A different face
Everyone who practices law will be familiar with the concept of “cover”. No, it is not a legal principle, but means exactly what the verb form suggests: cover your cases.
Lawyers (especially those in private practice) will have multiple cases on for any given day. If you’re in a small-ish state like Connecticut, where you can practice throughout the State, these multiple cases will appear on the dockets of multiple courts. Since you can’t be in two places at once (well, you can, if you’re a particle), you might have to get someone to cover for you in one court or the other.
Until now, “covering” (not to be confused with cowering – which you might have to do depending on the judge you’re in front of) was sought by way of impassioned pleas to fellow defense attorneys via the local listserve – or if you had a partner in your law office, promising them lunch. (This concept would seem to be a subset of the bank that apparently has shut its doors.)
But then it gets tedious. If you have a particularly busy solo practice, people might start getting annoyed if you keeping asking them to cover for you.
Never fear, though. In this age of innovation and niche marketing comes attorney Steve Levy – apparently of Los Angeles, CA. I say apparently because he has launched a service: “Appear Anywhere“, with the tagline “Court Appearance Professionals”. The gist of the service is described thusly:
Your time is valuable. Increase your productivity by sending us the appearances you don’t have time to cover and have confidence knowing that you’ll receive accurate and reliable results on the same day.
Among the various types of appearances this service purports to cover includes trials. Yes, they will cover your trial for you.
The services and about us page do not seem to restrict this geographically, so it would seem that when that trial comes up next week that I really don’t want to go to Court for, I will be calling this company you could get them to try your case for you, even if it is in Maine.
Judges and lawyers both should salivate at this idea. No more worries about problems clients, troublesome clients, difficult clients, annoying clients. Client starts getting uppity, ship him to Appear Anywhere! No more motions to withdraw appearance, no more continuance motions, no more Anders briefs. The system works like a well-oiled machine and everyone is happy (except the client, perhaps, but who cares about them anyway).
It’s like having an associate without having to pay the hefty yearly salary! An ingenious idea, if I ever saw one.
(In all seriousness, the idea isn’t half bad, but only if you restrict its use to mundane appearances where you are only getting a continuance and the client doesn’t need to be present. If you ever have a court date where your client needs to be present, you better get your butt in gear and show up and it would behoove the lawyer to also be personally present at any court appearance where something substantive will be discussed. But this goes without saying, which is why I’m mentioning it as an aside in parenthesis.)