For those of you who don’t watch football there are traditionally a bunch of old men dressed up in zebra patterns called referees. Now their job is to run next to multimillion dollar athletes and call out penalties. Now why we pay senior citizens to run next to the fastest athletes in the world is beyond me, but what can’t be denied is how closely related a ref’s job is to that of an attorney.
Both attorneys and referees seem to enjoy providing overcomplicated answers to simple problems. In law school, one essay question can easily take up more than four pages of text. Sadly, that gift for over-explaining isn’t limited to lawyers. Many refs will take a simple call on the field and will discuss it with five other referees for ten minutes before they come up with an answer. For fun, sometimes they take time to review a play for absolutely no reason.
Yes, that ref really did just say that a ruling on the field stands even though he didn’t review it.
Of course the main similarity between attorneys and referees is their ability to make terrible calls, some of which are so bad that they must only be the product of intoxication.
Yes, that attorney really did just say that he is “not in favor of dialing 911” when he is the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Let’s face it. There’s never been a game where you can remember a fan saying that the refs are amazing, and there haven’t been many divorces where both parties agreed that the participation of multiple attorneys made the process run smoother. Everything just ends up looking like this.
Like referees, we get to be part of a profession that leaves most normal people enraged, shaking their heads, or both. No wonder people don’t like us.