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(Slate)   When did we start hating lawyers? Pretty sure since at least Shakespeare's time   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Shakespeare, Vice President Dan Quayle, King Lear, Congressional Record, venality, DLA Piper, charlatans  
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3200 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Mar 2013 at 10:09 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-27 09:09:26 AM  
only true for those people who didn't understand the context for the Shakespeare quote and why they joked about killing the lawyers.
 
2013-03-27 09:26:26 AM  

tenpoundsofcheese: only true for those people who didn't understand the context for the Shakespeare quote and why they joked about killing the lawyers.


All:
God save your majesty!

Cade:
I thank you, good people-there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

Dick:
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Cade:
Nay, that I mean to do.Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings but I say, the bee's wax for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.

//.More?  Henry VI , Act IV, Scene 2

// Seems pretty clear to me that Shakespeare was playing to the crowd, counting on the fact that everyone hates lawyers.  Enlighten us as to his true intent and how it shows that Shakespeare really meant to honor lawyers...
 
2013-03-27 09:37:12 AM  

notmtwain: tenpoundsofcheese: only true for those people who didn't understand the context for the Shakespeare quote and why they joked about killing the lawyers.

All:
God save your majesty!

Cade:
I thank you, good people-there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

Dick:
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Cade:
Nay, that I mean to do.Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings but I say, the bee's wax for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.

//.More?  Henry VI , Act IV, Scene 2

// Seems pretty clear to me that Shakespeare was playing to the crowd, counting on the fact that everyone hates lawyers.  Enlighten us as to his true intent and how it shows that Shakespeare really meant to honor lawyers...


Don't feed the troll.
 
2013-03-27 09:50:54 AM  
No one likes lawyers until they need one.
 
2013-03-27 09:52:24 AM  

I_C_Weener: No one likes lawyers until they need one.


Then they still don't like them, but are happy when they can afford the better one.
 
2013-03-27 09:52:39 AM  
doglover:

Don't feed the troll.

I'm pretty sure they hated trolls back then too.
 
2013-03-27 09:58:11 AM  

notmtwain: tenpoundsofcheese: only true for those people who didn't understand the context for the Shakespeare quote and why they joked about killing the lawyers.

All:
God save your majesty!

Cade:
I thank you, good people-there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

Dick:
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Cade:
Nay, that I mean to do.Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings but I say, the bee's wax for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.

//.More?  Henry VI , Act IV, Scene 2

// Seems pretty clear to me that Shakespeare was playing to the crowd, counting on the fact that everyone hates lawyers.  Enlighten us as to his true intent and how it shows that Shakespeare really meant to honor lawyers...


Not for anything, but didn't Jack Cade lead a rebellion against the king and was bragging about how when he is king, he would give away food for free so that the peasants can worship him as a god?

Also noted is that immediately after the "Kill all the lawyers" line, Jack Cade sentences a man to hang for the monstrous crime of knowing how to read and write.
 
2013-03-27 09:59:32 AM  
CADE
    Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
    hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
    plain-dealing man?

CLERK
    Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up
    that I can write my name.

ALL
    He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
    and a traitor.

CADE
    Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
    ink-horn about his neck.
 
2013-03-27 10:04:13 AM  

RexTalionis: Also noted is that immediately after the "Kill all the lawyers" line, Jack Cade sentences a man to hang for the monstrous crime of knowing how to read and write.


He's an accountant.

First kill all the lawyers, then all the accountants.
29.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-03-27 10:06:04 AM  
Usually, when you need a lawyer it's one of the worst times in a person's life (criminal trial, divorce, ect).  If you're going through a trying time like that and it doesn't work out well for you, or as well as you wanted it to work out, then it's natural that you'd take it out on your lawyer.  Or the other side's lawyer.  Or the judge.  Or the cops.  The list goes on.
 
2013-03-27 10:07:48 AM  

RexTalionis: CADE
    Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
    hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
    plain-dealing man?

CLERK
    Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up
    that I can write my name.

ALL
    He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
    and a traitor.

CADE
    Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
    ink-horn about his neck.


Yep.  Get the uneducated crowd riled up against the 1% of educated men and push for a revolution.  This sounds...familiar somehow.
 
2013-03-27 10:08:46 AM  

I_C_Weener: RexTalionis: CADE
    Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
    hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
    plain-dealing man?

CLERK
    Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up
    that I can write my name.

ALL
    He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
    and a traitor.

CADE
    Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
    ink-horn about his neck.

Yep.  Get the uneducated crowd riled up against the 1% of educated men and push for a revolution.  This sounds...familiar somehow.


Can't do it anymore, there are way too many educated people in this countAHAHAHAHAHAHAH sorry I got so close...
 
2013-03-27 10:11:52 AM  

doglover: Don't feed the troll.


I thought lawyers were professional trolls?
 
2013-03-27 10:14:37 AM  

I_C_Weener: No one likes lawyers until they need one.


Nobody hates all lawyers, they just hate the other guy's lawyers.
 
2013-03-27 10:15:16 AM  
I have hired many lawyers in my life, and exactly one of them didn't rip me off on their hourly billing.
 
2013-03-27 10:15:18 AM  
Plato hated sophists, which were pretty much lawyers in togas. So it goes back to the dawn of democracy.
 
2013-03-27 10:16:05 AM  
doglover:
Dick:
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.


CFT;LS
 
2013-03-27 10:16:31 AM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: doglover: Don't feed the troll.

I thought lawyers were professional trolls?


This only took a few seconds to read, but I'm billing you for the whole hour.

/And lunch
 
2013-03-27 10:18:22 AM  
Well the Jews are mostly lawyers and people been hatin on them since pharoh
 
2013-03-27 10:18:33 AM  

cgraves67: Plato hated sophists, which were pretty much lawyers in togas. So it goes back to the dawn of democracy.


http://lawyerhistory.blogspot.com/
 
2013-03-27 10:18:47 AM  
You mean a class of people who produce nothing and rig the political system so that common people can only navigate it by hiring a lawyer at monopolistic prices, gain a bad reputation? shocking
 
2013-03-27 10:19:40 AM  
When I was a wee youth, I learned about hating lawyers from Luther Henry Puttgrass.

/more skin on "Love Boat"
 
2013-03-27 10:20:26 AM  

cgraves67: Plato hated sophists


Aw, why?  She was hot.
userserve-ak.last.fm
/red hot
 
2013-03-27 10:21:43 AM  

notmtwain: // Seems pretty clear to me that Shakespeare was playing to the crowd, counting on the fact that everyone hates lawyers. Enlighten us as to his true intent and how it shows that Shakespeare really meant to honor lawyers...


Although it's a joke aimed at riling up the crowd with a cheap shot, it's rather telling that the line is uttered by a complete villian.

The irony in it is that lawyers he's so opposed to are the same people who are likely in the best position to put a stop to Jack Cade's plans. Just like today, people like to take pot shots at lawyers because of the charlatans on TV, but they completely ignore the fact that thousands of other lawyers are essential for protecting everything from personal property to fundamental human rights.

So, you're right, Shakespeare was making a mockery of lawyers.... but only because he was a dumbass.

/ or maybe he just knew his audience....
 
2013-03-27 10:21:52 AM  

born_yesterday: This only took a few seconds to read, but I'm billing you for the whole hour.

/And lunch

 
goddamnitsomuch
 
2013-03-27 10:23:54 AM  

Tell Me How My Blog Tastes: then it's natural that you'd take it out on your lawyer. Or the other side's lawyer. Or the judge. Or the cops.


Judges are lawyers.

Cops work for them.
 
2013-03-27 10:24:35 AM  
As my English lit. teach had put it, old Bill Shakespeare knew how to add stuff to his plays that would draw the average crowd as well as the upper class.  He probably added the 'kill the lawyers' line in for those average folks who likely didn't care for lawyers anymore than we do now.

/a probability that sounds good, but if incorrect I will blame my teach.
 
2013-03-27 10:26:02 AM  

moresugar: I_C_Weener: No one likes lawyers until they need one.

Nobody hates all lawyers, they just hate the other guy's lawyers.


They hate them when they get the bill
 
2013-03-27 10:28:21 AM  

RussianPooper: moresugar: I_C_Weener: No one likes lawyers until they need one.

Nobody hates all lawyers, they just hate the other guy's lawyers.

They hate them when they get the bill


You get what you pay for.
 
2013-03-27 10:32:36 AM  
The billable hour system needs to be done away with. It was foisted upon lawyers by large companies and insurers, and has turned law firms into sweatshops where high billable hours are the goal.
 
2013-03-27 10:32:57 AM  

cgraves67: Plato hated sophists, which were pretty much lawyers in togas. So it goes back to the dawn of democracy.


Indeed.

With apologies to all of the Shakespearean scholars in the thread, the author of the article has a rather pie in the sky historical view of lawyers in the classical period. The decree by Claudius allowing lawyers to charge a fee occurs with hundreds of years left to the reign of the Roman Empire. It is rumored that the lawyers actually billed for thousands of years though.
 
2013-03-27 10:33:08 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: I have hired many lawyers in my life, and exactly one of them didn't rip me off on their hourly billing.


That's why I try to put everything under agreed-upon flat fees. Unlike hourly billing, it actually rewards my efficiency.
 
2013-03-27 10:34:52 AM  

born_yesterday: MyKingdomForYourHorse: doglover: Don't feed the troll.

I thought lawyers were professional trolls?

This only took a few seconds to read, but I'm billing you for the whole hour.

/And lunch


And yet, no one blinks at a service call with a four-hour minimum, even if the work only takes an hour.
 
2013-03-27 10:37:21 AM  

Theaetetus: born_yesterday: MyKingdomForYourHorse: doglover: Don't feed the troll.

I thought lawyers were professional trolls?

This only took a few seconds to read, but I'm billing you for the whole hour.

/And lunch

And yet, no one blinks at a service call with a four-hour minimum, even if the work only takes an hour.


Hi, you called about your computer not working?

....just need to press that button there, yep working now.

Here's the invoice for one hour

/yes I have actually had to do that to someone
 
2013-03-27 10:37:42 AM  

MBooda: Aw, why? She was hot.


She was a woman. Read the Symposium again. Learn why the Spartans called the Athenians boy farkers.
 
2013-03-27 10:38:44 AM  

I_C_Weener: No one likes lawyers until they need one.


then they hate lawyers AND the legal system
 
2013-03-27 10:39:29 AM  

I_C_Weener: RexTalionis: CADE
    Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
    hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
    plain-dealing man?

CLERK
    Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up
    that I can write my name.

ALL
    He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
    and a traitor.

CADE
    Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
    ink-horn about his neck.

Yep.  Get the uneducated crowd riled up against the 1% of educated men and push for a revolution.  This sounds...familiar somehow.


I was a army paralegal during the DADT repeal and the finish of gender integration in combat units.

Boy, y'all are for a Hell of a surprise....
 
2013-03-27 10:41:21 AM  
Let's find someone to blame for the failure of our civilization. It can't be the callowness, dishonesty and delusion of the average person... it just can't be!
 
2013-03-27 10:46:07 AM  
As much as I am loathe to back up the cheese dick, i believe he is more or less correct on this one...

In reference to the review of ''Guilty Conscience,'' (May 20) Leah D. Frank is inaccurate when she states that when Shakespeare had one of his characters state ''Let's kill all the lawyers,'' it was the corrupt, unethical lawyers he was referring to. Shakespeare's exact line ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'' was stated by Dick the Butcher in ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.

DEBBIE VOGEL

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/17/nyregion/l-kill-the-lawyers-a-li ne-m isinterpreted-599990.html
 
2013-03-27 10:48:18 AM  
People hate lawyers because the profession doesn't do a good enough job of showing value for services rendered.  The old timers think lawyers as professionals are above such trite things.  That may be, but it is the environment in which we find ourselves.

Example:  Someone hires an attorney for a case.  There is lots of initial activity (filing the lawsuit, discovery, etc).  After that things primarily happen in the background (calls to opposing counsel, reviewing discovery, writing motions, gathering expert witnesses, etc).  The client does not see any activity on their case, yet the bills for work performed continue to arrive.

It also doesn't help that many mid-sized and large firms put tremendous pressure on their attorneys with insane billing requirements (40 hours a week in some firms).  The temption to cheat is strong.
 
2013-03-27 10:51:11 AM  

barbu: As much as I am loathe to back up the cheese dick, i believe he is more or less correct on this one...

In reference to the review of ''Guilty Conscience,'' (May 20) Leah D. Frank is inaccurate when she states that when Shakespeare had one of his characters state ''Let's kill all the lawyers,'' it was the corrupt, unethical lawyers he was referring to. Shakespeare's exact line ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'' was stated by Dick the Butcher in ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.

DEBBIE VOGEL

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/17/nyregion/l-kill-the-lawyers-a-li ne-m isinterpreted-599990.html


Oh that old chestnut. Only someone who truly failed basic logic and has never really studied literature or ehtics could fall for that argument.

Dick the Butcher and Cade are comedic villains, like the Joker. We're supposed to love to hate them. To do that you have to agree with them a little. Make them sympathetic. Even other lawyers hate lawyers. It's low hanging fruit. So making them hate lawyers and speak up against them makes them lovable builds instant rapport.

For a group so highly educated, you'd think lawyers would be smarter.
 
2013-03-27 10:55:20 AM  

barbu: As much as I am loathe to back up the cheese dick, i believe he is more or less correct on this one...

In reference to the review of ''Guilty Conscience,'' (May 20) Leah D. Frank is inaccurate when she states that when Shakespeare had one of his characters state ''Let's kill all the lawyers,'' it was the corrupt, unethical lawyers he was referring to. Shakespeare's exact line ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'' was stated by Dick the Butcher in ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.

DEBBIE VOGEL

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/17/nyregion/l-kill-the-lawyers-a-li ne-m isinterpreted-599990.html


Here is a better argument, and more in line with reality and Shakespeare's other works are even included.

Nobody likes lawyers
 
2013-03-27 10:58:30 AM  
Unfortunately you only hear about the bad lawyers, never the good ones, and that's why the reputation exists.  And, as it turns out, the bad ones constitute 1% or less of the attorney world.  It's like most professions:  when you do your job well, nobody cares so nobody talks about it.

As for the billable hour system, it might seem an awful way of doing business but remember this:  billable time (or flat fee or contingency, if the case allows for it) is the sole revenue stream for a law firm.  It is the only way a law firm can pay the unbelievably high costs of running a law firm (ever purchased a subscription to online legal research? hired a legal secretary/paralegal?).  Lawyers can't sell products or anything else...they can only bill for their time.  Moreover, many jurisdictions' ethics rules do not allow a lawyer to bill for researching a new practice area for a client, only for gray area type issues.  So, if you run a general practice, and a client comes in with a matter you've never handled, you have to spend time learning it and can't bill for that time spent.

A 2-3 attorney firm's expenses can run up to $15K/month or more in average geographic locations, depending on the type of law they practice, before taking home an income.  Try meeting those expenses on nothing but your billable time, especially since legal practice is often feast-or-famine.
 
2013-03-27 10:59:13 AM  

doglover: barbu: As much as I am loathe to back up the cheese dick, i believe he is more or less correct on this one...

In reference to the review of ''Guilty Conscience,'' (May 20) Leah D. Frank is inaccurate when she states that when Shakespeare had one of his characters state ''Let's kill all the lawyers,'' it was the corrupt, unethical lawyers he was referring to. Shakespeare's exact line ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'' was stated by Dick the Butcher in ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.

DEBBIE VOGEL

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/17/nyregion/l-kill-the-lawyers-a-li ne-m isinterpreted-599990.html

Oh that old chestnut. Only someone who truly failed basic logic and has never really studied literature or ehtics could fall for that argument.

Dick the Butcher and Cade are comedic villains, like the Joker. We're supposed to love to hate them. To do that you have to agree with them a little. Make them sympathetic. Even other lawyers hate lawyers. It's low hanging fruit. So making them hate lawyers and speak up against them makes them lovable builds instant rapport.

For a group so highly educated, you'd think lawyers would be smarter.


Fair enough. TBH, I have never read the play and am very likely basing my post on something i heard in a star trek episode, so yeah.
 
2013-03-27 11:01:41 AM  

Theaetetus: Marcus Aurelius: I have hired many lawyers in my life, and exactly one of them didn't rip me off on their hourly billing.

That's why I try to put everything under agreed-upon flat fees. Unlike hourly billing, it actually rewards my efficiency.


And then you get screwed when the opposing side (or your client) becomes difficult and drags things along for months/years.
 
2013-03-27 11:02:17 AM  
www.slate.com


This is the least informative business card I have ever seen.  A business card is basically a small-sized advertisement meant to drum up business.  How does this guy expect to drum up business with this particular business card?  It makes no sense.  Had I worked at the print shop, I wouldn't have even accepted this project.
 
2013-03-27 11:03:35 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: [www.slate.com image 568x379]


This is the least informative business card I have ever seen.  A business card is basically a small-sized advertisement meant to drum up business.  How does this guy expect to drum up business with this particular business card?  It makes no sense.  Had I worked at the print shop, I wouldn't have even accepted this project.


Old-school attorneys view the basic white-on-black minimal cards as more professional.  Not sure I agree with that though...
 
2013-03-27 11:04:45 AM  

Macinfarker: As for the billable hour system, it might seem an awful way of doing business but remember this:  billable time (or flat fee or contingency, if the case allows for it) is the sole revenue stream for a law firm.  It is the only way a law firm can pay the unbelievably high costs of running a law firm (ever purchased a subscription to online legal research? hired a legal secretary/paralegal?).  Lawyers can't sell products or anything else...they can only bill for their time.  Moreover, many jurisdictions' ethics rules do not allow a lawyer to bill for researching a new practice area for a client, only for gray area type issues.  So, if you run a general practice, and a client comes in with a matter you've never handled, you have to spend time learning it and can't bill for that time spent.


That's a fine defense of billing in general, but it's not specific to the billable hour system. As you note, it applies to flat fees and contingency cases, too.

Billable hours allow an opportunity for stingy clients to pay less, if their attorney is particularly efficient: "Why, this matter normally would have cost $10,000, but you did it in a mere 15 hours, so I'm only paying $6000? Eat it, sucker!"
Obviously, this only encourages attorneys to not be efficient.

/doesn't help when the same client gets a bill on a different matter for $12,000, and says "this normally only costs $10,000, so I'm only paying that much."
 
2013-03-27 11:06:59 AM  

Macinfarker: Theaetetus: Marcus Aurelius: I have hired many lawyers in my life, and exactly one of them didn't rip me off on their hourly billing.

That's why I try to put everything under agreed-upon flat fees. Unlike hourly billing, it actually rewards my efficiency.

And then you get screwed when the opposing side (or your client) becomes difficult and drags things along for months/years.


You don't use a single flat fee for something that will take years. You use flat fees for something that will take a week to a month at most. If the client keeps expanding the scope of the work, like finding additional documents for discovery at the last second, then you raise your flat fee the next time.
 
2013-03-27 11:08:38 AM  

notmtwain: tenpoundsofcheese: only true for those people who didn't understand the context for the Shakespeare quote and why they joked about killing the lawyers.

All:
God save your majesty!

Cade:
I thank you, good people-there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

Dick:
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Cade:
Nay, that I mean to do.Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings but I say, the bee's wax for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.

//.More?  Henry VI , Act IV, Scene 2

// Seems pretty clear to me that Shakespeare was playing to the crowd, counting on the fact that everyone hates lawyers.  Enlighten us as to his true intent and how it shows that Shakespeare really meant to honor lawyers...


As I used to have as my e-mail sig: Shakespear's Line "First thing we do let's kill all the lawyers, was homage to the role of lawyers as the "first repsonders" in a civil society"  Dick is terrorist plotting to overthrow the legit government and he realizes he nes the lawyers out of the way to make that happen you see.

The people that hate lawyers, are, by and large the very same people who make lawyers necessary.  The ones who are the first to run to get a lawyer when they think it might be to their advantage.  They want everyone ELSE to act honest and upright, and never chisel or take advantage, but hey, if THEY bend a rule or two to their advantage...well, as long as they TECHNICALLY are correct, why not?.  Lawyers didn't ruin society, dishonest people who want to honor the letter fo the law only and not its spirit did.  Lawyers can do no more than what their clients tell them to do.
 
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