A Minnesota Litigator reader passed on the linked complaint because it is remarkably strange. In fact, it is the strangest complaint I have ever seen written by a lawyer. In it, one Minnesota lawyer brings suit against another Minnesota lawyer, his former partner, in connection with what appears to be the disintegration of their law firm.There is an immense amount of anger, pain, suffering, and frustration in this 34-page fifteen-count complaint. The case is before Hennepin County District Court Judge Thomas Fraser.
Besides its noteworthiness for its unique nature as a legal document and as an extraordinarily sincere and raw piece of autobiography, is there anything to be learned from this by Minnesota Litigator readers, whether lawyers or clients?
Maybe this: I think it is safe to say that the pressures and tensions in the practice of law in the United States are greater now than they have ever been. Over the past five years, sometimes light-heartedly and sometimes less so, I have posted about lawyer wrongdoing, about the decimation of legal careers, and about lawyer conduct that seems to suggest serious impairments in cognitive function and judgment (here and here, for example). We might sometimes be tempted to mock or to feel superior but we should not. The struggles of some of our less fortunate colleagues, our peers, our class-mates, our friends, and our neighbors — our community — deserve our support and our empathy, not our derision or scorn.