The Paper Chase

“America is the paradise of lawyers.” 

David Brewer 

Assuming theoretically there is some economically optimum number of lawyers to promote commerce and the common welfare, with one lawyer per every 265 citizens (four times the world average), the United States would appear to have too many lawyers and too much lawyering. 

Which isn’t to deny that as a profession lawyers have much to be proud of, including providing us with useful concepts and expressions that we can apply in business. Here are some of them, with translations:

  • Asked and answered: we have already decided 
  • Done and done: we have now decided
  • Fiduciary duty: a relationship requiring the utmost trust, judgment and integrity 
  • Grievous error: a mistake fatal to a deal, project, or relationship (try not to make!)
  • Informed and believe: I don’t have personal knowledge of the matter, but here’s what I’ve been told which I believe to be credible
  • Including but not limited to: here’s my list but I’m not saying I thought of everything 
  • Living document: a dynamic document that will continue to be improved over time
  • Rebuttable presumption: this is how we will do things until we decide otherwise
  • Respectfully submitted: a useful expression when offering an idea or proposal 
  • So noted: I hear you, so give it a rest already (if your boss says this to you– stop!)
  • Term of art: a word or term that has a defined meaning (best look it up)
  • Time is of the essence: the deadline must be respected, right to the minute

While knowing a little law may be dangerous, it can also be useful. After all, possession really is 9/10’s of the law. Now you’re good to go! 

File Under: Pitch

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