Finding a lawyer: Read newspapers? Wait one minute

By suggesting, albeit briefly, that a good way to find a lawyer is to read newspapers for articles about lawsuits naming lawyers …

Um. I fear my brevity may have misled you. And I’m stricken with guilt to imagine that one of you might have wandered down the primrose path to reading newspapers and finding yourself a lawyer in … Undifferentiated Celebrity Lawyerdom!

It’s my fault. So let me fine-tune my advice, having just read today’s Daily News article on the “Manhattan madam’s” lawyer, Peter Gleason.

Oh but do read the whole thing. Manhattan madam case: Where on Earth did Anna Gristina find lawyer Peter Gleason? – NY Daily News. Thanks to journalists Melissa Grace, Barbara Ross and Tracy Connor, it’s ever so worth it, especially this final section:

A search of court cases shows [Peter] Gleason is personally litigious.

He sued CUNY Law School in 1997, reportedly alleging a professor flunked him as revenge for an anti-feminist remark. He also went after Home Depot in a slip-and-fall case.

When he and psychic Uri Geller tried to buy Elvis’ [Presley] first home, he sued eBay for giving it to another bidder.

Though he won a settlement for his FDNY accident [he was once a fireman], he says he made his money in real estate, buying and flipping rundown condos …

In 2009, he mounted a primary race for City Councilman Alan Gerson’s seat, and sued to get the incumbent’s petitions tossed.

A Village Voice article called him a “serious contender” but labeled him “shadowy”— detailing his lengthy medical leaves as a firefighter and a harassment complaint by the mother of his child.

Gleason declined to talk in detail about those issues and said the article was the result of a conspiracy to derail his campaign.

It spurred him to launch a campaign against Village Voice classifieds for “promoting prostitution”— ironic given his new client.

Gleason told The News that his work for Gristina [a/k/a “the Manhattan madam”] could help him move from small-time civil cases to criminal defense. But asked whether he would ever run for office again, he deadpanned: “I would rather play piano in a brothel.”

OK. But I don’t have to tell you not to hire a lawyer who (1) has been a sue monster on his own behalf (the pathology is called “litigious paranoia”); (2) tries to buy Elvis Presley’s house in partnership with a psychic; (3) claims that there are “rundown condos” to buy and flip (this may be the craziest item of all); and (4) hopes the publicity over his representation of this woman will move him from “small-time civil cases to criminal defense.”

No real lawyer expresses the desire to move from cases that can make him money (civil cases), to criminal defense cases that get him nothing but a stupified bio in the Daily News that leads a sentient reader to the conclusion he’s not entirely compos mentis.

Especially when he’s representing a woman who claims she has no money for an attorney. Huh? Doesn’t he see that he’s undercut his client’s case? (BTW, I agree with Denis Hamill that prostitution should be legalized and regulated, but it’s not really for prostitution that the law is going after Gristina. They didn’t get Al Capone for murder and racketeering; they got him for tax evasion.)

But you don’t need to me to say these things, do you? Just enjoy the article; it’s unlikely you’ll ever retain a lawyer like this in your real life.

Right? Promise me?

P.S. Do you think Gleason will find this post and sue me? Whatever.

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