An open letter to Barrister John Smith

>> Friday, April 13, 2018

    ATTENTION BENEFICIARY


    UNITED NATIONS

    Today, 1:33 AM

    Attention: Beneficiary,

    I am Barrister John Smith, the new attorney with United Nation, I am writing to notify you of a payment file containing funds that has been issued out to you by the Federal Ministry of Finance in-conjunction with the United Nation/International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    I am new in this office and I have orders from the United Nation/International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United State Government to contact beneficiaries and make sure they receive their payment via ATM Master Card or Bank to Bank Transfer.

    Please, Can you kindly tell me the reason of your delay concerning the delivery/transfer of your funds and Why you have decide to abandon your payment worth of $12.5 million USD? If you fail to contact me back on or before 72 hours, we shall cancel the delivery/transfer of your funds and return your funds back to government reserve account, your delivery/transfer process is still pending.

    If you are ready to receive your payment then make sure to contact me back on your choice, Also make sure when contacting me you are to fill out the below information correctly.

    Full Name:................... Home/Office Address:................... Cell/Mobile Phone Numbers:...................Nearest Air Port:??????????.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Barrister John Smith


    ATTENTION BENEFICIARY

    UNITED NATIONS

    Yesterday, 11:42 PM

    Attention: Beneficiary,

    I am Barrister John Smith, the new attorney with United Nation, I am writing to notify you of a payment file containing funds that has been issued out to you by the Federal Ministry of Finance in-conjunction with the United Nation/International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    I am new in this office and I have orders from the United Nation/International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United State Government to contact beneficiaries and make sure they receive their payment via ATM Master Card or Bank to Bank Transfer.

    Please, Can you kindly tell me the reason of your delay concerning the delivery/transfer of your funds and Why you have decide to abandon your payment worth of $12.5 million USD? If you fail to contact me back on or before 72 hours, we shall cancel the delivery/transfer of your funds and return your funds back to government reserve account, your delivery/transfer process is still pending.

    If you are ready to receive your payment then make sure to contact me back on your choice, Also make sure when contacting me you are to fill out the below information correctly.

    Full Name:................... Home/Office Address:................... Cell/Mobile Phone Numbers:...................Nearest Air Port:??????????.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Barrister John Smith




Dear Barrister Smith,

Look, John, Johnny Baby, let's just suppose for the sake of funsies that I had any idea of what you were talking about with the transfer of some completely arbitrary amount of money--it could be Francs, Pounds, Euros, Yen, Rand, Yuan, Pula, maybe even United States Dollars--from one account to another.  In order to, I don't know, facilitate the hypothetical transfer of funds from one party to another completely random stranger party never met by the party of the first part except for the several times they had really bad and degrading sex in one or more expensive hotels.  Let's just say.  And this first party, unbeknownst to itself, was entering an agreement that the despicable, treacherous, two-faced, no-good, bitch-Judas second party would never, never, NEVER admit to having engaged in sexual behavior with the party of the first part while the party of the first part waited for his hot trophy wife to get out of the maternity ward and lose all that pregnancy weight that was a total turn-off for the party of the first part and then even when she was back on her feet she no longer wanted to have sex with him as if all she ever wanted from him was a kid who'd inherit his vast estate.

Got it?  Not even if the entire thing was on a videotape in possession of a hypothetical third party sovereign nation, not even then.  Not even if the tape in question consisted of ninety-seven minutes of the party of the second part trying to think of things to say about the first party's size and sexual prowess while the first party waited for certain performance-enhancing pharmaceuticals to kick in, followed by thirty-seven seconds of missionary position intercourse, followed by the party of the second part reassuring the party of the first part that these things happen to everybody and it was really great for her, too.  No, not even then.  And no matter how much urine (oh dear God, so much urine) was in that other video in the third party's possession.  Regardless of any of that, party of the second part keeps her big greedy mouth closed if she knows what's in her best interest, and here's a big pile of money to demonstrate what good girls get for being quiet.


I may have lost the thread here.  Point is, I learned something this week.


See, what I learned this week was, turns out, remarkable this, did you know that even though everybody thinks lawyers are crooks, they aren't actually allowed to be!  It's true!  Turns out, if you're a lawyer and you do something that is technically, possibly, maybe, from a certain point of view, arguably a crime, not only do you not get fully reimbursed by your client in all instances even if you took out another fucking home equity line to facilitate all these money transfers to WOMEN WHO SHOULD KEEP THEIR FUCKING MOUTHS SHUT LIKE THEY PROMISED, but also you could have your law offices, hotel room, and home raided by Federal law enforcement authorities who managed to convince a Federal Magistrate there was "probable cause" to believe you "committed" what they characterize as "felonies"?  Seriously, who knew?


And that's not all!  See, I did some additional research, and it turns out that if the Federal authorities can "prove" that you "committed" these "felonies" to a "jury" "beyond a reasonable doubt," they can actually send you to prison, all for just trying to do a friend a small favor that might arguably skirt Federal campaign finance laws while violating the laws against money laundering!


Now, before I found this out, someone had also pointed out that fronting a client money could arguably be a violation of what are called "ethics rules."  Which is something that really threw me.  You're a barrister, so this probably interests you: turns out, when you agree to be a lawyer, and swear or affirm that you want to be a lawyer, well, turns out you're also swearing or affirming to follow all these obscure rules about being a lawyer.  Seriously!  It's true!  And it doesn't even matter if your fingers are crossed behind your back or whatever, it turns out that the "State Bar" takes really seriously.  (Did you know that the State Bar isn't actually like a real bar, it's actually an organization of lawyers who maintain professional standards for the legal community?  This is pretty embarrassing for me to admit, but I actually thought I was sending, like, club dues to a bar--we have these bars in New York City that are clubs that you have to do an annual membership for or they won't let you in unless you're with somebody famous or important, like a big-name real estate developer.  I figured one of these days I should drop in on the State Bar and see what my dues were used for, like, did they have mahogany paneling or something kind of modern like brushed steel going on, and get myself a nice Rob Roy maybe, but it turns out I was waaaaaaay off.)


So I was kind of worried that the State Bar, which I don't know why they call themselves that if they don't have a liquor license--let me just say, and I realize I am getting off the subject, here: I once had a... friend... who got into trouble because of the name of his business, which he called a "University" because it was like a college in that you would send him money and go someplace with a big room where some guy you never heard of would stand up in front of you and everyone else and tell you things you'd never actually be able to use in the real world.  So, technically true, except the state he was in had this rule that said you couldn't call yourself a "university" without going through this government scam they had going where you had to have "accreditation" which you "earned" by meeting "criteria" and "standards."  Who knew?  And so my... friend... got into a lot of trouble which he could have totally beaten in court if he hadn't decided to be a mensch about it and give some of the "students" some of their money back.  Whatever.  They learned a lesson.  Don't give your money to some guy you don't know you saw on TV.  That's a useful lesson right there.  Point being, and there is a point here: I don't see why the State Bar gets to flout these rules.  If you're going to call yourself a bar, you ought to at least serve beer, maybe have a TV with football on it.


Anyway.


So, the other thing I found out when these Federal agents were taking my computer and my phones and all this other stuff out of my office was that attorney-client privilege isn't what I thought it was.  This is probably the main part of the letter for you and me, Johnny Baby.  See, I thought that attorney-client privilege was that I'm an attorney, so anything I say is privileged, meaning if you ask me, I can say, "Fuck you," or I can put it on Twitter.  My privilege, right?


Well, that's wrong.


No shit!  Seriously!


See, turns out, what it means is that somebody who hired me to be their lawyer is entitled to confidentiality in communications that are within the scope of that representation, subject to certain exceptions like communications about prospective crimes and/or fraudulent acts.  So, like, if you come to me and say you murdered a no-good, deceitful, gold-digging, opportunistic porno actress who wouldn't keep her damn mouth shut (and who could blame you, am I right?), and you want me to talk about how you should turn yourself in to the police, or should you talk to the D.A., or how might you defend yourself in court against this if you're indicted, well all of that is just between you and me.  But if you come to me and say you murdered a, you know, all that stuff I just said, and you need help burying the body and disposing of the hotel fireaxe, well, much to my surprise and chagrin, I'm supposed to discourage you and tell you not to do that and I can't help you.  And if you come and tell me you're gonna murder someone like a you-know, all the stuff I just said, I may even be obligated to report this to the authorities, though this gets into all kinds of wormy territory with legal "ethics," which turns out to be an actual thing and not something we joke about sitting in a real Rob Roy-serving bar with pool tables and sports television and stuff.  (Again, embarrassingly, mea culpa.  I tell you, who knew?)


And if I do the "wrong" thing, even though you're rich and a pal and you trust me and we've been through a lot together and I'd even leverage my goddamn home and/or taxi company for you, you, I just love you and I swear to God I am loyal, I am your man, not like some pussy hick Senator who won't man up and end a goddamn witch hunt, not like some lying self-glorified cop who is so untrustworthy and treasonous he goes home right after a meeting with you and writes it all down for a "memoir" like a snitch, like a goddamned tattle-tale--if I do the wrong thing, do you know that my communications with you might not actually be confidential?  Really!  It's something else!  Apparently, I am not supposed to commit "crimes" even though everybody knows that's what lawyers do!  If we're not supposed to be crooks, how come we're always depicted as sleazebags on television?


No, turns out my communications with you in "furtherance" of an "ongoing criminal enterprise" may not, in fact, actually be confidential.  Even though I paid my fucking bar dues which turn out to really be so I can have people judge me for my human frailties AND NOT SO I CAN GO IN AND HAVE A FUCKING ROB ROY WHICH I REALLY NEED RIGHT NOW, OR FUCK IT, JUST THE SCOTCH.


And if you're not my client, then the privilege may not apply in the first place.  Even though I am still a lawyer.  I guess that's why they don't call it attorney-really good rich buddy who I would die for privilege.


Who knew?  Other people, apparently, but I somehow missed this.  More fool me.


So, upshot of all of this: please stop writing.  As useful as it would be for me to have a source of fundage I could point to and say it did not actually come from my friend/master, as useful as it would be to say, "Nope, this didn't come from campaign contributions, it came straight from the IMF and I didn't even misrepresent anything to my bank when I transferred the funds," I am afraid the heat, to quote the late Glenn Frey, is on.  And so I need you to stop sending me e-mails.  Just stop.


It's not that I can't use the cash, it's just that my life is really complicated at the moment.


(If you want to send a case of Scotch, that's fine.  Probably.  Actually, I should maybe look that up.  So much I just didn't know.  So much.  So, so much.)




- Name Withheld.




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