Schiff Hardin’s claim of having “searched” its phone records is actually verbally identical to several claims made in other cases by mendacious middle-level associates in largish firms, in response to the affidavits of the plaintiffs or their counsel. In those prior cases, forensic discovery established that the associates were telling a lie. Since these pack-mentality tropes tend to move virally, from banquet luncheon to banquet luncheon, perhaps it is time that this one was retired.

The motion is available in full here.

We’ve asked before whether hanging up a shingle and going into solo practice is “a viable way out from under debt and misery.” If you’re going up against Biglaw, however, it sounds like misery comes with it.

Plaintiff’s reply in support of motion to reconsider order entered on April 5, 2010

Earlier: Is Success as a Solo Practitioner a Pipe Dream?

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