September 28, 2022

#HelpJoeBiggs It's About Fairness--Not Politics or Culture.

No hates asking for $ more than me. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to those who have given. But color us--Norm Pattis, me and Team Biggs--desperate in trying to level the playing field. This is one of the greatest David v. Goliath stories in American criminal law history. Great defense lawyers with an unrelenting work ethic is not enough. If you want to give between $500 and $2000 anonymously, contact me at 619-895-8336. This a War. It is now about resources. A 6 week trial starts December 12. There will likely be some appeals. Learn about Purple Heart earner Joe Biggs in the GSG post and video.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

John Faed, “Tam O’Shanter and the Witches,” 1872

ss_sayc_ayrtos_100086_large.jpg

John Faed, Tam O'Shanter and the Witches, 1872.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 27, 2022

Guernica: "Did you paint this?"

guernica_l.jpg

Here's a WWII story I first heard in 1992 in Paris from a struggling young Irish painter named Richard hustling his drinks and living by his wit, humor, charm and talent on a few choice blocks of the Right Bank. I never found out what happened to Richard. But ever since I've thought about this simple and apparently fairly well-known Picasso story, and more and more since 2005.

In the Fall of that year, Julie McGuire and I were together in Madrid. We made time to see Guernica, very likely Pablo Picasso's most famous painting, and some other great modern Spanish works, at the Museo Reina Sofia in central Madrid. Picasso painted Guernica in 1937 after both German and Italian bombers shelled Guernica, in Spain's Basque Country, on April 26 of that year, during the Spanish Civil War. The bombing by Germany and Italy happened at the request of Spanish Nationalist forces. The painting is an outcry, protest and lament of the self-assured, polite, smooth and famously composed Picasso.

The smallest details of the story seem to change. But historians and journalists seem to agree on the following:

In 1942, during the 1940-1944 German occupation of Paris, German officers often visited Picasso's Paris studio at a time when some of his paintings were being burned as decadent. On one visit, an aggressive Gestapo officer found a simple postcard with an image of Guernica in the studio. The officer confronted the painter, and held before Picasso's face the postcard with its breathtaking indictments of war, national pride, meaningless death, pointless suffering, waste, government hypocrisy, inflamed leadership and self-destruction.

"Did you do this?", the officer asked.

“No, sir. You did."

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Symphony

Just one thing improves a sunny brisk Fall day in a world class city in Europe or the Americas. The lunchtime bells of a dozen churches at once. No one dismisses them. Centuries of noon chimes. Centuries.


FCEEFB2B-F58D-4256-9257-D62CF817B65F.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 26, 2022

My Rum Diary: Growing up Hunter Thompson.

hst111.jpg

Kurtz. He got off the boat. He split from the whole goddamn program.

--Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now (1979)

Thompson had a way of keeping anyone unfriendly to the very idea of him beyond even mere curiosity. Just unaware. In that case, you were a nice person doing the best you could. You didn't "need it"--anymore than you needed to become good friends with Andy Warhol, Ralph Nader, Harry Dean Stanton, or Dr. John the Night Tripper, whoever they were.

--A Fan

Twenty years ago, when I was an associate in D.C. sweating everything, I worried a lot about something hanging in my office: a framed black, white and red "Hunter S. Thompson for Sheriff" election poster for a 1970 election in Aspen, Colorado.

The poster bore a Harvard Strike fist. Inside the fist there appeared to be what someone explained was a drawing of a plant which bad or crazy people chewed on to "get high". But I quickly realized that anyone who actually knew about Thompson and his books and articles on presidential politics, Las Vegas and the Kentucky Derby--the event in his hometown of Louisville was "decadent and depraved"--would likely like me for having it.

I was right. The poster meant nothing to most people who visited my office, and it even helped me make friends. In the 1970s and 1980s, people read and loved him or had never heard of him.

So you either "knew" HST--or you didn't.

He either delighted, or was too disturbing to explore. A talented and comical writer, he drank too much, really did like chemicals, hated Richard Nixon, upset people on the press entourage, freaked out editors, showed up drunk for "speeches", and arranged for Ed Muskie to be severely menaced on a train by one seriously funny outlaw rich kid named Peter Sheridan.

He liked weapons. He was once accused of firing a military rocket at a snowmobile. According to a friend of mine who worked for one of the TV news networks, Thompson once mysteriously and suddenly showed a handgun to Secret Service agents and reporters sitting in a booth in a famously silly Capitol Hill singles bar, mumbling "just in case there's a firefight..."

Even with that public life, Thompson had a way of keeping anyone unfriendly to the very idea of him beyond even mere curiosity. Just unaware. In that case, you were a nice person doing the best you could. You didn't "need it"--anymore than you needed to become good friends with Andy Warhol, Ralph Nader, Harry Dean Stanton, or Dr. John the Night Tripper, whoever they were.

Even after Thompson became a character in Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury, saw two movies based on his work, and died by his own hand in early 2005, most people didn't have a clue or want to. One exception in later years: "beer hippies" and GenX stoners finally discovered Thompson--"Gonzo, drugs, liberal stances, hey Hunter's my man"--and my guess is that he secretly looked down on them.

Well, anyone can be in his club at this point. But I needed it all along. He was an angry but fine writer, a humorist, an innovator--and a big hillbilly like me who grew up on the Mason-Dixon line and all along just wanted to fall in love. He still makes me laugh and cry.

Maybe there is no Heaven.

Or maybe this is all pure gibberish — a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow — to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested.

Original post: 11.29.2013

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Jean-Francois Millet, The Gleaners, 1857

BAFAD629-078F-4BBA-87B2-17460B7EF543.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 25, 2022

LGBTQ

FA336134-D8FF-4597-86B0-86D7F85DC08C.jpeg

Old gay rights: We just want to be equal.

New gay rights: Anything not gay is fascist.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 23, 2022

World Famous 12 Rules of Client Service

chimeracity (1).jpg

1. Represent only clients you like.

2. The client is the main event.

3. Make sure everyone in your firm knows the client is the main event.

4. Deliver legal work that changes the way clients think about lawyers.

5. Over-communicate: bombard, copy and confirm.

6. When you work, you are marketing.

7. Know the client.

8. Think like the client--help control costs.

9. Be there for clients--24/7.

10. Be accurate, thorough and timely--but not perfect.

11. Treat each co-worker like he or she is your best client.

12. Have fun.

Copyright 2005-2022 John Daniel Hull and Julie Elizabeth McGuire. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Chekhov: Storytelling

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. --Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
1900-Chekhov-and-Gorky4.jpeg Chekhov with Maxim Gorky in Yalta, probably 1900

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 21, 2022

Kerouac famously getting it exactly right: On The Road.

Jack Kerouac sometimes got the thrill and promise of simply being alive pitch perfect. The famous "mad to be saved" passage happens in the first chapter On The Road, and very early on:

...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

img-jack-bw.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

This is a family, too

E06AAE8E-50EA-434C-ACE2-F39DF57A477E.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 20, 2022

Seven Years at Andover: Hull’s Lore and Legend of Handwritten Thank-You Notes.

the-governess.jpg
The Governess, 1739, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1699-1779)

In case your Governess never told you, you're from Utah, or you were stoned all seven years at Andover, please remember that when thanking anyone for something important--a meeting, referral or a dinner--do it and do it promptly with a handwritten thank-you note. We all fail here from time to time. Yet no valid excuses exist for not writing short prompt notes.

Too few of us practice gratitude, in either business or our "other" lives, enough. Some say the practice of saying thanks is good for the soul. Others swear it's good for revenues, too. Many business people and even some lawyers with real standards (i.e., wear socks to meetings or court) think that no written thank-you note means no class--as harsh and low-tech as that may sound. Typed is okay--but handwritten is better.

Even if you are not convinced that thank-you notes are noticed and appreciated (they are), pretend that we know more than you (we do), and do it anyway (thank us later). Good stationery. We suggest Crane's on the lower end, or something better, like stationery from Tiffany's, or a Tiffany-style knock-off, on the higher end. A "studio card", maybe. Plain. Simple. Initials on it at most.

If you get personalized stuff, have a return envelope address to a home or business--but without the business mentioned. It's personal. Leave Acme Law Firm off it.

If you get mentioned on the Internet, electronic thank-yous by e-mails to express thanks for links, comments or mentions in posts or articles--i.e., three different people link to your blog every day, you are working full time for clients, busy firing GenY staff and associates, and writing op-ed pieces entitled "Winter 2022: The Mood of the Midwest"--are totally okay.

Short, sweet, and press "send".

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

C.F.S. Hahnemann. Born in Meissen 1755. Died in Paris 1843.

2A3F07EF-2EEA-4FDE-B770-D25D17DBFD1D.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 19, 2022

Whitman on Emerson.

I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil.

--Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Walt-Whitman-photograph-Mathew-Brady.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 16, 2022

J. Dan Hull, II, 1933

0C95FAE0-1060-4F5B-9F00-5C7F2FA94578.jpeg


J. Dan Hull, II, 1933. Yale Ph.D picture. 2 words: Class act. American dream overachiever and gentlemen's gentlemen. Authentic and honest--and never went out of his way to trumpet either trait. My Grandpop. First Hull in Virginia-Missouri line to even go to college. His dad self-educated John Hull (JDH I) made his first stake as a laborer building railroads out West and ended up owning a drug store in Mountain Grove, Missouri. Grandpop, who fought with his dad a lot, entered University of Missouri at 16 years old and and got his Masters degree from University of Chicago. Grandpop's family were relative newcomers to the colonies compared to my Mom's side of the family, who got to Massachusetts in 1634. Grandpop's great-great-great grandfather came here as a teen from Germany to Virginia about 1750. Scholar. Author. Diplomat. World Traveler. Teacher. Manager. Executive. Musical. Great card player. Sportsman. Fisherman. He had taste, too. Well-read and well-traveled. Effortlessly well-dressed at all times, Grandpop looked more elegant in a T-shirt than most men do in a tux. Loved, admired and respected by the cream of Missourians and Washington, D.C. Member of DC's famous merit-based Cosmos Club. Hung out with John Kenneth Galbraith and Elliot Richardson. Not bad for an Ozarks mountain boy. And great, I'm told, with women folk. Raised 3 sisters after his young mother, Nancy Susan McQuitty--who he adored--died in 1917 on Christmas Eve, when he was always strangely quiet. He lived 87.5 years. (March 11, 1900 - October 13, 1987). Both his Dad JDH I and his granddad Bill (a confederate soldier) lived even longer lives, dying in 1929 and 1953. His wife--and my pistol of a grandmother, Alene Oliver Hull--died in their house in Springfield, MO at 101. Grandpop taught me a lot. I miss him a lot. If it were not for 3 Missourians--Pat Bevier and Mary Helen Allen, my Dad's first cousins, and my marvelous new-found cousin, Super-Mom and Walmart exec Kristi Towe--I would have had a very hard time putting all this together accurately over the past few years. (Well, I may never have; it's time-consuming and I was always doing it half-assed and guessing based on things Grandpop told me, the Internet and 3 "mysterious" not-so-mysterious wills dating back to the 1700s my Dad John Hull gave me.) But 99.5% of the German Hulls is knowable--just not as well-kept as the history of my Mom's family (Holden) who've been keeping accurate records through the Colonial Dames organizations for several generations. Thanks for the work, you 3.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 15, 2022

We're losing It.

Why are we still shutting down Speech and Expression everywhere in the name of civility, fashion and especially "anti-racism"? Even LinkedIn wants you to speak, write and act in a particular way. Even Humor, Satire and Parody must be stylized. Why is that acceptable? Why is that the norm? Why won't people stand up to this? We are losing our most important human asset: fun, un-fun, comfortable, uncomfortable, reassuring, disrupting free expression. Little by little. Few people apparently can even see this. Folks, this is everyone's business. Right now. Don't get used to what's happening to us here.


1663243327374.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 14, 2022

Albert Bierstadt, 1861, “Indian Summer on the Hudson River”

CED74C08-6AFF-4A41-866E-46B583E13D4C.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 13, 2022

Don't Kill All The Alphas.

0C67F991-5509-426D-BFC4-98BB503D5C72.png

Julius Caesar 100 BC - 44 BC

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Joe Biggs

From a FR letter I wrote last week….

As most of you know, Joseph R. Biggs, 38, is a single father, decorated Army Staff Sergeant, and Purple Heart recipient. He served lengthy tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe's leadership in the U.S. military as both a combatant and good-will ambassador has been singled out in the media. In 2009, Joe was featured in a "Dan Rather Reports" segment on fighting at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. During 2008-2012, Joe was also interviewed and quoted in several articles about Afghanistan, including features that appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ and Outdoors. Joe is family-oriented and politically conservative. He's a doer and innovator. He has served as a first-responder and rescue worker since he was a teenager.

On January 6, Joe Biggs was as always calm, unflappable and nonviolent. Joe helped lead a routine march to the Capitol. At the last minute, he and others trespassed on the Capitol grounds and entered the Capitol building. But he didn't damage anything or hurt anyone. He didn't fight. He didn't even raise his voice. But due to Joe's role as a past planner and organizer of some national Proud Boy events, Joe and four other senior Proud Boys have been accused of seditious conspiracy to obstruct the Biden-Harris electoral college vote certification. The government even eventually jailed Joe for the past 16 months on the pretrial detention theory of "future dangerousness.'' He is being portrayed as a repeat "insurrectionist'' risk.

This, of course, is nonsense. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice has spent several million dollars to build and maintain this portrayal in Joe's case alone. DOJ has infinite resources to do this and continues to use them. It will cost Joe at least $1 million (low side) for our defense team to staff, prepare and try the 6-week trial. The stakes are high. Joe faces a lengthy prison term (up to 30 years) on the basis of this so-called conspiracy with four others to obstruct the Biden-Harris vote certification. We are confident we can defeat the government's conspiracy charge--at best a tall tale which holds together the DOJ's entire case--and reduce it to merely trespass. Yet the government continues to invest money, other resources and staff in the case. Joe's case (docketed at 21-cr-175 before Judge Timothy Kelly) is undoubtedly DOJ’s marquee January 6 case. DOJ prosecutors assigned to the case are legion, motivated and first-rate. We are definitely going to trial on December 12.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 12, 2022

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

E3179995-4A0E-44D8-80D3-2349F8207350.jpeg

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - Return from the Harvest (1878)

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 11, 2022

Thank you.


I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who contributed to Joe Biggs’s Legal Defense Fund for his J6 trial. We pick our jury 3 months from tomorrow (December 12) for a 6 week trial. Even wildly unpopular defendants in our federal criminal justice system deserve a shot at an even playing field. Thank you.

D30599F5-9AD6-43E3-9425-CF68AABF252A.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 09, 2022

Farewell Big Sister, Plugger, Soldier, North Star.

868549FF-25CD-4464-B3B7-0B81F235D3EB.jpeg

The Queen, 1926-2022

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 07, 2022

Pointe Aux Barques, MI. Est. 1896

Pointe 5.gif

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 06, 2022

Fifteen Years of Grandiosity

Famous long ago. In the fall of 2007, a Carnegie Mellon study identified this blog (www.whataboutclients.com) as one of the one-hundred most informative blogs in the world. We ranked 60 out of 100. See, in Writers Write, this article: "Carnegie Mellon Study Ranks Most Informative Blogs" (October 24, 2007). We'd like to thank the little people.

772px-HatfieldClan.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 05, 2022

Work-Life Malory

No one really knows who wrote “Le Morte d’Arthur.“ The best bet is Sir Thomas Malory, a mid-15th century knight and rogue’s rogue. I won’t summarize his crimes and exuberances here but an English nobleman and knight named Malory who died in 1471 was jailed frequently and certainly had time to write. My version (Modern Library, 1999) is nearly 1000 pages long. Its editor Elizabeth Bryan wrote in the introduction that though he “may have been a scoundrel, Malory was also, it seems clear, a man of ideals who believed in courage and loyalty, and who mourned the passing of chivalry.”

Below: Page one from the original manuscript of ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’ published in 1485.

E12AD961-E965-494B-93F1-C12BDF2DB4C6.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 04, 2022

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980)

If you have nothing nice to say, come sit by me.

-- Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Died on February 20, 1980 at 96.


hlpreview11061 (1).jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Teach this one to the help, Campers.“Rule 6. When You Work, You Are Marketing.”

gargoyle.jpg

And you are welcome. Sure. When you work, you are marketing. Never forget that. You are crafting and delivering services to solve problems. You are constantly sending even the most veteran and sophisticated users of legal services (think GC and his or her team for a large publicly-traded company) small but powerful ads. It is always true. True for a brand new client you’ve pitched for years and is finally trying you out. True for a longstanding client who’s been impressed enough to engage your firm for decades in a number of practice areas. The messaging never stops. Rule Six comes from our hopelessly annoying but consistently right, way practical, and world-famous 12 Rules of Client Service.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk). Permalink | Comments (0)

September 02, 2022

9th Annual Wild Men/Women List: The 2022 Rankings.

hogmanay-460_1213497c (1) (3).jpg

Wild Men. Wild Women. Wild Men and Wild Women are people who listen only to the little voice in their head. They get things done. They build things. Uncertainty and turbulence--in the economy, stock markets, governments, the weather, “pandemics,” bad odds, you name it--only get their juices flowing. True, they often have dark and self-destructive sides—but we seem to like giving them a pass. They come with evey political and cultural stripe.

They don’t care what you think.

Ever.

And here they are for 2022:

1. Christopher Columbus
2. Ted Turner
3. Dr. Johnson
4. Dr. Thompson
5. Theodore Roosevelt
6. Henry Ford
7. Michelangelo
8. Ayn Rand
9. Walt Disney
10. Japan
11. Boudica
12. Winston Churchill
13. Benjamin Disraeli
14. Arianna Huffington
15. Bucky Fuller
16. Nino Scalia
17. Bill Buckley
18. Bill Clinton
19. Steve Jobs
20. Ben Franklin
21. Nick Nolte
22. Jerry Lee Lewis

plato-03.jpg
Plato (#27) was way Wild. Read the Timaeus.

23. The Welsh
24. Jann Wenner
25. Audie Murphy
26. Rasputin
27. Plato
28. Catherine the Great
29. Val Kilmer (way wilder than Jim Morrison)
30. Harry Dean Stanton
31. LBJ
32. Julius Caesar
33. Peter O’Toole
34. John Lennon
35. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
36. Peter Sheridan
37. Christopher Hitchens
38. George Patton
39. Warren Beatty
40. Jack Nicholson
41. W.B. Yeats
42. Brigham Young
43. Lucien Carr
44. Joan of Arc and Charles Barkley (tie)
45. Dylan Thomas
46. "E"
47. Boswell
48. Ben Jonson
49. Mae West
50. Daniel Pinchbeck

220px-Zelda_Fitzgerald_portrait.jpg
Zelda Fitzgerald (#90) was Wild. So was her childhood friend Tallulah Bankhead (#91).

51. Daniel O'Connell
52. Quentin Crisp
53. David Boies
54. Holden Oliver
55. St. John of Patmos
56. John Henry "Doc" Holliday
57. Genghis Khan
58. Alexander
59. Charles Bukowski

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

September 01, 2022

“106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.”

34310A9E-CE71-4940-80E4-B019F1429CF6.jpegPosted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Sensitive Litigation Moment #631

Lawyering? A cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. And then there's a negative side.

--Holden Oliver, Salzburg, Austria

hogmanay-460_1213497c (1) (3).jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 31, 2022

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Return from the Harvest, 1878

3E3BB201-98C5-4649-B113-7095954EDEF1.jpeg

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), Return from the Harvest, 1878. Cummer Art Museum, Jacksonville

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Day 6

574663AD-1F37-4BA0-846C-6D134BDCEFF9.jpeg

Day 6: Free Gavin. Is nothing sacred? Is nothing funny?

#Neverforgetaboutit

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Irish.

There's no point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually.


--Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Assistant Secretary for Labor, a few days after November 22, 1963

Daniel_Patrick_Moynihan,_speaking_behind_microphones (1).jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 30, 2022

Free Gavin!

7283C435-7F96-43EB-9BAD-A6F4D36CE883.png

#HumoristLivesMatter

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 28, 2022

Ben Disraeli: On Writing Well.

When I want to read a good book, I write one.

--Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

1310271-Benjamin_Disraeli.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 27, 2022

Partner Emeritus: On the Sanctity of Associate Lawyer Privacy Rights.

If you work for a peer firm, you will encounter me or someone very much like me. I or some form of my embodiment will exist to make your existence as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it can be.

-- Partner Emeritus, New York City, September 3, 2009

avatar92 (1) PE.jpg

I've loved practicing law. After three years of working on Capitol Hill, I became one of two associates in the small DC branch office of a now-defunct Pennsylvania firm. They gave me a wonderfully eclectic mix of work to do: environmental litigation, energy law, U.S. Supreme Court practice and lobbying for coal companies and banks. In two years the DC office merged with a bigger DC-based firm. We went from 10 to 35 lawyers. And I went from a window office on Eye and 15th, N.W. off McPherson Square to a smaller no-window office three blocks down the street at International Square. I was a 4th or 5th year associate. I didn't complain. I drew a picture of a sun and posted it on the wall.

Meanwhile, up in New York City, and at about the same time, Partner Emeritus' white shoe firm was negotiating a lease renewal--and the Great Man would have gone one step further:

Back in the early '80s when my firm negotiated its lease renewal, I ardently advocated to take less space as I thought placing associates in offices was a waste of resources. Offices are for closers and relevant playmakers who need personalized space to entertain clients. Given that young associates are not permitted to directly interact with clients, there is simply no need for them to have offices.

One of my pet peeves when I was at the firm was the contumacious habit of associates who closed their doors. Whenever I saw an associate's door closed, I assumed he/she was doing one of the following: 1) taking a nap; 2) checking their private email account (e.g., Ashley Madison, etc.); 3) masturbating; 4) engaging in personal phone calls; or, 5) watching internet porn.

As far as I am concerned, associates do not require privacy unless they are on the commode. I personally took a note of all the associates who closed their doors and would often reprimand them or make a notation on their annual review. If it were up to me, I would have had the building maintenance crew remove the doors off of the hinges but I was outvoted on the matter.

I prefer that associates and non-equity partners share the window cubicles. This way, the partners and staff can easily monitor how busy associates are. Moreover, the window cubicles will keep associates on their toes and prevent them from slacking off.

And please spare me the argument that window cubicles dehumanizes associates by making them feel like zoo animals on display. Unlike the animals in the zoo, trust me, no one wants to waste time watching troglodytes push paper.

--Comment by Partner Emeritus to an article by my friend boy wonder David Lat on August 28, 2015 at Above the Law entitled "More Bad News For Biglaw Associates?"


Jacob Riss.jpg
3rd year associates share 'premium' window cubicle in 1987 (J. Riis).

Copyright 2015 J. Daniel Hull, Ellen Jane Bry, ____ Doe. Best of Partner Emeritus (#6)

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Johannes Vermeer, The Little Street, 1657

D7E5719B-EAFB-44D4-BE38-5D7E329440B6.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 26, 2022

John Irving: On Editing.

Half my life is an act of revision.

--John Irving (1942-)

238.gif

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 25, 2022

In Praise of Regular Guy Writers.

93D7A008-5DDB-4681-BCEA-F4495E6855D1.jpeg

John Irving (b. March 2, 1942)

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Storytelling

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

--Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

20080212_chekhov_33.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 23, 2022

John Barry (1745 –1803): Irish boy does good in America (Part I)

Every work day thousands of Washingtonians pass an imposing six-foot statue mounted on an a huge pedestal a few feet away from 14th Street (right or northbound lane) on Franklin Square, on 14th and K Streets, Northwest. It is of Captain John Barry, a Wexford, Ireland-born U.S. naval officer who quickly became one of George Washington's wartime favorites. In April of 1776, the 31-year-old Captain Barry and his crew had just slipped his warship the Lexington through a British blockade on the Delaware River. The Lexington encountered, defeated and captured the British sloop Edward, a tender to the frigate Liverpool. Barry took the Edward into Philadelphia, turned it over to the Continental Army, repaired his ship the Lexington and put out to sea again.

The_Army_&_Navy,_Genl._Washington_presenting_Captain_Barry_with_his_Commission.jpg

“Washington presents Captain Barry with his Commission [1797]”, 1839, Alfred M. Hoffy. In this painting, Washington is making Barry the first commissioned officer, a commodore, in the newly established U.S. Navy.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

London, 1835: Ben Disraeli Disses Daniel O'Connell.

Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon. --Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), Parliament, 1835.
disraeli.jpg

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk). Permalink | Comments (0)

Coleman and Hull solve January 6.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Pantheon: Charlize Theron

Charlize-Theron-14-705084.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

What's "offensive" changes--and quickly: The late Frank Zappa on CNN's Crossfire 1986.

Obscenity. Offensiveness. What words are bad? What ideas or standards are bad? Consider a 21-minute discussion 32 years ago about "filthy rock lyrics" with (truth be told) right-leaning Zappa, "conservative" Novak, "liberal" Braden and a respected if tad-demented Washington Times reporter on CNN's Crossfire. Also featuring the U.S. Const. amend. I, the function of government and, well, Real Life. What's offensive? It of course changes with shifting perceptions in the kaleidoscopes and gyres of time. And quickly. Now forget about “obscenity” for a moment. Switch to “bigotry” and “racism.” Do remind yourselves that in, say, 1900 an Oberlin or Harvard prof with the most liberal possible views on race would be viewed as a “racist” pariah on April 13, 2018. Expand your minds today a bit, and get off your knees, Campers. Thank you the late Duke history prof and changing South expert Lawrence Goodwyn.


Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 22, 2022

Speakers' Corner, London: "Happy Monday, you daft bastards.”

Since 1866, Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park (northeast corner near Marble Arch) has been important in Britain's demonstrations, protests and debate. In 1872, the area was specifically set aside for those purposes. Here are among the best and most eccentric daily shows in London. Marx, Lenin and Orwell all spoke at Speakers' Corner there on Sundays, the traditional speaking day. But most speakers you hear there are obscure, animated and marvelously quirky. Any subject is fair game. For the dark history of this area of Hyde Park as the execution place know as Tyburn Gallows for nearly six centuries--everyone condemned to die could make a final speech--see the website of the Royal Parks. Below: uncredited photo from a Sunday in 1930s.

speakers corner orators-at-hyde-park-corner-london-30s.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Aldeburgh, Suffolk, East Anglia

Go somewhere different. Meet someone different. Aldeburgh, Suffolk, East Anglia. Always a festival.

aldeburgh-shingle-beach.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 21, 2022

May 1 IHHS

0FAB63D2-BC60-4222-A4F0-18399A300E82.jpeg

IHHS 1971 reunion. May 1. Kenwood Country Club. Cincinnati, OH. The finest people you’ll ever know.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 20, 2022

Partner Emeritus: Summering Correctly in Gotham.

Several years ago our hero Partner Emeritus commented in response to an Above the Law piece on summer associate offers:

It's a sad world we live in where kids think they are having the time of their lives by raising bottles of Korbel champagne adorned with cheap sparklers. The video [in the ATL article] is proof that law firms are not celebrating like it was 1984 or 2007 for that matter.

When I was a younger partner, I would take a handful of summer associates to Smith & Wollensky or Peter Luger's in Brooklyn and then party hard at the VIP lounge at Flash Dancers ('80s) or Scores ('90s). Most of the summer associates were caught in compromising positions during these soirees. For example, I had many Polaroids with SAs who were photographed in salacious positions with female entertainers. I even photographed a few doing lines of coke in the VIP lounge.

Once the summer associates became associates I would bring them into my office and give them copies of the Polaroids and remind them that I was the last person they ever wanted to cross if they wanted to keep their job or law license. Most of these folks became partners, which proves my methods for inspiring peak performance were quite effective.

AAnew-wolf-of-wall-street-trailer-leonardo-dicaprio-is-the-wealthiest-stockbroker-in-the-world.jpg
Photo taken in 1986 believed to be PE instructing summer associates Photo: Paramount Pictures).

Original post: Summer 2015

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 19, 2022

Job and His Friends, Vladimir Borovikovsky, 1810s.

C177A430-FB62-44EF-AA15-53E166A633F9.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 18, 2022

This is East Anglia. This is Suffolk. I start here.

Neither the tiny rural village of Lindsey nor the surrounding countryside has changed much since 1634, when one side of my family called Holden left there via Ipswich on the River Orwell for Massachusetts and, in time, a new "Groton", named after another small village near Lindsey. Three hundred and eighty-six years later, Lindsey is pastoral, green, mainly un-peopled and fairly remote. No visible overt 21st century commerce. Some farming. No tourists.

St Peter, a rough Anglican church, at one time Catholic, the one my ancestors attended, built in the 1300s, and even older church ruin, St James (1200s), are the only man-made constants. Still a "parish", Lindsey is on the B1115 Hadleigh-to-Bury road.

This is part of East Anglia--coveted, held and loved for so long by the Danes. The region's been victor and victim over and over again. Mainstream tribes from all over Europe battled here for centuries. It is storied. It is still beautiful. Nothing compares to it.

And it is a key "feeder" region in the English migration to America. From 1625 to 1640, Charles I had tried to rule England without calling the Puritan-dominated Parliament. Puritan dissenters, lots of them, lived in the area around Lindsey, and

from here hundreds of families fled across the Atlantic to the new world. The Winthrops, of tiny Groton, would become founders of the State of Massachusetts. But most of the settlers were poor, working families, and they would devote themselves to quiet, prayerful unpersecuted lives, and of work hard to build new communities. Of course, they would never see Suffolk or the valley of the gentle Brett again.

--Simon Knott

B3C55D69-7CE9-461A-987D-4EB5785AFD63.jpeg
St. Peter in Lindsey

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 17, 2022

Hunter Thompson: On Quality Time.

Excerpt from the famous November 1974 Playboy Magazine interview with writer and humorist Hunter S. Thompson conducted by Craig Vetter, a well-regarded writer and storyteller himself.

PLAYBOY: ....this morning you've had two bloody marys, three beers and about four spoons of some white substance and you've been up for only an hour. You don't deny that you're heavily into drugs, do you?

THOMPSON: No, why should I deny it? I like drugs. Somebody gave me this white powder last night. I suspect it's cocaine, but there's only one way to find out...

PLAYBOY: What do you like best?

THOMPSON: Probably mescaline and mushrooms: That's a genuine high. It's not just an up -- you know, like speed, which is really just a motor high. When you get into psychedelics like mescaline and mushrooms, it's a very clear kind of high, an interior high. But really, when you're dealing with psychedelics, there's only one king drug, when you get down to it, and that's acid. About twice a year you should blow your fucking tubes out with a tremendous hit of really good acid. Take 72 hours and just go completely amok, break it all down.

Early-03-Self-Portrait-Puerto-Rico-circa-1960s.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 15, 2022

Thomas Cole, The Consummation of Empire: Destruction, 1836

7A7AE515-FEEE-47A3-B494-76319346B9C1.jpeg
New York Historical Society

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Romain Rolland: Real Life

There is no joy except in creation. There are no living beings but those who create. All the rest are shadows, hovering over the earth, strangers to life. All the joys of life are the joys of creation: love, genius, action.

--Romain Rolland (1866-1944), Nobel Prize winner, in "Lightning Strikes Christophe"


A8D11A6E-4013-4938-89D7-2707543EDBD1.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 13, 2022

Hull’s “107 Things Slightly Amoral Long Divorced Traveling American Lawyers Know.”

95AA6A1D-0513-4EF0-8B8A-594ED8E9202E.jpeg
WJC and me, January 1, 2009, high noon, Charleston


1. Never swive anyone named Zoe, Brigit or Natasha.

2. Let no one leave anything in your home or hotel room.

3. All British women are named Lucy, Pippa or Jane.

4. Most British women don't like British men.

5. Every Woman's ex- is a Narcissist. No exceptions.

6. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, the most widely used legal citation system in the United States, was first published in 1926. It is always important.

7. Legal interviews don't tell you much.

8. Have a coworker in same room if you interview someone.

9. Don't jump to hire law grads with blue collar backgrounds. Some think they've arrived and are done.

10. Women make better associate lawyers.

11. On documents, Rule 34 (Production of Documents and Things) and Rule 45 (Subpoena) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do very different things. Know what they are.

12. Dogs are the best thing about this planet.

13. Cats not dogs if you travel.

14. Great looking women think they're ugly.

15. Pay attention to little things.

16. Irish, Welsh, Finnish, Ethiopian and Afro-American women are heroes. Forever in charge. Enduring.

17. A disproportionate number of Irish people are drunks.

18. A disproportionate number of Irish people are verbally or lyrically gifted.

19. Jewish doctors do not understand Irish, English, German or Russian drunks.

20. Jews and Italians are the best drinkers. They have the genes. They have rules.

21. The Jews are It. A consistently awesome and world changing tribe for 2500 years.

22. Well dressed Russian women are cheap, treacherous and insane.

The Cardsharps, Caravaggio, c. 1594

23. For decades the wrong people have gone to law school.

24. Lawyers are less well educated, less well rounded and less culturally literate every decade.

25. Many lawyers dislike lawyering.

26. There are at about 40 exceptional American colleges and universities.

27. Do one absurd or silly thing every day.

28. Never be impressed by Phi Beta Kappas.

29. Always be impressed by Marshall scholars, Rhodes scholars and Williams grads.

30. Have at least 3 impeccable suits.

31. Don't wear bow ties every day. Almost every day is fine.

32. Cuffs on all long pants except jeans and tuxedo trousers.

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 12, 2022

Jack London: On Inspiration.

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

--Jack London (1876-1916)

jack-london-desk.web.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 10, 2022

Disraeli on Lawyering: Is law just life on the sidelines?

Benjamin_D.jpg
Young Ben Disraeli: "I rust like a Damascus sabre in the sheath of a poltroon."

Is being a good lawyer enough?

Consider what the young, precocious, mega-talented, persistent and world class pain-in-the-ass Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) thought--years before becoming Prime Minster of England--as he abandoned his legal career before it really started, in favor of writing and politics. According to one biographer, he exclaimed:

The Bar: pooh! law and bad tricks till we are forty, and then, with the most brilliant success, the prospect of gout and a coronet. Besides, to succeed as an advocate, I must be a great lawyer, and to be a great lawyer, I must give up my chance of being a great man.

--A. Maurois, Disraeli (Random House 1928)

Sidelined? Hobbled? Self-discarded in the great race of life? Maybe it's true. Hard-driving lawyer friends (both in-house and in law firms) do articulate a feeling of being "sidelined"--yet they are very proud of what they do as lawyers. They may think: Why merely advise--when you could lead, create boldly, and command? And do that every day? Lots of lawyers are Type-As. Yes, some of us who advise great companies really end up as officers, CEOs, and COOs? Sure, many more of us run for office.

But most of us are at best mousy posturing technicians. Should more and more of us throw our golfing hat in the ring of other life, the fields of commerce, and bigger--or at least different--ponds? Does law school and the profession make many of us so risk-averse, passive and routinely academic in our approach to life that it knocks the will and energy to lead out of us?

Or were we just that way from the beginning?

Original post: 5.28.06

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Hell's Kitchen, New York City

USAnewyorkriuus.jpg


The photograph above was taken in 1890 by Jacob Riis. This is Bandits' Roost, an alley in Hell's Kitchen, then in its second century. It was taken long before the midtown Manhattan neighborhood got cute and trendy again. The work, images and outcry of Riis were famous at the time. So was this photograph.

But Hell's Kitchen actually started out cute and even pastoral. Three hundred years ago there were farms. Then came suburbs, and it was not really a "bad" neighborhood until around the time of the Civil War. Movies and novels maybe over-covered that second 150 years. Hell's Kitchen kept changing but stayed famous: from Irish and German immigrant sub-city to gangland neighborhood to actors' quarter to, these days, more of a yuppie heaven.

People feared the second round of "cute"--the gentrification of recent years--would destroy it. It didn't. It's still authentic in pulse and atmosphere. A few (not many) old families could afford to stay. Real estate brokers years ago came up with the new labels of Clinton and "Midtown West"--but those did not work. They could never replace the real name, the one that no one can even trace.

Sure, older neighborhoods, like older people, have personalities.

Personally, I think of the area as smaller and more compact than most descriptions. For me, it does not start until just north of the Lincoln Tunnel at 40th and then goes up to 57th Street. Its width, of course: West of 8th all the way to the Hudson. Yet it always seems worlds away from Times Square, right next door, and Midtown East.

If you are in Manhattan some weekend, stroll around there on a Sunday morning early, when it groans, complains and even growls like its old self. You will not head east. You won't even think about leaving Hell's Kitchen for a while. Too seductive. The uneasy mixes of Irish, German, Italian, and Everyone Else that dominated it--especially in the last 150 years--left certain imprints and energies. You can still feel and hear them in the stone of the buildings and street.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 09, 2022

Bring Back Real Women: Annabeth Gish

annabeth_gish_06.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Romain Rolland gets creative.

There is no joy except in creation. There are no living beings but those who create. All the rest are shadows, hovering over the earth, strangers to life. All the joys of life are the joys of creation: love, genius, action...

--Romain Rolland (1866-1944), Nobel Prize winner, in "Lightning Strikes Christophe".

Rolland.jpg

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk). Permalink | Comments (0)

August 08, 2022

Potomac Boat Club. 3530 Water Street, N.W.

Established in 1859 as the "Potomac Barge Club", the Potomac Boat Club is a rowing club on the Potomac River that sits on half an acre along Georgetown's southwestern border. It hosts several hundred members: recreational rowers, Washington-Lee High School crew team and professional athletes. Two members, Larry Hough and Tony Johnson, won the silver medal in coxless pairs at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The club's current building (below) dates to 1908.

potomac.jpg


Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 06, 2022

Cultural Literacy For America’s White Collars: When?

ParisIleStLouis01.jpg
Île Saint-Louis on the Seine, seen from a famous bridge.

Americans, the Alpha-humans, the elect and the "winners" in modern world history, are not well-rounded in our knowledge of the world, its people, and how we all got to this point on earth. Art, literature, the humanities, world history and political theory are not just for the rich, the elite, intellectual, and people who attended Choate and Oberlin. These things are the best part of all of us; they can inform, stir and improve every moment. If America could put real education before "jobs", we would astonish--and charm--the entire world.

Education is about more than just getting a job. Cultural literacy has never been an American strength. Oddly, even American professionals, and executives in leadership positions, continue to be satisfied with becoming, and remaining, in effect, "techs". Four years of college or university training. Seven years. Eight years. More. We are not "well-educated" in a traditional or historical sense.

If you don't regularly read this blog--we have a small but steady non-wanker following--here's a suggestion. Before reading further, skim "Thinking Warriors " and "Ernest, the French Aren't Like You and Me". If these posts make you angry, cause a tizzy, give you a headache, or make you pull a hamstring, just try another blog.

Put another way, Americans, the Alpha-humans, the elect and the "winners" in modern world history, are not well-rounded in our knowledge of the world, its people, and how we all got to this point on earth. Browse the American blogs of the Internet for a few hours. Mostly bad neighborhoods--and getting worse and dumber every month. We are insular and at best (being charitable here) semi-literate as a people. We are uninformed about the history, political roots, ideas and art of the West.

Sure, our schools and universities are called "the envy of the world"--and it's all a crock. We are delusional about our true educational achievement for the rank-and-file. We're a pretty dumb lot--and that includes the vast majority of our white collars and execs. The Net, ironically to some, has only made the situation worse; it imparts the idea that everyone (1) has great value and (2) has something very valuable to share. Neither is true. Neither has ever been true.

In short, very few people seem to know what they are thinking and talking about. But that's not important to most of us. We are 300 million "talkers" and know-it-alls, most of whom have four (4) die-hard hobbies: 1. Sitting, 2. Eating, 3. Watching Bad Television, and 4. A Relentless And Seemingly Eternal National Wankfest: Hanging Out With And Talking To The Same People Over And Over Again. Most of us never travel further than Lake Erie. It shows.

The result: not knowing very much, thinking we know everything, having a limited frame of reference about the World--and 80% of us are now Big Enough To Have Our Own Zip Codes.

The future? Well, it's not looking too good. Consider our human resources.

Some view the 18-35 generation as already broken down, and functionally retarded, with lots more budding failures coming up behind them flying the giddy colors of Sloth and McLife. The pattern mentioned above--in which American students at all levels are given poor grounding in global, cultural and historical "basics"--is even worse for these kids. We have dumbed them down silly.

Our short-term solution for younger adults? We've told them all along that they are "just fine". But they are not fine. They are a bust and--please don't lie to yourselves, your customers, co-workers or shareholders--they are dangerous to have in places of work where quality problem-solving is the main daily event. Or on any terrain where you cannot have a "bad day". Mostly drains and bad investments. Our firm will no longer hire them without probation periods--and very tough ones (which can still be a lot of fun for everyone). Nothing less is fair to our clients and co-workers.

Can Americans change any of this? Sure. If we could just learn some things, and put education before jobs, we would astonish and charm the entire world. We would produce better people. We'd have better employees. (Partners across the country again would be able to invite associates to lunch with clients who can read.)

Art, literature, the humanities, world history and political theory aren't just for the rich, the elite or the intellectual. They are the best part of all of us; they can inform, stir and improve every moment.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Milan Kundera: On Older Women.

An older woman is a jewel in the life of a man.

--Milan Kundera (1929- ) in "Immortality", 1990

immortality.jpg

One critic: The book will make you "maybe even a better lover".

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 05, 2022

Lawyering: A Backstage Pass to the World.

The Strip, Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood. As the fictional movie character John Milton said, law done right is a "backstage pass to the world." We've a client doing good things in Africa with an office here. How many lawyers have a practice with client meetings two blocks from the Viper Room and The Whiskey? Probably quite a few. But I grew up in the Midwest--where TGIF restaurants are considered to be pretty wild, and it's eccentric to wear a trench coat and tasseled loafers on the same day. So this kind of meeting venue may be my notion of gratitude.

viper-room-profile.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 04, 2022

GOML #130: Interview of Joe Biggs Defense Counsel Dan Hull on J6 1-Year Anniversary Show

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 03, 2022

The Real Paris

mlw_0001_0002_0_img0078.jpg

In this illustration from the 1400s of an important Greek myth , Paris, the Trojan prince, judges a beauty contest. The goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite compete for a golden apple.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk). Permalink | Comments (0)

Lucien Carr: Beat icon, pro, original, excitable boy.

I met Beat badboy legend Lucien Carr once and briefly when he was working in DC for one of the wire services. Way talented, charming guy. And serious American history icon. Everyone even a little hip should know about his story. Carr’s on the right below. Google him or research him properly, however you learn stuff. That’s Memory Babe Kerouac on your left.


9ED927B9-BF98-4FFB-9663-579F873E8CFD.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 02, 2022

Rasputin.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (1869-1916).

Wanderer. Holy Man. Mystic. Drunk.

Insider. Healer. Player. Stud.

4B18046A-4362-4F50-9FF2-34B06580AB6E.jpeg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Best of Partner Emeritus: Is Above the Law's Partner Emeritus "real"?

Ricks 3.jpg

[Y]ou can continue to discredit or dismiss me as a character. I guarantee you one thing. If you work for a peer firm, you will encounter me or someone very much like me. Either way, you cannot avoid the essence of my character if you aspire to succeed at a peer firm. I or some form of my embodiment will exist to make your existence as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it can be.

-- Partner Emeritus, New York City, September 3, 2009

So what's the answer?

My take from reading scores of his comments to Above the Law posts since 2009 is that wonderfully elitist satirist, humorist, legal commenter Quality Guardian and faux lawyerness self-esteem killer Partner Emeritus (sometimes hereinafter "PE")--except for his nom de plume--is completely real. Note that he generally reserves his aim and fury to those he considers to be the legal profession's law cattle. He rarely takes a shot at anyone discussed in ATL, or published in ATL as a columnist, if that human appears to have substance, chops, solid ideas, real experience, pedigree and in some cases writing ability, e.g., well-respected and accomplished litigator Mark Hermann, former Cleveland-based (mother ship) Jones Day partner, author of a very fine book on lawyering and currently GC to a real company.

For today's teaching, edition no. 4 of our series The Best of Partner Emeritus, please go to "Partner Emeritus, Meet Biff–You Could Learn Something" by ATL editor Elie Mystal six years ago. I like Elie and, unlike PE, I like most of his writing--Elie's interesting, and at times astoundingly creative. His relatively short article of September 3, 2009 was itself was creditable and evenhanded. And while PE didn't agree with it, he didn't seem to have that much of a problem with it. Elie's article that day was not an example of what PE does not like and is brutally honest about in his criticisms, to wit: (a) a navel-gazing, condescendingly insulting or plain crap column by a representative of the law cattle world, (b) a writing by a dink poseur with no or questionable legal experience and/or credentials who compensates by mentioning the classics and their authors, (c) a writing by a struggling legal tech salesman, (d) a writing by an angry, passive aggressive "mommy lawyer" who advocates special treatment for women and other lawyers of the non-workaholic persuasion, (e) a writing by a marginal lawyer and/or straight-up fraud who steals ideas, style and even tone from seasoned writers or who purports to understand all manners of otherness, Eastern/Western culture, thought and spirituality, and who pitch this nonsense to other poorly educated, unread, untraveled, insecure, marginal lawyers, (f) a writing by a woman called Smokestack Lightning from Memphis, and (g) a writing any one named Biff from Prichard, Alabama or thereabouts.

But the PE's comments to the Mystal piece give you a good idea of what PE is about and not about. So read the main article, get some context and listen up, Campers:

This comment is addressed to post no. 54 [who theorized PE was a fake]. Rest assured, I am not a character. Mr. Mystal has seen my ip address and he can confirm I am the real deal. Even he would not be so harebrained to address a fictional character.

Several of you cretins have tried to ascertain my identity by going to Rick's Cabaret and pester the bouncer with questions such as "who is partner emeritus?" or "what time does partner emeritus get here?" Do you realize how foolish you look asking these puerile questions? I value my anonymity since my comments on this site may be assailed by some of the junior partners at the firm that want to retire me involuntarily. As a lawyer with an impeccable legacy, I will decide when I am good and ready to leave the firm on my own terms.

Regardless, you can continue to discredit or dismiss me as a character. I guarantee you one thing. If you work for a peer firm, you will encounter me or someone very much like me. Either way, you cannot avoid the essence of my character if you aspire to succeed at a peer firm. I or some form of my embodiment will exist to make your existence as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it can be. Welcome to the legal profession you self-entitled nimrods have created.

And this one to the same article, this time on the difference between peer and non-peer firms which, in context, is, well, just King-Hell funny:

Mr. Mystal, if I were managing a firm in Timbutku or some swampland region in Florida and I employed members of my family or tribe, of course I would do my best to keep them happy. After all, blood is thicker than water. I would like to think that even you would know the difference between a peer and a non-peer firm. A peer firm does not recruit at [PE's expletive deleted] or any law school in [expletive deleted], unless it is for a satelite office. Did you ever ask yourself when was the last time Biff gave his staff/associates a raise? I have nothing to learn from someone named "Biff" or someone that dons a toupe and a tacky button down collared shirt. I will remain a staunch and ardent proponent of the hybrid tough love model. And, how dare you sully the memory of the great Ronald Reagan? The 80's was the best decade of my life. A great time to be a lawyer. Under Obama, being a young lawyer means leading a spartan existence, filled with penury and shame. Mr. Mystal, I frown on your attempt to one up me with a non-peer attorney from the South named Biff.

That is all.

What say you, Campers?

Partner Emeritus.jpeg
Law as an honor, privilege and backstage pass to the World.

Originally posted August 8, 2015

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Rule 3: Make Sure Everyone Knows the Client is the Main Event.

Rule 3 of our astonishing 12 Rules of Client Service was written in December of 2005. It's simple to understand--but hard to enforce. Rule 3 is about your colleagues and co-workers at work. Everyone needs to buy into a customer-centric culture where you work. Everyone. Clients and customers are more important than you, partners, employees and even the firm itself. There is nothing without buyers of your services and products.

gargoyle-notre_dame.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Real Women: Elizabeth McGovern.

Elizabeth_McGovern_2012.jpg

Elizabeth McGovern in 2012.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

August 01, 2022

Hot with increasing existential dread by Monday.

Dog days.jpg

Global warming-driven or not, now is the always-hot weather period between July 1 and August 15 that early Greeks and Romans roughly 25 centuries ago named after the Dog Star, or Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens. Be reminded, however, that the "dog days of summer" coming early this year isn't just about the heat. You feeling okay there, Jack? If you are uncomfortable due to the heat and humidity alone, no problem. It does look like Al Gore was right about something.

But if you are walking around your town or city not only sweltering but also confused, overly-emotional, a bit paranoid and perhaps seeing mythical animals, penguins, weasels or other fauna you know for a fact are not real or certainly not native or known to survive in Metro Detroit--and finally you are not too much of a whack-job or flake to begin with--you may do well to head for a short summer respite at a local looney bin or garden-variety detox. Three or four days may be all you need. There are also some highly-recommended, reputation-saving out-patient programs where you can meet not only men and women for dating purposes but also a healthy chunk of the city's Irish big law partners who would much rather try six-week breach of contract and UCC Article 2 cases than spend time learning the names of their own children back in Swampoodle.

Indeed, dog days are not just about crazy hot summers. They are in league with Chaos Itself: "the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics and phrensies". See (above) Brady's Clavis Calendarium, 1813.

Woof, y'all.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

July 31, 2022

Encore: What would this old German-American farmer say?

28047354_121548243946 (1).jpg

To us, in our lapsed estate, resting, not advancing, resisting, not cooperating with the divine expansion, this growth comes by shocks. We cannot part with our friends. We cannot let our angels go. We do not see that they only go out that archangels may come in.

We are idolaters of the Old. We do not believe in the riches of the soul, in its proper eternity and omnipresence. We do not believe there is any force in to-day to rival or recreate that beautiful yesterday. We linger in the ruins of the old tent.

--R. E. Emerson (1803-1882), Essays, First Series, "Compensation" (1841)


Middlebrook, Augusta County, VA (near Charlottesville ). Population about 250. In my tribe you can live a long life if you don't drink too much or work at the wrong jobs. Working near here this week here I detoured to visit this grave, and this time found it without difficulty. This Daniel Hull (1768-1854) was my great-grandfather's great-grandfather, then a first generation German in the U.S. There is no picture of him; photographs were, however, taken of his children and all the next generations. I know some but not enough (85 years, what wonderful stories will never be told...) about this fellow, a farmer who was the last of my line to die in Virginia, shortly after the family changed the spelling from Hohl to the more English-like Hull. His son, also a Daniel, moved to the Ozarks where every one of these John Daniel Hull creatures afterwards were born since save me. I just know I owe him and need to promise him that every generation gets better as life in America becomes easier. Are we doing that? Is that happening? Or do we armor ourselves with conformity and settle for ordinary, even though we know it's not enough? Or, as Emerson would ask, are we happy to be "idolaters of the Old." What would this old German-American farmer say?

Original: April 14, 2015

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Blaise Pascal: Time and Brevity.

I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.

― Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), The Provincial Letters, Letter 16, 1657

6474C51F-5E7C-4A67-9770-2861BC7A3304.jpeg
By François II Quesnel for Gérard Edelinck, 1691

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

July 30, 2022

Blind Willie McTell: Statesboro Blues.

Woke up this morning,
We had them Statesboro blues.
I looked over in the corner,
Grandma and Grandpa had 'em too.

--Blind Willie McTell

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)