But it doesn’t work the way they said it would…
Think how often you get out of the car, and drag an armload of plastic shopping bags into the house. Leaving aside the groceries, we haul in–and dump on the kitchen counter–clothes, books, TVs, laptops, desktops, hand-held PCs, monitors, all manner of computer and electronic games and gizmos, cell phones, small appliances, and goodness knows what all else. That’s just the stuff that you can lay out on the counter. That’s before we even start on vehicles and large appliances.
How would you describe the perfect client? Would the description be something along these lines?
- Client’s claim is significant–either in dollar value or social importance
- The case is right up your alley
- Client pays well and willingly
- Client is not crazy
- Client does not drive you crazy with constant phone calls
- Client comes back to you with new work over the years
- Client sends you referrals
- Client understands and appreciates your efforts
The Carbolic Smoke Ball…
Remember the infamous Carbolic Smoke Ball? The 1893 decision in Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company is not just memorable from a literary and historical standpoint; it remains good authority, 120 years later, for important contract law doctrines, including those of offer, acceptance, consideration and misrepresentation. Although the Carbolic Smoke Ball was clearly a useless piece of quackery–Mrs. Emily Carlill did indeed catch the flu–the case is really about how the makers of the product were forced to make good on the 100 Pound reward their ad in the Pall Mall Gazette offered to anyone who caught the flu in spite of using it. The case was about “puffery”–what today we’d call “hype”. Hype has been around forever, long before radio, TV and internet advertising came along.
The nest egg stories
Cases of investment and securities fraud come in many sizes. It is hard not to feel for middle aged and older individuals who have seen their life savings and pension investments shrivel or disappear while under the supposedly watchful eye of some third party. Other securities tort cases have a huge reach. One fairly recent development is the rise in international securities fraud litigation–litigation that reflects the global explosion of financial markets and multinational corporations, and an increasing willingness on the part of investors to sue them.
Enforcing Employee Rights
One of the most satisfying things about the practice of litigation is that every so often, you do get to rescue an individual, or a group of individuals, from an unfair and difficult situation. You get to be part of the solution for once–by helping the cause of justice to prevail. You know that you have helped to make the world a better place.