Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Blood-sucking lawyers

How hard can it be to say . . .

"We'll sell this bit of land to you, for this price, on this date, as long as such and such an event happens, and another bit later on the same terms".

Would you expect this to need 59 pages of abstruse, obstructive, barely-intelligible and unhelpful nonsense?  Does it fail to fill you with confidence when the author of the said document can't spell the people's names correctly, can't get their postcodes right, and fails to fill in the timescales.

Then when challenged on the quality of the document, the solicitor claimed that it was only a draft, and advised that we left the contents of the document to him because he was an expert in this sort of thing. It is his job, and this particular transaction is very difficult.  A younger and less experienced lawyer than him would not have been able to do it.  This I find difficult to believe.

I'm struck by the difference between his profession and mine.  If I wrote a scientific paper that was as abstruse as the document that he has produced, it would be thrown out without question.  Admittedly the language of science is not easily obvious to all readers, so perhaps my own bias is showing.  But I think anyone reading this blog would do fine with anything that I have ever written, and that almost nobody reading this blog would understand what our solicitor has written.

There are two other differences between scientists and lawyers.  Lawyers are probably more respected, although for the life of me I can't work out why.  And lawyers are paid more per hour than scientists tend to be paid per day.

Why do we tolerate blood sucking lawyers?

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