Lawyers Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Carry Cell Phones

I’m sitting outside the auditorium at a day-long CLE on starting a law firm, and one lawyer after another has stepped out to have a loud conversation with a client. So far (it’s only been about an hour and a half), I have heard all about a pretty interesting-sounding theft, a thorny-sounding father-son real estate venture and the son’s credit history and trucking business (the client’s voice was loud enough for me to catch snippets of his side of the conversation, too), and a small startup.

While I’m sure each of these lawyers carefully scanned the dimly-lit audience for adverse parties and known gossips, it still seems like a bad idea.

People, don’t be dumb.


  1. Avatar Damien Riehl says:

    But they didn’t scan the crowd well enough to spot a prominent blogger. Though you’re famous, you must be pleased with your periodic ability to go unrecognized.

  2. Avatar ken says:

    More than a few years back I attended a Florida Bar convention where they had set up some massage chairs in the lobby for complimentary massages for stress relief.

    When I walked in, every single one of the chairs was occupied by attorneys getting massages and talking or yelling into their cell phones at the exact same time. I had to fight back an overwhelming urge to march up to each chair, yank the cell phones from their hands and fling the phones away while shouting “Here’s your stress relief!”

  3. Avatar Paul Spitz says:

    This isn’t exclusive to lawyers. People in general forget boundaries. I remember a crowded bus ride in San Francisco where a young woman was having a loud cellphone conversation with her BFF about boyfriend issues. Everyone was listening, and then people started interjecting comments and advice, and it was a good 5-10 minutes before the woman realized what was going on. On another crowded public transit ride, a guy was engaged in a cellphone interview for a potential job. He was a help desk tech, and he was currently making $80,000/year. I know this because he let everyone know it. A third example was the guy working on his laptop next to me on a flight. He was a consultant, preparing a powerpoint presentation to give to Safeway. He also logged on to his investment account during the flight. He had about $250,000 socked away in investments, which is pretty good for a guy his age (he seemed around 30 years old).

    • Avatar Silky Sullivan says:

      Bus? A lawyer actually riding on a bus?? Four years of college, three years of law school, passing a miserable bar exam and you are riding on a public BUS?? Grounds for disbarment right there,Paul.

      • Avatar Paul Spitz says:

        Someone else does the driving, and on these cold winter days, the bus arrives preheated.

        • Avatar KoryNParker says:

          I ride a regional transit bus virtually every day for 1 hour each way to my job as an attorney. Best stress relief I do, as I can read the paper in the morning, and interesting legal articles on the way home, while leaving the driving to someone else. We have regional coaches that are comfortable and with overhead lights like onboard most commercial planes. Since my employer subsidizes my bus pass, I reduce my transportation costs and have more current event knowledge and up-to-date expertise in a couple of areas because I have 2 hours every day to dedicate. I think I’ll start writing my book this summer – look out Scott Turow!

  4. A more appropriate title is “Dumb Lawyers Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Carry Cell Phones.”

  5. Avatar Pickaname says:

    Uh, Sam? The word you want probably is “stupid” rather than “dumb.” If these idiots were dumb, then they wouldn’t be able to speak, loudly or otherwise. It’s a great system, though. Justice is blind, lawyers are dumb, and jurors are deaf, I swear. What could possibly go wrong?

  6. Avatar KoryNParker says:

    Same could be said of many business people in close quarters. I regularly ride a regional transit authority bus where I subjected to loud conversations on the long ride home after a long day. I am looking for an opportunity to ask the loud cellphone talker for a business card…..and wait for the inevitable question “why?”, so I can respond with “So I can send you a bill for my time in being forced to particpate in your meeting.”

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