The Germans have a gift for neology. They coin some of the most esoteric- and funny-sounding words – like weltschmerz, fahrvergnügen, and schadenfreude. When you find out what they mean, you recognize the concepts immediately and wonder why there aren’t words for them in English, which would facilitate talking about such things.
Of course, if you don’t mind sounding pretentious, you can adopt the German words as your own and drop them into conversation, knowing that you’ll more than likely be obliged to define them.
Schadenfreude, for instance, is the illicit but common practice of taking pleasure in someone else’s pain or misfortune. It’s hard to resist sometimes, especially when the pained person seems to deserve being hit by a karma.
Just six weeks ago, we editorialized about how secretly enjoyable it is “when bullies stop picking on everyone else and turn on each other,” comparing the spectacle to “watching hyenas fight over a carcass, or plaintiffs attorneys over fees.”
That was by way of introducing insurance attorney Steven Badger’s observation that more and more trial lawyers seem to be fighting amongst themselves lately, a recent example being Mostyn Law’s suit against TIAA Commercial Finance for failing to remit the firm’s fee for settlement of a Superstorm Sandy claim.
Now comes another example: a suit by Reaud Morgan and Quinn (RMQ) against Daniel, Williams & Associates (DW&A), filed in Jefferson County District Court the same week our editorial appeared.
RMQ is seeking a cut of a settlement reached by DW&A in a case that RMQ claims it did most of the work for, before being discharged by the client shortly before trial.
RMQ insists it was “discharged without good cause” and that DW&A deserves no part of the attorney’s fees.
As usual in such cases, we’re rooting against both sides, hoping they’ll both lose and learn a lesson.