Rudeness

I told my dad “Fudge you” just once. I was fifteen or sixteen and he was being a real butthole. Saying some crap about the clothes I was wearing. My jeans were too fricking big or something, I don’t know. Style, huh? Anyway, I was standing there with my big fricking jeans literally hanging off my backside, when dad starts in on me. Saying all his crap about my big fricking jeans. So I say it. I just up and say it. “Fudge you.” Life, as it has from time to time since that fateful moment, paused. And not slightly, but for, like, ten fricking minutes. Time just stood freaking still and the moments to come just waited there, I guess. Waiting to freaking happen cause time had stood still and all. Well, when time started up again, I hightailed it back to my room as my dad just stood there silently. Not a freaking word to be said, I guess. I must have sat in my room for two hours, until my mom came home and retrieved me from my self-imposed exile. “Cheese and rice, what did you say to your father? He’s sore as heck over something you said.” I told her and she blushed and I blushed and she told me I ought to apologize. She told me to pull up my pants, too. On account of my butt showing.

There are moments in life that just scream for curse words. For sailors, those moments take up their entire lives! For the rest of us, we must pick our moments carefully. One Connecticut man recently cussed a fudging blue streak all over his speeding ticket, earning the ire of the small town that issued the citation.

And now it’s not just a huge freaking deal, but also a possible crapstorm of constitutional proportions…

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Have you ever walked into a chain restaurant, launched a foul-mouthed and self-entitled tirade, and then placed the whole thing “under video surveillance” to post on Facebook? If you answered yes, then HI THERE, TAYLOR CHAPMAN! If not, you’re the rest of our audience.

This is the part of the day that the “Time to Make the Donuts” commercials didn’t show. The part where an insane woman hurls racial epithets because Fred the Baker didn’t give her a receipt.

Is this woman a lawyer? Of course she’s a lawyer…

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Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson

I don’t know that you’re taking this whole thing seriously. I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside. Is there something funny about this? The whole courtroom was laughing. I’m not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn’t a joke.

– Judge Kathleen McHugh, in response to Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson’s show of team spirit when asked during a sentencing hearing in his domestic violence case if he was satisfied with his lawyer. Under the plea deal, Johnson wouldn’t have served time, but now he’s been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

I imagine there are a few dozen articles on the internet about “dealing with difficult opposing counsel.” There’s probably some good advice in some of them, but I thought I’d offer my own, as, well, I deal with difficult lawyers and have found a way to cast them into the abyss of irrelevancy, causing them to either question their own disgraceful way of practicing law, or wonder how to proceed next.

First, where I learned how to deal with these self-important blowhards. When I was a young lawyer, I had the opportunity to work on a case where a well-known securities lawyer was involved — he was on our side. I went to see him at his New York office, and after an all-day session with the client, he invited me to dinner. (See what I did there?) He told me the story of an opposing counsel in another case that sent him a “lawyer letter” laying out his position on the case, and making several threats and demands.

My friend responded with a letter of his own. It was two words: “I disagree.”

That dinner taught me two things. One, there is no requirement that your response be as wordy as the initial screed of threats and demands. Two, there is no need to respond in detail to bluster, regardless of who is blustering.

I’ve used this tactic many times. I read every email with this question in mind: “Does this require a response?” I also maintain a philosophy that I practice law my way, not opposing counsel’s way. Just because you yell, doesn’t mean I need to yell. Just because you’re a piece of crap, doesn’t mean I need to join you in the gutter….

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Do federal employees know how to use all the items in this picture?

The federal government hasn’t exactly been covering itself in glory. This weekend, the IRS was caught line dancing. I had to go on The Mike Huckabee Show where I was allegedly “destroyed” by a conservative screaming about Holder and his association with… Covington & Burling. The right wing is whipped up into a frenzy, and I’m sure if they want to keep focusing on this stuff instead of passing, say, comprehensive immigration reform, Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden will thank them for it in 2016.

But the bottom line is that when you habitually starve the government of the resources needed to hire quality people, you end up with less than stellar government services. The IRS probably doesn’t end up looking this incompetent if it isn’t staffed by glorified toll booth employees.

That’s some big picture stuff. Elsewhere in the regulatory firmament, on the small scale, we’ve got federal regulators who are being investigated for their inability to blow their nose properly…

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You know you’ve had a bad weekend when you’re a lawyer and a video of your bare ass is making its rounds on the internet. We suppose things like this tend to happen after you’ve gone on an admitted bender and thrown your panties at the police while screaming “Suck my p***y” and “Eat my ass, you f**king pigs!” And by the way, it was a lawyer who allegedly showered the police with these kind words.

You must be wondering what could have caused an esteemed member of the bar to do such a thing. Well, you see, women are wont to do some pretty crazy things following bad breakups…

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Earlier this week, we discussed L.A.-based patent attorney Andrew Schroeder. For those who missed out on the first go-around, Schroeder penned a couple of blistering assaults on the quality of the USPTO’s work that were brought to the attention of University of Missouri Law Professor Dennis Crouch, who posted them on Patently-O.

But the story does not end there. Yesterday, I received an email from Andrew Schroeder pointing me to his blog post responding to Crouch (and, to a lesser extent, me). I found Schroeder’s original work to be professionally over the line — and at times a little offensive — but also very funny, so I was excited to see what the maestro of meltdown letters would say to his critics.

He did not disappoint…

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Does spending their lives poring over minuscule differences between the designs of mundane products drive IP lawyers mad?

After yesterday’s tale of a patent lawyer ripping not one, but two letters berating the “special” insights of the examiners of the USPTO, a tipster topped that outburst by directing us to the tale of an attorney who went over the examiners and tongue-lashed some trademark judges. Because if arguing the uniqueness of water sprinklers can drive someone crazy, arguing the uniqueness of a fabric patterns creates a new kind of super-crazy.

But don’t worry, he had a good excuse….

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There’s something beautiful about watching someone have a full meltdown. There’s a primal insanity that spews forth during a complaint-filled rant. It’s what makes movies like Network and Falling Down such enjoyable romps.

Attorneys aren’t immune to meltdowns, but they usually reserve them for a legal secretary, hapless associate, or beleaguered co-counsel. Anything to keep the episode shielded from the prying eyes of ATL.

Which makes a patent attorney’s public freakout on the USPTO itself so much more entertaining.

Prepare a Bingo card for the over-the-top references you expect to see in these rants (yep, plural). Here’s a freebie for the center square: mocking the Special Olympics…

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We get it: the job market is tough. You’ve sent out résumé after résumé after résumé, and you haven’t even gotten so much as a response. If a response ever comes, it’s too late for your liking. It’s rude. It’s offensive. It’s humiliating. It’s demeaning. It’s insulting. You DESERVE a job. You’ve EARNED it. You’re, dare I say, ENTITLED to a job.

Except you’re just a 1L. If you think you’re entitled to anything at this point, then you’re sorely mistaken. You’re just another whiny law student who thinks that people, even potential employers, should bow to your demands for respect and courtesy. But we don’t need to tell you that — thankfully, Miss Manners already did it for us.

This is what happens when you bring your “woe is me” complaints for civility in the job market to a seasoned etiquette professional….

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