Earlier today, this news outlet covered a court filing in which it was alleged that the son-in-law of a South Carolina supreme court justice committed perjury and fraud in connection with an elaborate conspiracy in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It turns out the attorney in question – Lane Jefferies – is famous for something else, though.
Specifically, Jefferies is becoming something of a legend for having “the most unprofessional, insufferable, self-important, insolent, asshole electronic signature I have seen in my twenty years as a member of the bar,” one attorney told us.
“Never have I met someone with an ego like his,” another attorney noted.
“Everyone is talking about it,” a third attorney said, referencing the digital signature attached to Jefferies’ email correspondence from the Anastopoulo Law Firm in Charleston, S.C.
According to Jefferies’ electronic signature, there are only two ways by which opposing counselors can reach him – via cell phone or email.
Wait … what is so weird about that? Makes perfect sense … right?
Yes … until you read the fine print.
The son-in-law of S.C. supreme court justice Kaye Hearn warns recipients they are only allowed to call him between 4:00 – 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon “as I spend the rest of my day focused solely on achieving my clients’ goals.”
Should Jefferies’ deign to answer a fellow litigator’s phone call during this time, his signature advises that he will “spend up to five minutes on the phone with you.”
“Please note that I spend just five minutes on each call, so if I don’t answer when you call, wait a few minutes and try again,” the message continued.
Um … is this guy for real?
“At the end of our five-minute talk, I may instruct my staff to schedule a longer meeting with you if you satisfy the criteria set forth in #2 below,” the message added.
Wait … criteria #2?
(Click to view)
This is a reference to the second method by which attorneys can contact Jefferies – via email.
But before that … more instructions.
“Begin by providing my office with a specific agenda of items you would like to discuss,” he wrote. “Be sure to identify the tangible outcomes to be achieved as to each item, and persuasively describe how these outcomes, if achieved, would promote the greatest recovery for my client in the least amount of time and for the least expense.”
Wow … sounds like the guy is holding an essay contest, doesn’t it?
It gets better, though …
“If your email persuades my staff that using my time to meet with you is legally required or is likely to be a worthy investment from the perspective of my client, then they will schedule a meeting (probably a meeting by phone initially),” the message continued.
Wait … is this one of the five-minute phone meetings?
We are starting to get confused here …
“On the other hand, if you do not persuade my staff that scheduling a meeting is consistent with my promise to my clients not to try to do 1000 things at once that won’t contribute much, if anything, to the results we are trying to achieve, then no meeting will be scheduled (though you remain free to call any afternoon as described in #1 above),” the message continued. “Fair warning: generalized requests to ‘discuss the case’ or ‘talk about the status’ or the like will be considered conclusive evidence of a request to waste time, and no meeting will be scheduled.”
Jefferies concluded his missive by noting that his staff has “instituted the above procedure in order to accommodate your desire to speak with me by phone in a manner that does not interfere with my ethical obligation to to (sic) devote my time and attention to the pursuit of justice for my clients as quickly and economically as possible.”
Take a look …
(Click to view)
On the one hand, we get it. Time is money in the legal profession, and we certainly understand how busy lawyers wish to refrain from wasting either commodity. Also, our guess is Jefferies’ opprobriously blunt email serves its intended purpose of, um … cutting down on incoming communications.
Having said that, the buzz being generated within the Palmetto State’s legal community by his exceedingly vainglorious signature is … not good.
Aside from being openly mocked, Jefferies is being regarded as the sort of attorney whom opposing lawyers simply will not deal with … which does not serve the interests of his clients.
Of course judging from the recent pleading we covered, that could wind up being the least of his problems …
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? Please feel free to submit your own letter to the editor (or guest column) via-email HERE. Got a tip for us? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE. Want to support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.
(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)