How Could He Be So Dumb?

Two lawyers—one a man of many years in the practice, the other, a young man new in the practice—are meeting a new client. The client’s problem is that he is a public figure and now the government is closing in on his fraudulent schemes. His corruption will be exposed. He will no longer live in mansions, drive expensive cars, take trips around the world, or receive high–profile publicity for his over-the-top charitable donations.

The client leaves. The young lawyer says, “How could that man be so dumb?” The experienced lawyer replies, “I was afraid you were going to say that to the client. Once when I was your age, I did say it, and I was fired.”

The client does not tell the lawyer the facts of the case all at once. He tells his story little by little to test the lawyer’s reaction. If the lawyer says “How could you be so dumb,” or if the lawyer’s facial expression says the same thing, the client decides he needs a more experienced lawyer.

We all make mistakes, even politicians. When the articles appear on the front pages, it is inevitable that a journalist will write “How could he be so dumb?”
. . .
All we must do is to take Madam Fortuna by the hand and we see a different world. There is good luck there for ourselves and the energy to help others. Madam Fortuna likes it that way.

How Could He Be So Dumb? by Jacob Stein, Washington, Lawyer, February 2013.

Legal Spectator & More, by Jacob A. Stein_220

Mr. Stein is a DC lawyer and the author of several books, including Legal Spectator & More and Eulogy of Lawyers. Written by a Lawyer.

For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Our custom on-site and online training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.

TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, MAS, for custom on-site and online training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X

TheCapitol.Net is now owned by the Sunwater Institute.

Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™

Select publications from TheCapitol.Net