Charlie Sheenisms: How They Relate to Law, Marketing, & Life

What an amazing spectacle of media, publicity, and sheer genius,or insanity, have been shown the last few weeks through a man, or warlock, and his tiger’s blood. You may have surmised it from the title, your vast knowledge of recent media, or from not having your head in a hole, Charlie Sheen is entertaining.

His latest rants and quotes have caused popularity chasers to start a website entitled, http://www.livethesheendream.com/, consisting of recent quotes to include:

  • “They picked a fight with a warlock.”
    • ”I have one speed. I have one gear. Go.”
    • ”It was so gnarly I can’t remember.”
    • ”I’m not ‘aw shucks’. Because I’m gnarly.”
    • ”One of my favorite poets is Eminem.”
    • “We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be?”
    • “If you’re a part of my family, I will love you violently.”
    • ”Let’s hook up and just bring fiery death.”
    • ”I don’t know, winning, anyone? Rhymes with winning? Anyone? Yeah, that would be us.”
    • ”I’m a peaceful man with bad intentions.”
    • ”Duh, WINNING.”
    • ”I guess I’m just that goddamn bitchin’.”
    • ”Resentments are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my saber.”
    • ”Mistook this rockstar, bro.”
    • ”Park your nonsense.”
    • ”I have a disease? Bullshit. I cured it with my brain.”
    • “A lot of people think Major League’s called Wild Thing. As they should.”
    • “I’m on a quest to claim absolute victory on every front.”
    • ”Go back to the troll hole where you came from.”

Why should you care and how does this relate to law? Well sometimes the craziest most unique stories get all the attention. They tend to overshadow the reality and everyday lives of so many hard working, intelligent, and compassionate people. These people go on with their lives without making the news or making millions of dollars. However, without these wonderful people the United States of America would not be where it is today. Thank you hard working, intelligent, and compassionate America. I know you are out there, even though my TV will never have you on it.

For the rest of you, “You’re on a drug and it’s called vanity.” –Trey Mills.


Book Review- John Grisham’s “The Appeal”: Fictional or Non-fictional?

When flying, I find a good book will make me forget about the small quarters, obnoxious people, and crying babies. I recently read John Grisham’s “The Appeal”, and was so taken back by some of his descriptions in the book and how closely they came to non-fictional events and groups.

For example, in describing the position of the wealthy business owner’s perception and plan to beat the small firm’s large verdict against them; that questioned his company’s tactics in polluting and ultimately killing local people in the community:

“Summary: These people are heavily in debt and hanging on by their fingernails.  A little push, and they’re over the edge. Strategy:  Drag out the appeals, delay, delay.  Crank up pressure from the bank. Possible buyout of Second State, then call the loan.  Bankruptcy would be the only course.  Huge distraction as appeals rage on. Also, Paytons would be unable to pursue their other thirty (or so) cases versus Krane and would probably decline more clients.” p.96

Another interesting description about my own brethren:

Trial lawyers, always a colorful and eclectic bunch. Cowboys, rogues, radicals, longhairs, corporate suits, flamboyant mavericks, bikers, deacons, good ole boys, street hustlers, pure ambulance chasers, faces from billboards and yellow pages and early morning television.  They were anything but boring.  They fought among themselves like a violent family, yet they had the ability to stop bickering, circle the wagons, and attack their enemies.  They came from cities, where they feuded over cases and clients, and they came from the small towns, where they honed their skills before simple jurors reluctant to part with anyone’s money.  Some had jets and buzzed around the country piecing together the latest class action in the latest mass torts.  Others were repulsed by the mass tort game and clung proudly to the tradition of trying legitimate cases one at a time…..A few did their work in firms where they pooled money and talent, but firms of trial lawyers were notoriously difficult to keep together. Most were lone gunmen too eccentric to keep much of a staff…… If they shared anything, it was a streak of fierce independence and the thrill of representing David against Goliath.” p 197-98

Amen. What a great book in the way it broke down issues of corporate greed, mass torts, political elections and power & politics.

In my brief tenure as a trial lawyer it was too on point and too descriptive of everyday non-fictional events. If only the populace of people read books and sought for deeper understanding of how the system works there would not be so many angry, crying, and perplexed people in my office on a weekly basis.

A response I seem to give too often, “No that is not legal but they do it all the time because no one will call them on it!”  Maybe their time is coming……..


U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Punitive Damages Award

Many media outlets and bloggers are reporting that punitive damages awarded in the Williams vs. Philip Morris saga will remain at their 100-1 ratio of actual, or compensatory, damages.

This is great news for:

  • plaintiffs that are brave enough to take on these huge corporations;
  • wait for their day in court, sometimes years; and
  • then have vindication from a group of their peers (jury) as to what they believe the case to be worth.

I think it is important to understand that these “Big Verdicts” or “Runaway Juries” , as described by biased media outlets, come from:

  • a group of people from the community;
  • that sit and listen to both sides for however long it takes; and
  • then make their decision based upon all the information they are presented.

This case went to the highest court in the United States, three (3) times, after already having been deemed just by the Oregon State Court.  That is what big business can buy you. However, this decision helps alleviate any concerns that justice can be bought and paid for, too.

Thanks to Eric Turkewitz of New York Personal Injury Law Blog for such an in depth analysis of punitive damages and this case.


How Can a 6th Century Warrior-Philosopher Help America?

In Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”, there is a chapter entitled “Doing Battle”:

Therefore I have heard of military operations that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen one that was skillful and lasted a long time. It is never beneficial to a nation to have a military operation to continue for a long time. -Sun Tzu

I was trying to gain some deeper sense for my law practice but these quotes continued to make me think of other things going on in the world:

When a country is impoverished by military operations, it is because of transporting supplies to a distance place. Transport supplies to a distant place, and the populace will be impoverished. -Sun Tzu

How can this Chinese person from the 6th century possibly be relevant in 2009?

When resources are exhausted, then levies are made under pressure. When power and resources are exhausted, the the homeland is drained. The common people are deprived of seventy percent of their budget, while the government’s expenses for equipment amount to sixty percent of its budget. -Sun Tzu

At least we have remained a presence and allowed the infidels to know we are not leaving until the job is done!

So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence. -Sun Tzu