Monday, April 13, 2009


By : Mr. Mr. Thomas O. Otherthan, Esq., Attorney-at-Law, Otherthan, Onalesser & Maybee, Attorneys and Counselors at Law Specializing in Property Law (Except Personal Property) Rated “Highly Qualified” and “Highly Ethical,” The Abraham Lincoln Association of Fair-Dealing Law Practitioners

As an attorney, it is essential to maintain healthy rules for good living. But it is also essential to maintain meaningful exceptions thereto, subject to law, notice and good cause shown. In general, I live a healthy life. But in no event do I live healthily when “healthy living” would materially interfere with firm financial objectives or client confidentiality. Except as otherwise provided, I concentrate my practice on real property matters, provided in all events that I do not represent both the buyer and seller of a single piece of real property in the same transaction, unless such buyer and seller consent thereto in a writing subject to applicable ethics rules. To be blunt, I take my responsibilities as a professional seriously, except on Friday afternoons.

I legally support my wife and my children in all events, subject to qualifications under law. I love my wife, unless and until my wife acts in a manner inconsistent with my personal taste or mood, in which case I do not love my wife. To the extent permitted by applicable family law standards, I detest my wife consistent with the level of inconvenience she inflicts upon me. I support my children to the extent necessary to satisfy applicable family law standards, including, and strictly limited to: the provision of housing, clothing, nourishment and financial support until age 18. I honor semi-monthly conjugal duties on my wife’s behalf, except when fulfillment of such duties would pose a public health hazard and/or aesthetic risk. Fulfillment of aforesaid family support obligations under law satisfies my legal duties and thereby absolves me from all other duties to my wife and children, whether spiritual, emotional or otherwise.

I tell the truth in all matters in which it is both legally necessary and pragmatic to tell the truth. When it appears as a matter of professional judgment that telling the truth would harm client goals or injure firm financial integrity, I do not tell the truth; provided in all events that it appears to a reasonable certainty that no enforcement authority would ever know the difference between the truth and a lie. It is essential for lawyers to tell the truth, unless it would harm their business to tell the truth. Except as allowed under law and modified by opportunity, I am an ethical lawyer. In general, I maintain appearances sufficient to satisfy all applicable legal and professional standards. Pursuant to law, I do not engage in sexual intercourse with clients unless such sexual intercourse predates the formation of the attorney-client relationship. In all ethical questions, I consult the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and tailor my behavior to comply in good faith therewith. In all cases not covered by the Rules of Professional Conduct, I act in a manner consistent with client objectives and firm financial goals, but not on Fridays.

I am a competent attorney specializing in property law, but not personal property law. In all cases involving purchase money mortgages, I defer to my colleague, Mr. Byron H. Onalesser, Esq. But I do not defer to my colleague, Mr. Byron H. Onalesser, Esq., in any case involving both purchase money mortgages and contract questions in the State of Missouri. Pursuant to said qualification, Mr. Byron H. Onalesser, Esq. handles all real property cases involving purchase money mortgages to the extent permitted by law. In real property cases other than purchase money mortgage cases not involving contract questions in the State of Missouri, Mr. Byron H. Onalesser, Esq. is competent to offer reliable representation. Except as otherwise provided by agreement, executive decree, judicial order or statute, I observe such rules.

I respect grammar as disclosed in Barken’s Manual on Legal Writing (4th Ed. 2007), except in such cases as variation is appropriate under law, but not on Fridays. Consistent with aforesaid Manual, I use the word “pursuant” in all cases in which I mean “according to,” notwithstanding the syntactical and grammatical identity between aforesaid words. But I use the words “according to,” not the word “pursuant” on weekends. In the spirit of general practice, I use the word “pursuant” to mean “according to” even in nonprofessional settings, including, but in no wise limited to, family dinners and outings. For example, when recounting an anecdote, I do not say: “According to your uncle, e&c, e&c.” Rather, I say: “Pursuant to your uncle, &c, &c.” In my view, and subject to both law and fact, consistency is essential in grammar and life; provided in all events that consistency does not materially interfere with client objectives or firm financial goals, ethical considerations notwithstanding.

I take my continuing legal education responsibilities seriously to the extent necessary to fulfill annual filing requirements. Pursuant to rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, I attend all required lectures and retain all attendance receipts as required by law for the applicable filing period; but in every case permitted by the regulations, I purchase lecture CDs in lieu of actual attendance, then claim (under oath) to have listened to aforesaid lectures. My general rule is compliance; I comply with all professional rules, regulations and requirements, even if such compliance undermines the philosophical intent behind such rules, regulations and requirements. Unless compelled by threat of force or property deprivation, I comply with minimal effort and time expenditure; and I always comply pursuant to law, no further.

As a general matter, I enjoy weekends and vacations on the beach, but never on cold days, or on Fridays, whichever comes first. I enjoy weekends and vacations on the beach on the strict condition that: (1) all reasonably attainable firm financial goals have been met; and (2) a reasonable degree of client satisfaction has been reached (subject to law). I enjoy weekends and vacations on the beach so long as aforesaid conditions (1) and (2) have been unconditionally satisfied, except in cases of war (but not African war), famine (but not among African-Americans), piracy (except in Las Vegas), civil unrest (but not among Hispanics), terrorism (not committed by Buddhists, Shikhs or the Portuguese) or rebellion (other than slave rebellions). Subject to said conditions, exceptions and qualifications, I enjoy weekends and vacations on the beach; provided in all events that such enjoyment is consistent with State, Federal and local law, other than municipal ordinances hitherto deemed unconstitutional on or before July 15, 1877.

I have beliefs, thoughts, opinions and desires to the extent permitted by law and firm financial goals. To the extent that such beliefs, thoughts, opinions and desires contravene and/or are inconsistent with law and firm financial goals, I hereby expressly disavow any such belief, thought, opinion or desire as if I had never held such belief, thought, opinion or desire, so help me God. Under oath, and under penalty of perjury, I hereby solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have never held any belief, thought, opinion, desire or expressed any conscientious sentiment that has—or in any way could have been construed to have—violated law, good manners or adversely affected firm financial goals. I hereby solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a “good person” as defined by the Committee on Character & Fitness of the Bar of this State, except to the extent disclosed by evidence never brought before aforesaid committee. In general, I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I lead my life in the appropriate manner, subject to all applicable rules, regulations, ordinances or injunctions (whether mandatory or preliminary, equitable or constructive); provided in all events that “appropriate living” does not include all conduct taking place outside the country; or on Fridays. Subject to these qualifications, limitations and restrictions, I hereby swear (or affirm) that I am a “good person” as construed by the Committee on Character & Fitness of the Bar of this State, pursuant to all admissible evidence under applicable law, the truth of the matter notwithstanding, and making no allowance for common decency, honor or courtesy. It is my contention that such matters as “decency,” “honor” or “courtesy” cannot be definitively proved without reference to subjective taste, and consequently cannot be admitted as evidence of “good” or “bad” character in Character & Fitness evaluations. In short, I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have “good character” and I am “fit” consistent with all rules, regulations and judicial decrees legally applicable thereto (but no more).

Except as provided hereinabove, I declare that I adhere to all these rules. As an attorney, it is important to be flexible, except in cases where flexibility is forbidden by law, or where flexibility would materially impact firm financial interests. I am a consistent practitioner and a good person unless circumstances require me to be otherwise. Good rules require good exceptions; but a good exception always requires a good proviso. Subject to all qualifications, restrictions, provisos, limitations and caveats provided herein, I am a consistent and good legal practitioner. Without waiving any defense at law or equity, and reserving all legal rights appurtenant hereto, I declare that I always comply with applicable law. In short, the law guides me, unless it would be profitable and pragmatic to ignore it.

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