f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 20, 2006

dead presidents, value billing, ethics and more

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:32 pm

Presidents’ Day shouldn’t pass us by without our annual nod to

the lawyer Abraham Lincoln.  Two years ago, your Editor, in the


time money abe

I wonder how Abe Lincoln, Esq. would have defined the

fiduciary duties of a lawyer when setting fees.  I’m afraid

that many lawyers never consider fiduciary principles in

the context of fees.  That oversight goes a long way toward

explaining how the legal profession managed to squander

the goodwill that was its legacy from honest Abraham


Similarly, we wonder how Lincoln would react to what we’ve called

the “ethics aside” approach of the gurus and cheerleaders of law firm

branding, marketing and alternative or value pricing.  By equating the

legal profession with the making of widgets for marketing and pricing

purposes, and insisting that we have “customers, not clients,” they

seem to forget the ethical and fiduciary duty lawyers have to fully inform

the client and to look out first for the client’s interests. 




Lawyer Lincoln, please take a look at ron baker & price sensitivity and let

us know what you think about lawyers who exploit the psychology of pricing,

leverage premium prices at the client’s most price insensitive moments, and

(after touting the glories of up-front pricing) manipulate Change Orders to

achieve ever-higher “value pricing.”

An exhorbitant fee should never be claimed.”
                                          Abraham Lincoln,


topHatAbe  Weblogging lawyers, and those considering starting a weblog, 

might want to consider the following quote from Abe Lincoln, taken from his

1850 Notes for a Law Lecture.  To modernize it, substitute “frequent weblog-

ging,” for “extemporaneous speaking:” 

“Extemporaneous speaking should be practised and cultivated. It is

the lawyer’s avenue to the public. However able and faithful he may

be in other respects, people are slow to bring him business if he

cannot make a speech. And yet there is not a more fatal error to

young lawyers than relying too much on speech-making. If any one,

upon his rare powers of speaking, shall claim an exemption from the

drudgery of the law, his case is a failure in advance.”


tiny check Find more at this website about Abraham Lincoln’s

approach to lawyering, in the following posts:


GWg  We haven’t forgotten about you, George Washington.

Thanks for showing our nation that integrity and honesty can

go hand-in-hand with power.  Presidents who tell the truth.

What a concept!





a money-making
the peonies in bloom



the great lord
forced off his horse…
cherry blossoms

translated by David G. Lanoue



“snowflakeSN”  Honest, we know it’s winter, but it’s also

time for some Barry George haiku, no matter what the




autumn gold-
I dodge fresh clots of dung
along the trail





high autumn-
a car’s boom box shakes
the hood





a cloud’s shadow
crosses the footbridge-
summer day




the dampness of the shortcut home spring pines


Barry George – Simply Haiku (Vol. 3: 4, Winter 2005)





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