Lawyer Time and the Theory of Relativity


As quantum physicists prepare to announce evidence of the Higgs Bosun (“the God particle”) tomorrow on the fourth of July, my thoughts turn to other great discoveries like gravity and the theory of relativity.

It turns out, as I read in an Intellectual Property Lawyer’s Blog recently, that you can patent an invention, which is an intentional act, but not a discovery, which is accidental.  Therefore, Newton couldn’t patent gravity and Einstein couldn’t patent relativity.  Thank goodness or we might have to pay them license fees.

Just as Einstein discovered that time is not fixed, but elastic and relative to where the observer stands, so too is lawyer time.

Lawyer time expands.  Ask any judge who grants a lawyer’s request to argue for “just five more minutes.”  When a lawyer says, “I’ll call you back in five minutes,” he means a lawyer’s five minutes, which is thirty minutes or an hour or two.  If a lawyer tells you’ll get to court immediately or on an emergency basis or expeditiously, he is usually talking about three months.

Lawyer time contracts.  If you’ve been married for thirty years and you are getting divorced, the lawyer has to compress all that into a five day trial.  And figure your spouse gets half of the five days.  At the end of the trial the lawyer gets about a half an hour to sum it up and the judge gives a decision in about five minutes.

Welcome to the strange world of lawyer time.