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May 09, 2010

The man who found proof of lame lawyer habits.


Stand-Up Guys: Ernie (left), a dead-ringer for 1950s icon Neal Cassady, and WAP, during their pre-lawyer Beat years at Nathan's, a D.C. saloon for older players until July of 2009. Washington Examiner called on Nathans "a well-stocked, man’s bar, though the men brought lovely women."

Sir Ernie of Glen Burnie. Lawyers who won't take a stand is a time-honored tradition. Our hero, Ernie from Glen Burnie, who is not such a lawyer, is a life-long friend. He'll stand up for people who pay him--and people he just met on the subway.

It's his nature.

He stands up.

Ernie's "available" and "comes to play". He will tell you what he thinks. He will act. He is a trial lawyer with business sense.

Ernie played football for one of the Ivies. He thinks in terms of both collaboration and getting things done. He's smart but friendly. Guys' guy. Ladies' man. Lawyer's lawyer. Renaissance Human. Charmer. Playful rogue. A reveler in words.

He's a partner in a well-known DC law firm. (He does exist.)

He does not like "cookie cutter" thinking or people. If you need him, he's there. You don't have to ask.

Standing up for friends? "A pretty easy standard, and a no-brainer," he once told us. Stand up for friends, sure--but also for humans who need or deserve it. Do it for free.

Things you and your co-workers and friends have to think about for a long while? Ernie just does them. He always has--since grade school. Instinct. On gut. He never hesitates.

Even though he does securities litigation, if you are a GC, you can call him in the middle of the night with your insider-trading problem, or report that your kid at Dartmouth just thrashed a waiter and both Hanover cops.

He's very well-paid, our Ernie. But if you--you are an associate, client, paralegal, receptionist, messenger, street person--want, say, a cup of coffee, he does this amazing thing: he just gets you a cup of coffee. Just because. What a character.

And, best of all, as the Foggy Bottom, West End, M Street and Glover Park crowd will tell you, when he's not working, he's the kind of guy who never hits on married women over 40.

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--at "The Seven Habits of Highly Useless Corporate Lawyers". This is a true story, mostly. So listen up.

Posted by JD Hull at May 9, 2010 12:59 AM


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