This appendix contains some materials on a real case I handled back in late 2002 - early 2003. I was still somewhat new as a solo back then - maybe about 2 1/2 - 3 years into it. The bills are real. Frankly, you will see that back then, I violated my own principle. My going rate back then was $175.00. I gave this client a rate of $135.00 because it was a new car dealership and they always needed legal work every month without fail. I do not violate this principle anymore.
After the bills, you will see the product of all that billing. It looks to be about $4,400 worth of billing. I happened to remember this little example because it was the first and only time I included a clever, but not so poetic, limerick in a response filed with the court.
The case was one in which a plaintiff secured a default judgment against the dealership because the manager dropped the ball and forgot to tell me he had been served with a suit. Fortunately, I found some mistakes which plaintiff's counsel made. We were going to file suit for a declaratory action that the judgment was not binding against our client who, we maintained, had not been sued properly. The other side tried to file a Motion for Judgment Nunc Pro Tunc, which is a proceeding to correct clerical-type errors in a judgment. The error pertained to how the defendant, my client, had been named in the suit. I responded to the Motion for Judgment Nunc Pro Tunc. "Poof!" went the default judgment.
Notice in the Response how I point out that opposing counsel did not complete his research and that the authority he cited (which many lawyers would have probably never found) had been overruled. I would put up a $5.00 bet this guy was not using Westlaw. Also, notice I used extensive block quoting from the case law. I wanted to make sure the court has no concern as to whether I am properly citing cases.
Did my client pay for all that research? Yes. It was worth it, too. Do all my clients, whether businesses or people, and regardless of the type of case, pay for my research? Yes. And it is worth it to them, too. As long as you do good work, who can dispute whether it is worth it? Even bad news, if it is the right news, is worth it.
The examples follow:
© 2015, Jeff M