Category Archives: The Attorney

The Attorney and Mr. Ghost

The Attorney was preparing for a hearing in the Faust case, when someone saying his name cut through his concentration.  He looked up to see a spectral image floating in front of his desk.

“You can see me!  Good!” said the Ghost, excitedly.

“Who are you and what do you want?”  The Attorney wondered what was in his coffee.  The Ghost looked and sounded familiar, though.

“Remember me?  I came in to see you just before I went on that trip to the North Pole last year,” the Ghost responded.

That did the trick.  “Ah, yes.  We talked about getting your will done.  You never did, though.  Your Widow hired us to help with your estate.  What possessed you to try to get a selfie with that sleeping polar bear?”

“The polar bear overreacted; I am not here about that.  My Widow either is ignoring me or she cannot see me.  Either way, I need you to tell her how I want things done.  Take my ’85 Yugo, for example.  I loved that car and I wanted it to go to my Cousin.  Instead, she is donating the car to that polar bear preservation charity.  I think she is doing that to spite me.  Then there is –”

The Attorney held up his hand to interrupt, “First, I am not sure this is really is happening.  Second, if this is really happening, you lost your right to say what you wanted to go where when you became polar bear chow.  Dead people do not have standing to come back and object to how their estates are handled.”  He could not believe he just said that.

“Seriously?!  I will sue!”

“Good luck with that.  Courts in this jurisdiction do not accept spectral evidence.”  The Attorney still could not believe he was having this conversation.  “Remember that I represent your Widow as the executor.  Consult with another lawyer about your rights.  Now, sir, please go.”

The Ghost grew angry, swelling in size.  “How about I just haunt this office until you change your mind?”  A strong wind centered on the Ghost whipped around the office, picking up anything light.  The wall hangings started to come off the wall.  A disembodied, unearthly wail rose in volume.

The Paralegal burst into the room amidst the chaos.  She was holding a book in one hand, tossing salt at the Ghost with her other hand, and saying something in Latin.  The Ghost looked shocked as it disappeared.  The wind and wailing ended just as suddenly.

“What was that?”  The Attorney asked, similarly shocked.

Holding the book up, the Paralegal said, “The copy of Exorcism for Dummies that I got for the office.  I thought we may need it once you started taking on clients who sold their souls to the netherworld.  Let me help you pick up this mess.”

“Good call and thanks.”

They both started picking up.  The Paralegal seemed to have read the Attorney’s mind when she said, “What are you going to tell the Widow?”

The Attorney sighed.  “Perhaps she will sell that Yugo to the Cousin and donate the money instead.”

The law has a formula for who handles the estate of people who die without a will.  The law or your heirs may want to divide your estate in a way that you do not want.  Take the time to get a will in place to express your wishes, or you take the risk that the law or your heirs get it wrong.

This post provides general information only.  This post is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to be legal advice about your situation.  A blog article is not a substitute for legal advice that fits your situation.  Laws change and your situation may be different.  You should consult with a licensed attorney for legal advice specific to your circumstances.

© 2019 Matthew D. Macy

The Attorney Goes to Hades

The Attorney waited for the guard to buzz him into one of Hades’ many visiting rooms.  As he waited, he thought about how his practice started to grow explosively after winning the Johnny v. The Devil case.  Charlie Daniels got it all wrong.  It took years of litigation and a trip to the Supreme Court to get Johnny his prize.  Now, everyone who made a pact with the Devil or his minions sought out the Attorney to help them.

The Attorney scheduled monthly visits to Hades to meet with clients and potential clients.  Today was not one of those days; today was a special visit made at the last minute.  What intrigued the Attorney was that this potential client sent him a letter written on vellum with a gold coin for the consultation fee.

The buzz sounded and the guard opened the door.  The visiting room had the usual décor – peeling gray paint on the windowless walls, a rectangular metal table bolted to the center of the floor, and two metal chairs on opposite sides of the table, also bolted to the floor.  Sitting in the chair facing the door was an old, bearded man dressed like a wealthy 16th Century German intellectual.  The man gave the Attorney a piercing stare.

The Attorney entered and started, “Hello, Dr. Faust.  My name is …”

Faust gruffly cut him off, “I know who you are.   I presume you got my letter.”

“Yes,” the Attorney responded as he sat down at the table across from Faust.  “I need you to sign my Representation Agreement before we begin.”  Faust took the paper from the Attorney, signing it with a quill pen that Faust took from a hidden pocket in his cloak.  Faust did not read the agreement.

Handing back the signed agreement, Faust asked impatiently, “Can you help me?”

“Maybe.  Let’s see.  First . . .”

Faust interrupted and scoffed, “‘Maybe.’  Always ‘maybe’ with you lawyers.”

“What did you expect, sir?  You signed a contract with Mephistopheles for power, riches, and good health.  Section 3 provided that in exchange he could take your soul for eternity the moment you were happy.  What did you think was going to happen?”

“I expected an eternity on Earth!  There was no way I was happy when that winged [CENSORED] dragged me down here!”  Faust paused, then continued, “Mephistopheles did not say anything about that little clause you pointed out.  That should count.”

“Sorry, it does not.  Mephistopheles did not have to point out anything.  Did you read the contract before you signed?”  The Attorney accurately predicted the answer.

“No.  What was spoken was enough.”

“The contract reads that any discussions before signing became meaningless once you signed.  Language like that in cases like this usually are enforceable.”

Faust squinted hard at the Attorney.  “I have no hope then.  Keep the coin and go.”

“Listen closely before you cast me out.  The contract did not define ‘happy’ or ‘happiness.’  Instead, Mephistopheles was to determine when you were happy.  The Fairness in Hell Act provides that such determinations must be made in good faith.  It is like the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing applied to contracts by many jurisdictions in the United States.  Perhaps your circumstances show that Mephistopheles breached his duty of good faith.  If so, you will be returned to Earth with your day of reckoning delayed.”

“Wunderbar!”  Faust’s eyes shone with hope, then clouded again.  “Will what I sent you cover your fees to do this?”

“No.”

Faust cursed aloud, but thought about what awaited him outside the room.  Faust dug into his cloak, then tossed a bag of gold coins across the table.  The Attorney looked at the bag and started to leave.  Faust tossed another bag onto the table.  The Attorney sat back down.

“Let’s get started.”  The Attorney took notes as Faust answered the Attorney’s questions.

It is a good idea to read what you sign – the law likely will hold you to the contract you sign even if you do not read it.  Hire a professional to help you when needed.  The cost for that assistance could be a fraction of the cost once the other side tries to enforce the deal.

This post provides general information only.  This post is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to be legal advice about your situation.  A blog article is not a substitute for legal advice that fits your situation.  Laws change and your situation may be different.  You should consult with a licensed attorney for legal advice specific to your circumstances.

© 2018 Matthew D. Macy