There are lawyers who are eager to advocate for their clients, and then there are lawyers who are so overzealously eager to advocate for their clients that they’re willing to do just about anything to win a case. Some of those that fall into the latter group are a**holes, but others are just plain awesome.
The guy we’re writing about today is a rock star of epic proportions. Who the hell leaves a Ferrari to be destroyed in quickly rising floodwaters to get a hearing?
A guy who shrugs it off and says he’ll get another one…
There was a torrential downpour in Toronto, Canada earlier this week, but that wasn’t going to stop leading employment attorney Howard A. Levitt from getting to a hearing in Ottawa. He was on his way to the airport in his luxury Italian sports car — a 2010 Ferrari California, which retails for $192,000 — when all of his troubles began. You see, Levitt attempted to do the impossible, all for the sake of a client.
If you’ve had the pleasure of driving or being a passenger in a Ferrari, you know that it’s a car that rides dangerously close to the ground. Of course the engine is going to stall out if you try to cross over a body of water, even one that’s not very deep — come on, it’s a Fezza, not a Land Rover.
With the water almost up to the bottom of his windows, the gallant lawyer was stuck. Add to the mix the fact that a sewage pipe had burst, and Levitt knew he was in deep s**t, literally. What did he do? While a lesser man would’ve tried to adjourn the hearing, Levitt instead decided to say “f**k it”; he’d get to the airport by some other means. Here’s more from Canada’s Wheels (via the Toronto Star):
“It was really just at tire level at that point. But that’s enough,” [Howard A. Levitt] said. “Meanwhile this geyser was coming out, and it started filling up, filling up, filling up. Getting deeper and deeper and deeper. When it got near the bottom of my windows, it was time to leave.”
Levitt had been trying to call a tow truck, then realized it wasn’t going to arrive in time. So he opened the door, letting the awful water flow in, and collected his bags from the trunk.
By this time police has cordoned off the area and an officer assured Levitt that the Ferrari would be towed on a flatbed truck as soon as one became available.
“By the time I left the scene, it was entirely covered with water. It was right over the roof,” he said.
Like sunken pirate’s treasure, here’s Levitt’s car, in all of its glory:
By the time Levitt arrived at the airport, all flights had been canceled, but that wasn’t going to stop him. He went to another airport, where he was able to hop the last flight to Ottawa. The next morning, Levitt won his motion. He should’ve received a hero’s welcome when he returned home, but unfortunately, he’s just a lawyer who was willing to trash a very expensive car to do his job.
“I guess that’s what insurance companies are for. But the bottom line was, I had a case to get to,” he said. “You can’t let the client down, no matter what personal exigencies you might have.” …
“I don’t want to sound cavalier, but at the end of the day you’ve got to see the humour in it and not sweat the small stuff. And it really is all small stuff,” he said. “Nobody’s dying, nobody’s sick. The car gets fixed up and there’s insurance for that. I made it for my case and succeeded on my client’s behalf.”
While not all lawyers could afford to buy a fleet of cars as luxurious as Levitt’s (there’s a Viper in his garage and he recently traded in a Jaguar after buying his first while still in law school), they could certainly afford to take a page from his book: you can’t let the client down, no matter what. So what if your $200K car is filled to the top with raw sewage? You get your ass to court and win that case.
Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending here: Levitt is going to buy a new Ferrari if he can’t get his fixed.