Welcome to The Briefcase

Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »

×

'Tis the Season

I'm going to be taking a break from blogging for the holidays.  I'll be back on January 2. 

In keeping with the holiday season, the last thing I'm going to talk about today is law.  Well, legal cases, anyway.  I figured that a 4th District decision on the intricacies of traffic stops takes a distant third behind the two things foremost on your mind:  what you're going to get, and what you're going to give.  So, as usual, I'm here to help you out.

In the category of what to give, Larry Bodine over at his Law Marketing blog advises that "lawyers need to send 'status obvious' gifts to clients."  Those do not include t-shirts or other clothing items monogrammed with your law firm's initials or name, which can easily wind up in the bins over at the thrift shop; as Larry aptly notes,  "there's nothing worse than seeing a homeless guy wearing your law firm baseball cap."  On the other hand, Larry's suggestions are not for the faint of heart, or light of wallet:  No. 8 on the list is a "Red Envelope Asian money tree in a sculptural pot."  What the hell is that, you ask?  This.  (Remember, our motto at The Briefcase:  We Google so you don't have to.)  It's sixty-five bucks, and that may not include the "sculptural pot," so if you're planning on getting these for your clients, it'd be a good idea to have a money tree of your own.

As for gifts to others who might be on your list, like, oh... judges, you'd better check out this ethics opinion the killjoys at the Utah courts handed down almost 20 years ago.  (It's the only thing I could find on the subject, but then again, I didn't look real hard.)  After careful reflection, they decided that it would be improper for a judge to accept a Christmas gift from an attorney, but that "other court employees may accept Christmas gifts of a nominal value."  And no, a sixty-five dollar money tree is not "nominal value."  Don't even think it.

Now, what about family, particularly the kids?  Say you've got three of them, and they're all talking about following in Daddy's (or Mommy's) footsteps, which means that you're going to be shelling out enough money for law school tuition to fund a military coup in a mid-sized banana republic.  Why do that when for a mere $14.95 each you can give them Law School in a Box, which features, among other items, "10 Heroes of the Courtroom Trading Cards" -- like Abe Lincoln, Johnnie Cochran, Sandra Day O'Connor -- "with portraits and famous quotes on baseball-style trading cards."  Beats having to spend your post-retirement days saying, "Welcome to Wal-Mart!" or "Would you like to supersize your order?"

Then again, let's not forget that most important person:  You!  There's always a spate of techno-gadgets -- PDA's, I-phones, etc. -- which if they don't allow you to be more efficient, will at least make you look more important, and isn't that half the battle?  On the more practical side, if you're working for one of the big law firms, you'll find the "Classic Billable Hour Watch" indispensable, for obvious reasons:  instead of that old sixty-minute thing, it conveniently divides the dial into tenths of an hour. 

And, on the lighter and more personal (and cheaper) side, you can always order a coffee mug from CafePress, with one of about twenty law-related cartoons engraved on it.  I thought this one was quite fitting for me:

Briefs.jpg

Have a good holiday, and I'll see on the 2nd.

Search

Recent Entries

  • July 24, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Some things we knew, some things we didn't
  • July 21, 2017
    Friday Roundup
    Computers and sex offenders, civil forfeiture, and phrases that should be put out to pasture
  • July 20, 2017
    Case Update
    A look at the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in State v. Oles, and did you know that Justice Ginsburg has a .311 batting average with runners in scoring position? Oh, wait...
  • July 18, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Judicial bias, RVO specs, 26(B) stuff, waivers of counsel... And more!
  • July 17, 2017
    No more Anders Briefs?
    I have a case now in the 8th District where I came close to filing an Anders brief the other week. It's an appeal from a plea and sentence. The plea hearing was flawless. The judge imposed consecutive sentences, and...
  • July 13, 2017
    Sex offenders and the First Amendment
    Analysis of the Supreme Court's decision in Packingham v. North Carolina
  • July 12, 2017
    Removing a retained attorney
    What does a judge do if he thinks a retained attorney in a criminal case isn't competent?
  • July 11, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    The court does good work on a juvenile bindover case, and the State finally figures out that it should have indicted someone in the first place
  • July 10, 2017
    Case Update
    SCOTUS ends its term; the Ohio Supreme Court issues another opinion, and likely the last one, on the trial tax
  • June 28, 2017
    Plea Bargaining -- The defendant's view
    A look at the Supreme Court's decision last week in Lee v. United States