How not to suck as a lawyer

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December 17, 2022- by Steven E. Greer, MD

I would like to be an adjunct professor at a law school. I would teach a course on “How not to suck as a lawyer”. The most common problem I see with small-time lawyers is classic laziness as opposed to stupidity (although they are dumb as well). The most common flaw I see with fancy law firms is stupidity, which is surprising.

The small-time lawyer is in their position for a reason. They are lazy at their jobs and lazy at life. One sees this in their briefs. They do not bother to make certain efforts that I take for granted with my background in medicine and writing complex medical journals or Wall Street reports.

The most common flaw I see in Ivy League graduates is what appears to be stupidity. They do not understand case law (or know better and try to trick the court). One might think that this is what fancy law schools teach. In many cases, the law they cite actually helps my case instead of the other way around. They seem to search Westlaw and cut and paste whatever pops up, even if it is low-quality unpublished law from a different district. In my opposition brief, I point this out and essentially humiliate them. When they lose a motion, they often get fired from the case.

I defeated the largest law firm in the State of Ohio in the Supreme Court of the United States because they pulled some stupid trick thinking they could get away with it. I shot back with a motion, and then they just withdrew from the case completely.

The only skill a lawyer provides is understanding the procedure of local courts. State or county courts can have all sorts of quirkiness to them. Often, they are not even a real courts. They are what you call a special proceedings court where none of the rules apply. They very nature of these courts are unconstitutional but the legal system is corrupt. These courts are rigged to help the big companies who sue small helpless people. However, even for the simple task of knowing local procedures, many lawyers are inept.

Another common problem lawyers have is that they are cowards. They are scared to death of judges. I am not suggesting anyone should be disrespectful in court. However, no lawyer should be afraid to file a motion, but I see that all the time. Lawyers I have hired are afraid to do proper litigating because they are afraid it might hurt their reputation with the judge down the road in some future case. The best interest of the client is low on the list for a lawyer.

My advice for any new lawyer is to put in the effort and be honest with the client. That is so rare that it will build the lawyer a thriving practice quickly.

(For fans of Pro Se Greer, my appeal of the Second Circuit Greer v Fox News 22-1970-cv was awarded “expedited status” and should get a date in January.  Readers of this site will be awarded special access to the court room.)

Laura Taylor Swain is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She wrote, “although Plaintiff (Steven Greer) is pro se, he is a fairly sophisticated and experienced litigant, who appears to possess a good understanding of law”

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