For some in the legal profession, the most powerful tool in a lawyer’s arsenal is not the argument he makes, but the suit he wears. This way of life, of course, can lead to some rather asinine arguments being made by the male fashionistas who happen to practice law.
For example, if you were accidentally given the wrong suit after having some alterations made to it, you probably wouldn’t be inclined to sue over something so silly. But if you were a graduate of Yale Law School with a history of filing lawsuits having to do with customer service issues, you better believe you’d sue. You’d sue and you’d go so far as to demand thousands of dollars for less than two hours of your time as damages.
Believe it or not, despite that hefty hourly fee, this guy doesn’t even work for a Biglaw firm….
Meet Robert Ginsberg, a “negligence” (read: personal injury) attorney from Manhattan. He’s suing Brooks Brothers because the store allegedly sent him home with the wrong suit and then refused to take it back. In her description of the case, Barbara Ross of the New York Daily News cleverly notes, “Leave it to a lawyer to file suit over a suit.” Here are additional details from the NYDN’s write-up:
Ginsberg … says he was supposed to be getting a stylish new brownish-gray tailored suit and wound up with a used gray jacket and the wrong size pants.
“The jacket was the right size, but it was the wrong color and it was used,” Ginsberg told the Daily News.
“The pants had the cuffs I ordered, but they were the wrong color, too. They were two sizes too big, and they didn’t match the jacket.”
Ginsberg claims he bought the suit from Brooks Brothers in December and picked it up in January, but didn’t open the garment bag containing what we presume looked like an oversized clown suit — a $646.51 clown suit, mind you — until late March. Not for nothing, but if Brooks Brothers did refuse the return of this suit, it may have been because of the store’s return policy, which states:
Brooks Brothers wants you to be satisfied with your merchandise. We will gladly accept a return or exchange of saleable merchandise in original condition within 90 days of purchase date accompanied by an original receipt.
Ginsberg says that a Brooks Brothers employee told him this sort of mix-up happened from time to time, but that both parties who had received incorrect suits usually came to the store to return them. In this case, however, it was only Ginsberg who returned to do so. To that end, Ginsberg remarked in his complaint that “only an idiot would have brought back the good suit.”
Because honestly, who in their right mind would want the gray monstrosity he had received instead? Certainly not an attorney as successful as Robert Ginsberg, that’s who.
So why didn’t Ginsberg just eat the cost and buy a new suit? After all, he’s really a “very successful attorney.” He’s so successful, in fact, that he felt the need to proclaim it to the world in his complaint:
That works out to roughly $1333.33 per hour, a sum that not even the most prominent of Biglaw partners charge. By way of example, per the National Law Journal’s Law Firm Billing Survey, the highest partner billing rate on record in 2012 was $1,285. Ginsberg apparently thinks very highly of himself.
Alas, it seems that when Ginsberg first filed the complaint, he forgot how important he really was. The initial complaint demanded a total of $7,646.51, but the amended complaint, filed just three days later, demands a total of $27,646.51. Perhaps Ginsberg’s just pissed that he had to appeal his $2 million suit against American Airlines to the Second Circuit over the location of a food cart on board a flight.
Ahh, a lawsuit over a suit — a suit suit, if you will. Lest we forget, this is why people hate lawyers.
(If you’re interested, you can read Ginsberg’s complaint on the next page.)