On Fees, Part 16 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Lawyers"
"Your lawyer in practice spends a considerable part of his life in doing distasteful things for disagreeable people who must be satisfied, against an impossible time limit and with hourly interruptions, from other disagreeable people who want to derail the train; and for his blood, sweat and tears he receives in the end a few unkind words to the effect that it might have been done better, and a protest at the size of the fee."16The old view of a contingency fee arrangement is as follows:
"... you will owe me nothing, beyond whatever little balance may be then outstanding of the costs as between solicitor and client, not included in the taxed costs allowed out of the estate.
... perhaps Mr. C. will favour him with an order on his agent for twenty pounds on account. For there have been many little consultations and attendances of late, sir," observes Vholes, turning over the leaves of his Diary, "and these things mount up, and I don't profess to be a man of capital." (Dickens, Bleak House.)
While lawyers have more sober sense,
Than t'argue at their expense,
But make their best advantages
Of other quarrels, like the Swiss,
And out of foreign controversies,
By aiding both sides, fill their purses:
But have no interest in the cause
For which they engage and wage the laws,
Nor further prospect than their pay,
Whether they lose or win the day.
"... the practice corrupts and degrades the profession, transforms the sworn officer of the Court into a party litigating his own claim, destroys the dignified relation of attorney and client by making them mere business partners in a commercial venture, unduly encourages litigation, ..."17
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