Monday, November 9, 2009
" A Good Lawyer Knows The Law. A Great Lawyer Knows The Judge."
Of all the publicity generated in the past week on the Rothstein matter, I am surprised and disappointed that the above quotation prominently displayed in Rothstein's office (or "inner sanctum" as his one time partners call it) has not caused an outrage in the legal community. I am about as cynical as they come and have no illusions about favoritism in any courthouse. But to advertise the role of a lawyer in such a corrupt manner is, by itself, reason for discipline by the Florida Bar. Think about it. If you are a regular attorney in this town, you probably work long hours, do your work diligently, argue your case as best you can, win some, lose some, but in the end, and despite being frustrated every day by events beyond your control, including judges who seem to have it in for you, you realize that, all other things being equal, you get a fair hearing most of the time. Now comes this schmuck who tells clients that the mark of a good lawyer is his ability to corruptly influence the judge! Imagine some client coming to your office from out of the country who as an important litigation matter to retain you on, and the first thing he sees is a framed picture of the above quote. What is he to think? And how does that reflect on the judiciary? Not good. I look at the quote as akin to amending the Ten Commandments to delete "Thou Shall Not Steal" and replace it with "If Thou Shall Steal, Make Damn Sure You Don't Get Caught."