November 22, 2017

America needs to get out more.

1. Alpha men get cocky, act out and overreach.

2. Bullying is unfortunate but natural.

3. Pols hustle for votes. All pols. Everywhere. Any vote will do.

4. People make up stories and lie for strategic advantage. All the time. We lie.

5. All-important aggressive humans do questionable things.

6. Few acts have one motive. Two, three, four or more reasons—good and bad—for doing anything.

7. Most of us? We’re “moral” and “good” and helpful when it’s convenient—and rarely any other time. It’s way easier and more convenient for the educated, wealthy and well-heeled to be moral, good & helpful.

8. Older men have sought younger women for thousands of years. Legal or not, it’s a strong instinct. Get used to it, Humans. It will happen again & again & again.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 21, 2017

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963)

Tomorrow, November 22, marks the 54th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination in downtown Dallas, Texas. He was 46 years old. If Kennedy had lived, and were alive today, he would be 100--not a completely inconceivable age for him to have attained given the longevity of some on his mother Rose's side. Below is my favorite photograph of him, likely taken in late 1942. He’d have been 25.


900675A049E446A3B6CFF634D90854DD.jpg

A stick in me hand and a tear in me eye
A doleful damsel I heard cry,
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

--from "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye", a popular Irish anti-war song written in early 1800s.


Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Way to go, Ohio’s Chrissie Hynde.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders turned 66 this year. She lives mainly in London now. Like me, she went to a truly great public high school in the Ohio suburbs, hers being up north in the more industrial Cleveland-Akron megalopolis. I like Ohio. I was lucky to spend half my childhood there. But whenever Hynde and The Pretenders over the past 30 years have performed this song--to be fair, it could be about quite a few Midwestern cities--her voice drips with anger, and you know what she means. It's powerful. Here's one of her tamer renditions.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Thanksgiving, Nantucket, Princeton & Duke: Mystery School of the Handwritten Thank-You Note.

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

If you went to Duke, folks will re-float the vile and completely untrue story that Duke exists only because Princeton had too much honor and class to accept Buck Duke's filthy tobacco money and re-name Princeton Duke.


In case your Governess never told you, you're from Utah, or you were stoned all nine years at Andover, 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 some lawyers with the highest standards taste (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 or "linked-to" on the Internet? However, "electronic thank-yous" by e-mails to express thanks for links, comments or mentions in posts or articles on the Internet--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 2017: The Post-Election Mood of the Midwest"--are totally okay.

Short, sweet, and press "send".

Blogging about you or your ideas is, of course, very nice--but it's not like they bought you dinner, or invited you up to Newport for the weekend. Besides, you'll always miss a few kudos thrown at you in the digital ether.

But what if you are trashed in the ether? A "reverse" thank-you? Sure, you may be insulted, purposely mis-paraphrased, misinterpreted, or just inadvertently misquoted. It happens. Remember, some bloggers and pseudo-journalists are (1) angry, (2) disorganized, or (3) essentially unemployed. And there are often good reasons for all three. Three approaches:

First, ignore them. Who cares? You are busy.

Second, if you are dissed or insulted in cyberspace, and you are in the right mood, respond smartly with: "Wendell, Dude, if I were you--or someone remotely like you--I would not like me either."

Third, study the techniques of our friend Scott Greenfield, a full-time trial lawyer and widely-read blogger who manages to juggle, keep at bay and often humiliate legions of aggressive and often anonymous fire-breathing "experts" without breaking a sweat.

Anyway, let's get back to manners. If you don't regularly thank people for links or mentions of you or your firm's blog or website, you are fouling your own nest.

Not thanking people in the blogosphere is (1) arrogant and (2) dumb. It adds to the notion that (3) bloggers are insular, passive-aggressive lightweights lacking in people skills.

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 18, 2017

Thinking on Your Own: The Holy Surprise of a Child's First Look.

He was a loner with an intimate bond to humanity, a rebel who was suffused with reverence. An imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the universe, the locksmith of mysteries of the atom and the universe.

--Walter Issacson, in Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon & Schuster, 2007)


Children come with Imagination. It's standard issue.

--Holden Oliver in 2009

tumblr_lj1jxdhkzc1qe6pjoo1_4001.jpg
"E" at the beach: Another fresh take.

Try this at home and work: The Holy Surprise of a Child's First Look. Forget for a moment, if you can, about Clients and Paris. This blog is at heart about Quality, Old Verities, and Values--the things no business, government, non-profit group, religion, politician or leader (a) wants to give you or (b) can give you. No, not even family and friends can. You have to find them on your own. Work and Service, whether you are paid for them or not, are inseparable from these things.

At the blog, at our firm, and in our lives, we seek--in the largest sense--serious overachievers, and aficionados of life, past and present: identifying them, learning from them, having them as friends, hiring them and above all, never holding them back. It is often hard to find these people--or even to remember that they once existed. We do, after all, live in a cookie-cutter world. Originality, intuition, authentic spirituality, and even taste are not valued--these traits are often feared and attacked--in most of the West. This is especially true in America, where we continue to be geographically, culturally and (some think) cosmically isolated. The United States, despite its successes, high standard of living and exciting possibilities, has become world headquarters of both moral pretension and dumbing life down. Besides, fresh thinking leads to painful recognitions. It's easier to let something else do the thinking for us.

"Fragmentation" is a word some people (including those with better credentials than the undersigned to write this) have used for decades to describe modern humans all over the world: lots of wonderful, intricate and even elegant pieces--but no whole. So, in our search for coherence, we look for clues. We look to television, advertising, and malls. To work, and to professional organizations. To secondary schools, universities, and any number of religions (none of the latter seem "special"--they say identical intuitive and common sense good things, but just say them differently), and to an array of other well-meaning institutions. In fairness, all of these have their moments (hey, we all like our insular clubs).

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 17, 2017

The 7 Habits of Highly Clueless Lawyers.

Return of EFGB and the Seven Habits. Lawyers who won't take a stand is a time-honored tradition. Ernie from Glen Burnie, a life-long friend of mine, is not such a creature. It's just his nature. He'll stand up for people who pay him--and people he just met on the subway. You can read Ernie's story. It's about an old parchment he claims was discovered in Alexandria, Virginia, around the same time we both began practicing law in the District. Do see "The Seven Habits of Highly Useless Corporate Lawyers". This is a true story, mostly. So listen up.

jack-kerouac-y-neal-cassady.jpg

Stand-Up Guys: Ernie, a dead-ringer for 1950s icon Neal Cassady, and the author, during their pre-lawyer years in Washington, D.C.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 16, 2017

Larry Flynt: Voting.

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. You can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.

--Larry Flynt (b. 1942)

larry_flynt_the_people_vs_larry_flynt_1996_portrait_w858 (1).jpg
(Columbia Pictures)

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 15, 2017

One Night/One Person. Helping the Winter Homeless. But Keeping It Simple.

Some of you are familiar with One Night, One Person, the program to help homeless outdoor sleepers on the 30 or so coldest nights a year when hypothermia thresholds are exceeded in certain American and European cities. This is year 4 of One Night, One Person. Cleveland lawyer Peter Friedman and I started it in the winter of 2014-2015. It's really simple. Bear with me a moment.

In short, it's a keep-people-alive initiative for the coldest nights.

As an (a) Eagle Scout, (b) Lifelong Camper and (c) All-Weather Philanderer, I assure you that sleeping in cold or the snow is not all that fun. At times, it's not even a choice. Jack London and Hans Christian Andersen wrote enduring stories about death from hypothermia. Happens above freezing temps, too. So consider more than ever (and right now) One Night, One Person. Instructions below.

You're a Yuppie, professional or other generic dweeb between the ages of 22 and 82. You live in towns like New York City, Philly, Boston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Wilmington, DC or Chicago. You may live in the suburbs or in a downtown neighborhood of these cities. But if you work during the day in a downtown area of any of them, you and yours will go forth and do this:

1. Pick out and ask a homeless woman or man what articles of warm clothing she or he needs that you already have at home or in storage--thermal gloves, wool scarfs, warm hats and beanies, big sweaters, winter coats, thermal underwear, socks, etc.

2. Ask just one person at a time.

3. Agree on a time to meet (preferably at the same place) later that day or the next day.

4. Find the winter stuff you have at home or in storage.

5. Bring said stuff to the homeless woman or man as agreed.

6. Nine out of ten times, your new friend will be there when you show up.

7. Wait for forecasts of the next super-cold night--and repeat.

cardoza-homeless.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 14, 2017

The Annoying but Highly Correct, Accurate & Way-Soulful 12 Rules of Client Service.

...are right here. Revel in their Wisdom. Ignore them at your Peril. Teach them to The Help.

gargoyle-gargoile-demon-notre-dame-cathedral-paris.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 13, 2017

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1878: Return from the Harvest.

return-from-the-harvest.jpg
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, c.1878, Cummer Museum, Jacksonville.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 12, 2017

William Beard Hull (1837-1929), C.S.A.

William Beard Hull (1837-1929). Born Augusta County, Virginia. In 1858, as oldest son, Bill, 21, on saddle horse served as his family's scout to move his parents Dan and "Mae" and his six brothers and sisters to Kansas. They were not super-rich but from strain of the Hull family of German Lutheran farmers who had been settled in Middlebrook, Virginia since 1750. They freed the three slaves they owned before the trip west. They took two wagons, including a special "contraption" built by Dan, and driven by one of their servants from Middlebrook. Although they were headed to Kansas, they liked what is now Mountain Grove, Missouri. They stayed there. In 1861 Bill went back to Virginia to fight for the Confederacy, and he ended the war with the Missouri 10th Infantry, or Steen's Regiment. He died at 91 in Oklahoma at a Confederate Soldiers home. He must have seen amazing things and changes in the American South. He married. He had at six kids, including my great-grandfather, John Daniel Hull I.

30933406_122712785525.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Disraeli on Books.

Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense.

--Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

disraeli.jpg
"Dizzy"

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 11, 2017

Cold Again in Yuppie Land: Consider "1 Night, 1 Person."

cardoza-homeless.jpg

You say you would really like to help the urban homeless on both cold and super-cold Northeastern and Midwestern nights? Both plain cold and the bitterly cold, often unpredictable nights that many cities are prepared to accommodate more homeless residents at shelters but for a number of reasons (both good and bad) thousands of Americas's rough sleepers take their chances outside?

Good. So see our inaugural post about our One Night, Person (March 5, 2015) campaign and our follow-up March 7, 2015 post. No, we don't have time to go over all of this again; we're working stiffs like you. Just read the posts.

In short, here is the idea and rules:

You're a Yuppie, professional or other generic dweeb between the ages of 22 and 82.

You live in towns like New York City, Philly, Boston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Wilmington, DC or Chicago.

You may live in the suburbs or in a downtown neighborhood of these cities. But if you work during the day in a downtown area of any of them, you and yours will go forth and do this:

1. Pick out and ask a homeless woman or man what articles of warm clothing she or he needs that you already have at home or in storage--thermal gloves, wool scarfs, warm hats and beanies, big sweaters, winter coats, thermal underwear, socks, etc.

2. Ask just one person at a time.

3. Agree on a time to meet (preferably at the same place) later that day or the next day.

4. Find the iwinter stuff you have at home or in storage.

5. Bring said stuff to the homeless woman or man as agreed.

6. Nine out of ten times, your new friend will be there when you show up.

7. Wait for forecasts of the next super-cold night--and repeat.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

This is Poppies Day. A day for Europe & North America. This is who we really are.

John_McCrae_leaning_against_a_sundial (1).jpg
McCrae in 1912

This year, America's Veterans Day, traditionally November 11, will be observed on Friday, the 10th. In the United Kingdom it will still be observed on Saturday the 11th.

In America the day honors all U.S. military veterans. However, it was originally only a day set aside by the participating combatant countries to honor the dead of World War I, or The Great War, and to celebrate the Armistice with Germany which had commenced November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am. As Remembrance Day, also called Poppy Day, the Commonwealth nations today still honor military veterans who died in the line of duty.

The name Poppy Day, and the holiday's moving symbolism you see in British homes and streets today and on Remembrance Sunday (always the preceding Sunday to the 11th) derive solely from a famous three-stanza poem by Lt. John Alexander McCrae, a Canadian soldier and physician, believed to be written on May 3, 1915. Early in the war, and in his forties, McCrae served as a front-line surgeon, including in the Second Battle of Ypres (April 21-May 25, 1915).

The poem first appeared in Punch in December of 1915, while McCrae was still alive. In early 1918, he died of pneumonia while still commanding a Canadian military hospital in northern France.


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

--John Alexander McCrae (1872–1918) Poet, physician, Lieutenant Colonel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.


Poppy2004.JPG

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 10, 2017

Henry Miller's Heir.

Half the people you meet live from one day to the next in a state of such fear and uncertainty that about half the time they doubt their own sanity. Their boats are rocking so badly that all they want to do is get level long enough to think straight and avoid the next nightmare.

--HST, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

Hunter-Thompson-Rum-diary.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 09, 2017

Best of Partner Emeritus No. 5. PE Does 'Nam, Cassandra, others (Part II)

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

Faithful Above The Law readers know that a 1967 polo injury two weeks before his deployment to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia sidelined Partner Emeritus, later a celebrated patrician New York City law partner, and now revered Dean of the ATL Commentariat, for the entire Vietnam War. This deprived America not only of hundreds more enemy kills during the war's escalation years also of an early and victorious end to the war. "My endgame would have been to round up all the hippie stoners and opium addicts in the States and parachuted them into Vietcong territory," he recently explained. "I would have used the MK Ultra Program to convince the paratroopers that the Vietcong had stolen their drugs and that the opium fields would be their prize for killing every last member of Charlie." Like every great jungle fighter, major corporate exec and bet-the-company trial lawyer, and every generation of males in my own family in America since 1634, Partner Emeritus took the setback in stride and, in a word, improvised.

Here is a bit of military trivia for you. During the early part of the Vietnam War, I used to go to Fort Totten and Fort Hamilton when families and girlfriends were seeing off their "boys" getting shipped to 'Nam. I befriended many young nubile women under the guise that I was a returning veteran who just finished a tour in 'Nam. I almost feel ashamed to admit that I seduced many of these women. It was really easy, especially when I would tell them that the average American G.I. fornicated with diseased Vietnamese whores 3 or 4 times a week.

During an intimate interlude, "Cassandra" received a phone call from her G.I. boyfriend named John, who was on R&R in Singapore. She proceeded to have a conversation with John as she performed fellatio on me. Unfortunately, I could not discipline myself during climax and I exulted loudly in ecstasy. Well John heard me and angrily demanded an explanation. "Cassie" told John that her girlfriend "Jody" was visiting her and she was moaning over menstrual cramps.

A few years later, I discovered that I was immortalized in military folklore when drill instructors warn recruits that while they are suffering in boot camp, their girlfriends back home are being taken care of "Jody."


Ain't no sense in goin' home, Jody's got your girl and gone. Ain't no sense in feeling blue, Jody's got her sister, too.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Is “lawyer professionalism” just a lawyer-centric dodge & ruse?

Reprinted from a 2005 "Law Week edition" of The San Diego Daily Transcript, here's "Professionalism Revisited: What About The Client?", written by one of our spunkier U.S. trial lawyers. Note that the piece ends with "rules of professionalism"--but from the client's perspective. Excerpts from Rules 1, 5 and 6:

1. We come first. Be nice--but if in doubt, use the rules. If you feel you know the lawyers you are dealing with, we will follow your advice and instincts. If you are in doubt about the lawyers, or if it might compromise us to deviate from the formal procedural rules, please stay close to those rules.

5. If you have, or would like to have, a personal relationship with opposing counsel, that's fine, but don't let the relationship hurt us--the client. We don't care as much as you do about your maintaining or developing collegiality with other lawyers in your jurisdiction; in fact, we could not care less.

6. If opposing counsel shows animosity toward you for following the procedural rules and keeping things moving, that is tough. This is not about the lawyers. We hired you to represent us. We would like you to get this done. Again, as your client, we seldom think that aggression and persistence are "unprofessional".

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 08, 2017

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?

Lawyers used to lead. Will that ever happen again?

(Image above: Family Guy Wiki)

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Ray Davies: A Nod to Old Blighty.


Ray Davies cries "Victoria", Glastonbury 2010

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 07, 2017

39 More Things Long-Divorced American Male Lawyers Know.

french woman.jpg

No.s 1-39 are here.


40. When in Rome, do as many Romans as you can. ~ Hugh Grant, Brit actor

41. Always attribute--especially when you think no one will notice. They do.

42. When they notice, they might call me.

43. Don't let people tell you who you are.

44. The Internet teems with folks telling you what you must do/think/say/write. Get off your knees.

45. Always talk to jurors post-verdict.

46. One juror will always surprise you big time. Learn who that is before you close.

47. Don't communicate in any manner ever with that one female juror who seemed to like you a lot.

48. Women are meaner, more vindictive and more treacherous than men.

49. The dumbest woman is 100 times more complex than the smartest man.

50. Most men are easy to suss. Not much going on with most of them.

51. Rule 36, Fed.R.Civ.P., my friend.

52. Rule 56(d) is misunderstood.

53. Civil RICO is an unintended consequence.

54. Seldom watch television.

55. Dads don't get a pass for merely siring. So what?

56. All moms suffer.

57. Your mom is your best friend.

58. Buenos Aires has the best-looking people on this planet.

59. Lovemaking probably cannot be learned.

60. Love can be learned.

61. There are no lapsed or recovering Catholics. This is not bad.

62. Jewish women rarely have great legs.

63. Japanese woman have the best legs.

AAA Gargoles.jpg

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Mannish Boys and Backdoor Men.

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

November 06, 2017

Pete Hamill: The ‘50s. NYC. The Neighborhood.

The Eisenhower era bragged of the good life for all, a time of abundance and prosperity, but it didn’t touch the Neighborhood. The prosperous were gone to the suburbs; among those who stayed, money was still short. Everywhere in the city, factories were closing.

- Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life, 1994

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 05, 2017

American Pantheon: Annabeth Gish.

gish18.jpg

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

November 04, 2017

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)

November 03, 2017

Karl Llewellyn.

Llewellyn.jpg
Karl Nickerson Llewellyn

You expect me to tell you that you should be earnest about your work, and get your back into it for dear old Siwash, and that he who lets work slide will stumble by the way.

The above of course is from the opening chapter of the The Bramble Bush: On Our Law and Its Study (1931), which sprung from a series of introductory lectures Karl Llewellyn (1893–1962) gave to first-year law students during the 1929-30 academic year, when he was appointed the first Betts Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia. The book's title is from a poem "The Bramble Bush" by Robert Penn Warren, excerpted here:

There was a man in our town
and he was wondrous wise:
he jumped into a bramble bush
and scratched out both his eyes--

and when he found that he was blind,
with all his might and maine,
He jumped into another one,
and scratched them in again.

0195368452.jpg

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

Aways Tell Clients What They Can Do, Too.

I find myself doing it more than I would like--especially with clients with newer businesses or in emerging industries. I've just laid out some legal or regulatory infrastructure that, to them, throw up roadblocks to their plans. And I do this especially on the phone. I hear myself saying "no". Point and note to self: When you talk to clients, protect them. Make them safe. And be strong on those "no" points. But tell them what they can do, too. Make it part of every conversation.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 02, 2017

H.G. Wells: On Editors.

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.

--H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

1101260920_400.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

November 01, 2017

American Pantheon: Mary Harris Jones.

Put aside your party line, your ideology and anything else you use to avoid thinking on your own. School teacher, seamstress, businesswoman, community organizer, Chicago girl and Ireland-born, Mary Harris "Mother Jones" (1837-1930) had big ones. What a resume, most of it from after she turned 50.

Mother_Jones_02.jpg
Denounced on the U.S. Senate floor as the "grandmother of all agitators."

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Perfectionism: The Horror. The Horror.

Clients pay for excellent--not for perfect. Excellent is way harder.

Clients 99.5% of the time are not paying you to be perfect. Clients don't want perfect. In the rare instances they do want perfect, they will let you know. So clients want excellent. Be excellent, not perfect. Got it? See, e.g., Rule 10: Be Accurate, Thorough and Timely--But Not Perfect of our repetitive and irritating but life-changing 12 Rules of Client Service.

aaaheart-darkness-joseph-conrad-paperback-cover-art_1254.jpg
The Horror. The Horror.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

October 31, 2017

Catholics & Druids: The 3 days of AllHallowtide starts today, October 31.

Allhallowtide is a Western three-day observance (or triduum, a word I learned today) between October 31 and November 2 when we remember and honor the dead. The days are All Saints Eve (Halloween) on October 31, All Saints' Day (All Hallows') on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2. Although a tradition associated with Christianity for the past 1000 years, Allohallowtide is hardly recognized outside the Catholic church, and even Catholicism seems to have increased its distance over the centuries. The observance, especially the first day of Halloween, a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening", seems to have deep pagan roots, with many of its celebration traditions like those of Celtic harvest festivals. Culturally, however, it's still a big deal with most Westerners, especially their kids. Little kids. Big kids. Those celebrating that first day of Allohallowtide seem to get older every year.

Snap-Apple_Night_globalphilosophy.PNG

"Snap-Apple Night", Daniel Maclise, 1833. It was inspired by a Halloween party Maclise attended in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

Thank you for free verse, young Arthur Rimbaud.

A Season In Hell.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

October 30, 2017

Get used to it: Lawyers aren't Royalty.

It's not about the lawyers anymore. No one cares you're a lawyer. Not impressive. A big so-what. In America, they made it easy to become a lawyer. Some day, everyone, including your waitress in Richmond, Kentucky, will be a lawyer. So get a head start on those you can. Distinguish yourself by serving clients. And get higher standards.

See Rule 9: Be There For Clients--24/7 from our Mr. Rogers-like but deadly serious 12 Rules.

waitress.jpg

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

October 29, 2017

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)

Bohemian Paris 1840s: The Downwardly Mobile Arts.

At once playful and dead-serious, Paris is "the city where artists love and starve together, shock the bourgeoisie, then die tragically young." Visit Girls' Guide to Paris and read Cynthia Rose's "Arthur Rimbaud: The Poet as Pop Star."

rimbaud.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

October 28, 2017

Père Lachaise: Parisian City of the Dead.

Laid out like a modern grid-form metropolis, Père Lachaise has the feel of a town--truly, a city of the dead--with tidy paved and cobbled "streets," complete with cast-iron signposts.

--Alistair Horne, in Seven Ages of Paris (Alfred A. Knopf 2002)

Pere_Lachaise_looking_down_the_hill.jpg
Père Lachaise Cemetery, 20th arrondissement.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

October 27, 2017

American Pantheon: Parker Posey.

They're picking up prisoners--and putting them in a pen. All she wants to do is dance.

--Danny Kortchmar/WB Music Corp. ASCAP (1984)


parker_posey (1).jpg

Get "Party Girl" (1995) and watch her dance in the last scene. Add Ms. Posey to our Roman Pantheon.

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Pat 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.

I guess that we thought we had a little more time.

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


Daniel_Patrick_Moynihan,_speaking_behind_microphones (1).jpg

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

October 26, 2017

Storytelling: “Don't tell me the moon is shining...”

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)

October 25, 2017

Edward I, the Scots and the Stone of Scone.

Apud Monasterium de Scone positus est lapis pergrandis in ecclesia Dei, juxta manum altare, concavus quidam ad modum rotundae cathedreaie confectus, in quo future reges loco quasi coronatis.

--14th century English cleric Walter Hemingford

An oblong block of red sandstone known as The Stone of Scone (or Scottish coronation stone) was already ancient and storied when Edward I "captured" it" in 1296 as a spoils of war. Edward took it to Westminster Abbey. There it was fitted into a wooden chair, known as King Edward's Chair. Most subsequent English sovereigns have been crowned on it.

The combative and opinionated Edward, who spent much of his reign taming and subjugating the Scots, and hated them, once referred to the Stone as "a turd".

Seven hundred years after Edward lifted the Stone from the Scots, on July 3, 1996, the British House of Commons finally ordered that the Stone would be returned. It was handed over to Scotland in November of that year at the England-Scotland border and taken to Edinburgh Castle. It will remain in Scotland except for future coronations at Westminster Abbey in London.

ib56corch1.jpg

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

October 24, 2017

Charlotte Rampling. Still smoldering in three languages.

charlotte_rampling.jpg


AaGreat gifts, persistence and drive are hard to beat. If you don't know who Charlotte Rampling is, do find out.

Ah, Charlotte. You made up for many of the rest of us.

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

Sensitive Litigation Moment No. 113: Crystal, the Missing Notary.

oui__my_love____by_TrixyPixie (1).jpg
Crystal, blowing off work again--and just when you need her.

Not exciting. Just useful. In October of 1976, Congress passed a barely-noticed housekeeping addition to Title 28, the wide-ranging tome inside the U.S. Code governing federal courts, the Justice Department, jurisdiction, venue, procedure and, ultimately, virtually all types of evidence. 28 U.S.C. Section 1746 is curiously entitled "Unsworn declarations under penalty of per­jury".

It allows a federal court affiant or witness to prepare and execute a "declaration"--in lieu of a conventional affidavit--and do that without appearing before a notary. Under Section 1746, the declaration has the same force and effect of a notarized affidavit. Read the 160 word provision--but in most cases it's simple. At a minimum, the witness at the conclusion of her statement needs to do this:

"I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”.

A "unsworn" declaration with the oath required by section 1746 can be used almost any time you need an affidavit, e.g., an affidavit supporting (or opposing) a summary judgment motion.

Continue reading...

Posted by JD Hull. Permalink | Comments (0)

Make Yours Moxie.

MoxieBoy.gif

Your business, your rules. Get off your knees. Demand things of yourself--and of others. (1) What did you do this past week? (2) What did your employees do for you this week? (3) What did you all do for customers and clients?

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