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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work in a very legalistic environment, so I have a great appreciation of wonderful legal principles like natural justice and due process. But I often have moments when I see the other side: a trough running full with honey sweet money running the length of every commercial, human rights, political, sexual, legal and personal aspect of society. And feeding at the trough: lawyers.

Science and human relationships for example, have their own tests and measurements. Yet increasingly we see these aspects of humanity and every other bloody thing sometimes appropriately, but mostly not, run through the prism of legal debate. In due course you can add zero's to the cost, inordinate amounts of time to the length and immense dissatisfaction to the outcome. Because, law isn't about truth, justice or fairness. It's about legality. And legality is all about the prevailing will of the time.

The other day I asked a lawyer for some advice, he gave me advice and argued it until he was blue in the face. I asked two other who gave two more different opinions who were also willing to argue to the death. *Cha-ching*. I've seen them rightly accuse each other of every malfeasance and professional misconduct, but nobody ever reports anyone to the law society because you know, legal ethics and principles and indeed the law itself applies to us plebs, not them. *Snort*. Then they go to the pub together to get slaughtered. You think your profession has a drinking culture? Pfft *snort*

...or maybe I'm just sour when I look at how much of my budget goes in that trough...

I'm glad we have law, but can someone get the lawyers out of my sock drawer, toilet cistern and lolly jar?! Anyway, I have a letter to draft.

Dear Legal Reform Council.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
anselmo said:
Also in the legal industry ...

... The law is an ass ...
My problem is I'm not in the legal-industrial complex but my job entails putting lawyers children though private school and keeping them in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

Me: Can I have some advice on X, but before you start give me some idea of the cost.
Lawyer: I can't tell you whether I can give you advice until I've read the legislation which will cost you roughly Y let alone estimate the full cost.
Me: But it's in our service agreement that you quote me up front
Lawyer: I'll have to get some advice on that, btw, you just got clocked a six minute increment for this phone call
Me:
 

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Have people close to me involved in two separate legal battles at the moment. Both cases are an example of pigs at the trough, fattening themselves with constant ajurnments and extensions.

I have very, very, very little respect for the entire legal system, especially the civil side.
 

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punchanello said:
anselmo said:
Also in the legal industry ...

... The law is an ass ...
My problem is I'm not in the legal-industrial complex but my job entails putting lawyers children though private school and keeping them in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

Me: Can I have some advice on X, but before you start give me some idea of the cost.
Lawyer: I can't tell you whether I can give you advice until I've read the legislation which will cost you roughly Y let alone estimate the full cost.
Me: But it's in our service agreement that you quote me up front
Lawyer: I'll have to get some advice on that, btw, you just got clocked a six minute increment for this phone call
Me:
Sounds like your supplier manager has allowed a sole supplier situation which allows them to maximise return and opportunity whilst minimising the work they do
We had a simialr situation here and ended up with a panel of 3 firms - who all compete against each other to see who gets the best results for the fairest (not lowest) costs and are incentivised to do so
 

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Stippy said:
I'm a lawyer and an employee. I'm also a slave to the billable hour.

I get it, you want me to read your 80 page document for free and then call you to discuss said document, for free, for the purposes of determining whether I can do the work, for next to nothing. Oh yeah and it's due tomorrow, here's 12 different PDF files.

Meanwhile, I'm working a 13 hour day (getting paid for eight) just to keep a job I worked my arse off to get, with a million other hungry young lawyers ready to take my place if I so much as think 'work-life balance'. I'm paying off a student loan larger than the GDP of Malawi, on a salary which works out (on an hourly basis) to be slightly less than the cleaner who empties my bin at 8pm every evening.

I'll do this for 4 or 5 years and maybe make Senior Associate where I can look forward to taking home a graduate engineering salary (well.. one of the smaller engineering firms anyway). Statistically I'm twice as likely to be clinically depressed as the average person, I might even be one of the 11% of lawyers that contemplates suicide monthly.

But one day, despite all the obstacles, I get made partner - the big league, and for the first time in my career I might even be earning more than 10% of what I bring in for my firm, day in day out. But now I've got skin in the game, and my billable hour targets have increased exponentially. To top it off I'm responsible for careers of the next crop of know-nothing law school grads with no concept of work ethic.

I get home, log onto the forum and read a thread about self-serving lawyers.
Why did you decide to become a lawyer ?
 

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Stippy said:
I'm a lawyer and an employee. I'm also a slave to the billable hour.

I get it, you want me to read your 80 page document for free and then call you to discuss said document, for free, for the purposes of determining whether I can do the work, for next to nothing. Oh yeah and it's due tomorrow, here's 12 different PDF files.

Meanwhile, I'm working a 13 hour day (getting paid for eight) just to keep a job I worked my arse off to get, with a million other hungry young lawyers ready to take my place if I so much as think 'work-life balance'. I'm paying off a student loan larger than the GDP of Malawi, on a salary which works out (on an hourly basis) to be slightly less than the cleaner who empties my bin at 8pm every evening.

I'll do this for 4 or 5 years and maybe make Senior Associate where I can look forward to taking home a graduate engineering salary (well.. one of the smaller engineering firms anyway). Statistically I'm twice as likely to be clinically depressed as the average person, I might even be one of the 11% of lawyers that contemplates suicide monthly.

But one day, despite all the obstacles, I get made partner - the big league, and for the first time in my career I might even be earning more than 10% of what I bring in for my firm, day in day out. But now I've got skin in the game, and my billable hour targets have increased exponentially. To top it off I'm responsible for careers of the next crop of know-nothing law school grads with no concept of work ethic.

I get home, log onto the forum and read a thread about self-serving lawyers.
Do Lawyers not move from job to job in Australia, all the while getting higher salary's with each move?

Put it this (another) way - do lawyers drive BMWs, Audis and Mercedes or do they drive Fords, Toyotas and Holdens ...
 

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punchanello said:
I work in a very legalistic environment, so I have a great appreciation of wonderful legal principles like natural justice and due process. But I often have moments when I see the other side: a trough running full with honey sweet money running the length of every commercial, human rights, political, sexual, legal and personal aspect of society. And feeding at the trough: lawyers.

Science and human relationships for example, have their own tests and measurements. Yet increasingly we see these aspects of humanity and every other bloody thing sometimes appropriately, but mostly not, run through the prism of legal debate. In due course you can add zero's to the cost, inordinate amounts of time to the length and immense dissatisfaction to the outcome. Because, law isn't about truth, justice or fairness. It's about legality. And legality is all about the prevailing will of the time.
I understand Punchy's complaint, having had a bit to do with lawyers (in fact my brother is a litigation barrister - so stay away from my fish Jimbo! :lol: ). The reason everything is "run through the prism of legal debate" is to ensure the law has not been broken, because if you do, it will result in litigation.

There is a fairly common consensus that they charge an awful lot of money per hour, from the people that have no alternative but to seek their counsel, i.e. people in trouble with the law, taxation, civil or compensation matters. The wording and procedures of the justice system are bewildering to many lay people, and despite some jurisdictions in the courts/commissions/tribunals stating you can mount your own case without legal representation, most lay people have little hope of mounting a credible defence on their own. Therefore they must pay lawyers/barristers or even QC's, and this is usually thousands of dollars (you are unlikely to meet a Bud Tingwell angel). This can lead people to believe they are being ripped off.

I have currently several matters before courts over a work related issue, which has resulted in great anguish and financial hardship to me over the past two and a half years. I have spent thousands of dollars with solicitors, and seem to have gotten almost nowhere. I can no longer pay solicitors (who quoted $ 40,000 for defence of one matter alone). I am attempting to do this entirely on my own, and it is nerve wracking to say the least. In one of three matters pending, an independent body is battling for me against government, at their expense, not mine, and I am that body's witness (to the workplace issue). Facing the government solicitors and barristers is frightening, and more so because there is a lot at stake financially for me, either up or down depending on the result.

At the same time, I understand Adam's disgust at finding a lawyer bashing thread. They do study hard, and rarely would they find feedback that is 'pleasant'. I guess they take on the job for various reasons...sense of justice, lure of big dollars, whatever. the facts are as Adam says, junior lawyers get paid little for their time, because the costs of running a legal firm are high. One question from you to them, can result in a hour or more of their time before they can give an answer (to what seems like you to be a simple question). They must ensure they are advice that is correct within all aspects of the law and precedents etc. This can be an exceedingly complex task involving several members of the law firm, or beyond, and none of this the public see. That is one reason the fees appear to be high.

At the same time, remember that your mechanic charges $ 100/hr for undoing nuts and bolts, and some plumbers over $ 160/hr (but he has to put up with a lot of shit). They do not have the complex responsibilities and checking procedures of lawyers, nor overhead costs of running offices with lots of staff. So maybe some of us are a bit hard on the solicitors.
 

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i took this pic at an aged care facility yesterday.

think the owners might need a lawyer when the old duck finally sets fire to the place. falling asleep, smoke in hand , is never a good idea :)

001.jpg


a question for any lawyers for some free advice (please :D )

i have quite a lot of people who go up and camp on my block.
i dont charge them anything.
as i dont have a house there, i have no public liability insurance as part of normal house and contents.
i suppose i should get some .
is this correct?

if a stranger wanders onto my block and gets attacked by the stallion, do i need more protection.

if i let kids ride around for free, can they sue me for an injury . or only if there is an exchange of money.

interested in your thoughts.

i think lawyers are in a difficult position. the adversarial nature of their work must lead to a great difficulty in that "collapse of ego boundaries" and "genuine friendship" that can occur in many fields. the whole nature of the work is about individual rights and making those ego boundaries more important not less. this is not the lawyers fault, this is the way society has decided to structure itself.
if people were genuinely able to get past the individual and see"we are all in this together, or as the buddha said we are all waves just arising from the ocean. we are all connected to this ocean as our true nature is universal, we are all water, ' but whilst people cant see the true nature of humanity and see their own ego as of paramount importance, there will always be lawyers and they will need support to maintain their humanity and not get lost on the battlefields, acting as the "champions" doing battle on behalf of the faceless men.
i'd be interested to see if the places where "ego" reigns supreme, maybe hollywood and wall street have more lawyers than places where community is vital (maybe the farming communities of kansas and missouri. i think they would, and this isnt because there wouldnt be just as many disputes about farming and rural life as there are in the cities. i think it would be about rural communities having a better sense of "we are a community, we cant live as individuals, if we dont help each other, we are doomed" no such community spirit would exist on wall street or in the casting studios of hollywood or mtv. competetion and ego would reigh supreme.
 

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Family law, I am surprised no-one has managed it. You get married for three years, two children, she was in debt, no assets. Male has over 1.2 million in assets, separation, divorce, lawyers after three years of marriage all the property being sold with a lot of hassle to come and still on going. Bloke is told "when and how often he can see his children" you could take it to court if you are not happy and try and get more access. The less you see the children the more money she gets so it is in her interest to restrict access.

Normal layer $250 an hour, someone up the food chain a little $495 an hour.

Looking at a loss of $600,000.00 then the capital gains, real estate agents fees, advertising fees, loss of rental income, ongoing legal fees.

Bloke ends up with say $200,000.00 at the end of it maybe? Loss of around a million dollars? Work hard, save, invest and then loose the lot. Advice from a lawyer words to the effect of yeah your screwed, and that is $495 thanks :) oh and she could go you for spousal maintance........ Oh I suppose we could fight that in court.... How much for a drawn out fight in court? Well you could spend $100,000.00 each if it is drawn out over a couple of years so you should try and keep it out of court..... Well I suppose I could just work longer hours and get a second job.

Legal system, what a joke......

Rant over....
 

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Tunatonight said:
Family law, I am surprised no-one has managed it. You get married for three years, two children, she was in debt, no assets. Male has over 1.2 million in assets, separation, divorce, lawyers after three years of marriage all the property being sold with a lot of hassle to come and still on going. Bloke is told "when and how often he can see his children" you could take it to court if you are not happy and try and get more access. The less you see the children the more money she gets so it is in her interest to restrict access.

Normal layer $250 an hour, someone up the food chain a little $495 an hour.

Looking at a loss of $600,000.00 then the capital gains, real estate agents fees, advertising fees, loss of rental income, ongoing legal fees.

Bloke ends up with say $200,000.00 at the end of it maybe? Loss of around a million dollars? Work hard, save, invest and then loose the lot. Advice from a lawyer words to the effect of yeah your screwed, and that is $495 thanks :) oh and she could go you for spousal maintance........ Oh I suppose we could fight that in court.... How much for a drawn out fight in court? Well you could spend $100,000.00 each if it is drawn out over a couple of years so you should try and keep it out of court..... Well I suppose I could just work longer hours and get a second job.

Legal system, what a joke......

Rant over....
Find a woman you hate and buy her a house.....easy!
 

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BIGKEV said:
Tunatonight said:
Family law, I am surprised no-one has managed it. You get married for three years, two children, she was in debt, no assets. Male has over 1.2 million in assets, separation, divorce, lawyers after three years of marriage all the property being sold with a lot of hassle to come and still on going. Bloke is told "when and how often he can see his children" you could take it to court if you are not happy and try and get more access. The less you see the children the more money she gets so it is in her interest to restrict access.

Normal layer $250 an hour, someone up the food chain a little $495 an hour.

Looking at a loss of $600,000.00 then the capital gains, real estate agents fees, advertising fees, loss of rental income, ongoing legal fees.

Bloke ends up with say $200,000.00 at the end of it maybe? Loss of around a million dollars? Work hard, save, invest and then loose the lot. Advice from a lawyer words to the effect of yeah your screwed, and that is $495 thanks :) oh and she could go you for spousal maintance........ Oh I suppose we could fight that in court.... How much for a drawn out fight in court? Well you could spend $100,000.00 each if it is drawn out over a couple of years so you should try and keep it out of court..... Well I suppose I could just work longer hours and get a second job.

Legal system, what a joke......

Rant over....
Find a woman you hate and buy her a house.....easy!
It would be much cheaper....... I always heard about this type of stuff and thought "it can not be that bad, people talk up how bad it is" guess what there are people I have spoken to who have gone through much worse situations than above.

As mentioned it is not a justice system, or about being fair or equitable it is about "what can I get out of this situation"? What am "I" entitled to? "I want it and you have it so give it to me now because I am entitled to it and if you don't give it to me I will take you to court.......

I see the legal system as a weapon that people use against others.

Apologies for the rant, something I feel very strongly about :)
 

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As others have said, it's not the plebs fault, try not to subject them to your anguish.

I am an office Fitout contractor and have done my fair share of law offices. For the most part they are all the same, reception and client meeting rooms are built with the opulence of a 5 star hotel and then out the back for staff is best compared to a battery hen farm. As you move up the ranks you start getting into an office, the size of which seems determined by your importance or ego. It generally seems that only the most unscrupulous reach these levels.

Everybody wants to see their kids do better in life than they did themselves. I started from a carpentry background and am lucky my boys have brains and succeed at school so they shouldn't have to look at being a tradie. But if one of my boys ever said they wanted to study law, I think I'd punch them.....hard.

Feel for you Stippy, I know where you're coming from.

Kev
 

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grinner said:
i have quite a lot of people who go up and camp on my block.
i dont charge them anything.
as i dont have a house there, i have no public liability insurance as part of normal house and contents.
i suppose i should get some .
is this correct?

if a stranger wanders onto my block and gets attacked by the stallion, do i need more protection.

if i let kids ride around for free, can they sue me for an injury . or only if there is an exchange of money.

interested in your thoughts.
Yes you can get sewed, do you have personal public liability insurance with your business? You might be able to cover yourself through that if its in the same name or else included it on your house and contents insurance. House and contents insurance wont necessarily cover public liability you need to check your policy.
I have public liability insurance through my business that covers my personal assets as well.

And while where talking about hourly rates, last trip to a specialist cost me $170 for 10mins to get a "dunno" answer. If you are paying anything like $160 an hour for a plumber doing anything other than emergency work please ring me, cant get half that amount these days.
 

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[quote="ArWeTherYet"

And while where talking about hourly rates, last trip to a specialist cost me $170 for 10mins to get a "dunno" answer. If you are paying anything like $160 an hour for a plumber doing anything other than emergency work please ring me, cant get half that amount these days.[/quote]

come out to the redlands bay area and do the islands, starting price for a plumber out here is a small fortune just to even get them to get on the islands. getting the resident one is almost impossible too as he is flat out every day with all the new houses going up
 

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grinner said:
a question for any lawyers for some free advice (please :D )

i have quite a lot of people who go up and camp on my block.
i dont charge them anything.
as i dont have a house there, i have no public liability insurance as part of normal house and contents.
i suppose i should get some .
is this correct?

if a stranger wanders onto my block and gets attacked by the stallion, do i need more protection.

if i let kids ride around for free, can they sue me for an injury . or only if there is an exchange of money.

interested in your thoughts.
I have two friends with large blocks of land they let hunters and fishers use.
One went thru the courts about a decade ago with a tresspasser that broke his leg on thier property, he lost the case because A, the 7 strand plain wire fence was not a good enough deterrent and B the area this guy was accessing was unstable and a large boulder slid down the hill as he stood on it, hence the broken leg. Didn't seem to matter that the property owner found him and doctored him then shuttled him to the local hospital. Yes you do need public liability insurance even for trespassers.

The second friend had a case against him because the farm tracks were just that, farm tracks and the camper was rally driving his car and rolled it. I don't know what the out come of that was yet though. From what i have been told, the farmer did not direct the camper not to rally drive on his property.......will ask him next time i visit.
 
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