LakinChapman and the $102 lawsuit

The Madison County Record Oct. 30, 2010, 9:32am

The one thing you never want to do is make yourself look ridiculous.

When you're a kid in grade school, looking ridiculous attracts the attention of bullies, and merciless ridicule or worse will be your lot.

When you're a teenager in high school, looking ridiculous will redirect the enticing glance of the pretty girl in the cafeteria to a more impressive figure.

When you're an adult in the workaday world, looking ridiculous will cause clients and customers to lose faith in you and transfer their trust to others.

Kids who look ridiculous get teased and abused. Suitors who look ridiculous get spurned. Businessmen, merchants, and politicians who look ridiculous lose contracts, commerce, and campaigns.

It isn't always fair, but that's the way it is.

This is a lesson the lawyers at LakinChapman seem to have difficulty learning, but they're presently enrolled in an intensive remedial course.

LakinChapman lawyers initiated a class action suit against H&R Block Tax Services for offering peace of mind, alleging the tax-preparation company cheated its customers by promising, for a small fee, to cover their liability in case of an audit.

Block customers almost never get audited. Therefore, charging them a fee, however small, as a warrant against this unlikely possibility is a grave injustice. The LakinChapman lawyers seemed to think that peace-of-mind purchasers should be guaranteed an audit.

It gets more ridiculous.

A district judge denied class certification, turning a suit covering millions of transactions into one over four payments from two plaintiffs, for a grand total of $102.

Have the lawyers at LakinChapman thrown in the towel? Not yet. They are pressing ahead with the $102 suit. Maybe, when clients start looking elsewhere for counsel, they'll learn this simple lesson: you never want to make yourself look ridiculous.

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