Where do expert witnesses come from, exactly? Jared welcomes guests Allison Muller, Nick Briscoe, and Nick Rishwain—an experienced and knowledgeable panel discussing the ins and outs of expert witnessing. They share how professionals come into this field and offer advice for attorneys looking to engage an expert witness for a case.
Later on in the Rump Roast, guest Rachael Ziegler joins to talk about yet another of Jared’s favorite TV series—HBO’s reboot of the classic lawyer show, Perry Mason.
And, lawyers of all ages and stages benefit from mentors in legal practice, but many don’t know how to tap into the expertise they need. Jared offers his tips for seeking out mentors and explains how multiple connections with differing knowledge bases can help attorneys thrive.
Dr. Allison Muller is a board-certified toxicologist with expert witness experience in cases involving alcohol, drugs of abuse, carbon monoxide, medication errors, and postmortem toxicology.
Nicholas Briscoe is Chief Economist at Briscoe Economics Group, Inc. and has provided consulting and expert witness testimony in a wide variety of economic and financial matters.
Nick Rishwain is Vice President of business development and relations at Experts.com, assisting attorneys in locating a wide variety of expert witnesses and consultants for their litigation support needs.
Rachel Ziegler is the founder of Ziegler Legal Services, where her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, trust administration, and health care advocacy.
Since we talked about with no less than 4 experts, here are some songs about being smart. You’ll listen, if you know whats good for you!
Our opening track is Two Cigarettes by Major Label Interest.
Our closing track is Lucky Day by SPARKZ.
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Intro: It’s the Legal Toolkit with Jared Correia, with guest Allison Muller, Nick Briscoe, and Nick Rishwain plus Rachael Ziegler joins us for a segment of the rest of us. And then I tell you about all the other stuff we cover but they won’t let me talk about it. So first, here’s your host Jared Correia.
Jared Correia: It’s time for the Legal Toolkit Podcast everyone. That sound you just heard was not a trumpet. And yes, it’s still called the Legal Toolkit podcast, even though my plunge router can no longer do a damn thing about a dovetail joint, looking through a glass onion, yeah. I’m your host Jared Correia. You’re stuck with me, because Anne Robinson was unavailable. Turns out I’m the weakest link.
I’m the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, a business management consulting service for attorneys and bar associations. Find us online at redcavelegal.com. I’m the COO of Gideon software. We build chatbots so law firms can convert more leads and conversational document assembly tools so law firms can build documents faster and more accurately. You can find out more about Gideon at gideonlegal.com.
Now, before we get our interview today with two Nicks and an Allison expert. I want to talk about how you can access some more expertise in your practice. Everyone who achieves something great has a great mentor. I mean, just look at Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Wait, that’s a bad example. Or how about Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Fuck I am not good at this. Okay, maybe John Wooden and whoever coached UCLA after John Wooden left. All right, that might be enough with analogies.
But what I do know is that I have lawyers constantly asking me about mentors and it might surprise you which lawyers are asking. Not just young lawyers, totally green starting out of practice, clueless, dodos. Now, I also hear from senior attorneys who are looking for mentors and new practice areas or help with complex issues in practice areas that they already know. And really, any lawyer who is dealing with a new issue. Even inside of those familiar practice areas is likely to try to find someone who has dealt with the matter before the bomb ideas off of. Plus, I found that attorneys are looking for mentors outside of those more traditional substantive legal questions to.
Some lawyers are seeking mentors inside of or outside of their practices to bounce business ideas off of. So, maybe your attorney is looking for a current practicing attorney as a business mentor, that’s totally worthwhile to. Or maybe you don’t need an ongoing relationship with a mentor. Perhaps there’s an attorney you know who’s done one thing, particularly well. They built a great team. So, you want to get some hiring tips or suggestions for attaining your best employees. Or they developed an amazing website and you want to drill down on how they conceived to putting that all together. Or maybe someone you know is just really good at handing out referrals and you like their process a whole lot. You want to pick their brain about it.
And that brings up an interesting diversion, which is that most attorneys, when they talk about mentors are more or less looking for other attorneys. Even if they don’t have to limit themselves in that way. If you need or want assistance with business management matters. So, there’s no reason you can’t reach out to a successful business owner in a related or even an unrelated field. Managing a business for attorneys at base is not all that different from managing a general business. You just got to pay attention to the ethics questions too. It’s a bomber. I know. This is a lot of reasons why you would or could access mentors.
However, the biggest issue and looking at working regularly with mentors, is that these folks who want to engage with and that mentor relationship are generally pretty busy because they’re also successful in many cases are probably doing what you want to be doing going for. And while every mentor goes into a mentoring relationship with the desire to be really helpful and to make themselves available at availability question can become problematic at times. So, it’s often the case is if you rely on a single mentor you can get left hanging as the attorney who’s supposed to be mentoring you is too busy running their own profitable law practice to do so. What then is an industrious attorney to do with his or her learning shoes, fixed and ready to roll. Well, stop relying on just one mentor.
I usually find that when lawyers looking for mentors, they lock in on a single person.
A veritable font of information who will answer all of your questions about the law and legal practice. But that’s kind of a lot of pressure to put on just one person to. And if you’ve only got one mentor, that’s the only person you can call and you don’t want to burn that person out, frankly. Plus, there’s that availability issue that I just mentioned above. But with all the different categories and I meant to you to seek information out for a mentor, why not select several different mentors, multiple mentors including those who could address specific areas of expertise. You can even categorize your mentors into a niche area same as you do with your practice areas. So, you’ve got a substance practice mentor, you got a business management mentor and maybe even several of each. If you instead engage a circle of mentors rather than just one mentor, you’re more likely to find the people with acute experience in certain areas you would like and also more likely to get answers to your questions when and as you need them.
Now, if somebody’s like, do you want to participate in a circle jerk? That’s a totally different thing. Speaking of expertise, find out how our sponsors can expertly help you in your law practice.
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Jared Correia: Okay everybody, let’s get back to and we are in the meat, in the middle of this legal sandwich. Today’s meat is beyond meat, or is it? Let’s get rolling. It’s time to interview our guests. We have lots of guests today because this is our experts round table. That’s right. We are talking with some folks from the Expert Witness Community. We have never done this before so it could be a total disaster, but I have high hopes. So, let’s build out our Homeric catalog here.
First, we’ve Allison Muller from Acri Muller Consulting. Then we’ve got Nick Briscoe from Briscoe Economics Group and then, last but not least, we have another Nick with us, just in the nick of time. That’s Nick Rishwain from experts.com. All right, don’t worry everybody. I’ll call on you. But thanks for coming into the show. Allison, I want to start with you.
Allison Muller: Hello
Jared Correia: Thanks for coming in. How you feeling today?
Allison Muller: I’m feeling great. Thank you for inviting me to your kickoff expert witness episode.
Jared Correia: Yeah, maybe we’ll do more. I don’t know. If this goes well, we can do additional segments.
Allison Muller: There’s a lot of pressure now.
Jared Correia: Yeah, you guys do fine, don’t worry. All right. So, Allison, would I be fair to categorize you as a toxicology expert? Is that the right term of our or is it –
Allison Muller: That is the right term.
Jared Correia: Okay. That was a total guess on my part. I just want to confirm with everybody that we didn’t talk about this before. And so, what does that mean in the context of what you do generally and also what you do as an expert witness?
Allison Muller: So, a toxicologist specializes in the science of poisons, right? So, we’re like the naysayers, always giving the bad news about the harmful things that drugs can do to people, or, of course, chemicals, or environmental toxins. My original trainees at a far — is as a pharmacist, but as a toxicologist, which has been what I’ve been practicing for the bulk of my career. It’s all about the harmful things that these substances can do to people. And so, in my capacity as an expert witness, the question whether it be a medical malpractice case or criminal case, involving drugs or alcohol. How did these drugs, how did these substances affect this person? How did it affect how they were thinking? How did it harm them? How did it affect their driving? So, it’s really a subspecialty in for what I originally studied for and that was to become a pharmacist.
Jared Correia: So, why did you move off the pharmacy stuff?
Just get tired of working behind the counter? Be like I want to be in my office.
Allison Muller: You know, I really didn’t work behind the counter. When I started pharmacy school, I knew I didn’t want to do that which sounds kind of odd. Like why did I go to pharmacy school if I –
Jared Correia: That’s everyone who went to law school. I feel like.
Allison Muller: That’s interesting to have a side conversation about that. But I knew I didn’t want to work in the corner drugstore, so to speak. I did that in high school as a pharmacy technician. And I had to do that for thousands some hours during pharmacy school to get my license. But I always saw pharmacy as something that would be a prelude to something else. Like I didn’t know if I wanted to go to medical school or wanted to go to veterinary medicine school, or what I wanted to do. But I knew that pharmacy school would be really a great fit for me because it gave me so many options and I’m a science nerd, I have to say. So, I knew I was going to enjoy studying what you have to study to become a pharmacist.
Jared Correia: That’s all right. I just learned a lot about you. This is exciting. Okay, so I got to ask you because like as somebody who was a former practicing lawyer, people would ask me all kinds of crazy shit about the law. They’d be like, I have this legal problem. What do you think? And I’m like, you’re not paying me. So, the people ask you crazy questions, some shit like, hey, hypothetically, how much arsenic would it take to kill my husband? Like do people do stuff like that to you or no?
Allison Muller: They absolutely do. They’re usually not that specific. They’re asking for a friend. Like this is new for a friend, if I did cocaine on Saturday night, would this friend fail a drug test on Thursday or what’s the best way to kill somebody if you’re going to poison them and it won’t be detected? You know, questions like this and it’s like just an interesting question. But it’s only for a friend.
Jared Correia: I’m deleting my — your contact from my phone right now, but I’ll get back to you on that. Fascinating, that was excellent. Nick, we’re moving on to Nick Briscoe. Who, I think we’re referring to in the show is Nikki B of 98 Degrees.
Nick Briscoe: Your words.
Jared Correia: Because we got two Nicks on the show today. Nick, you’re an economics consultant, which is really funny to me because lawyers hate math with the fire of a thousand suns. So, can you, for our illegal audience, explain as simply as possible what it is that you do and how you work as an expert witness.
Nick Briscoe: Yes. I’m an economist and the sort of the subfield of economics – forensic economics. I act as an expert of consultant in — majority of my practice is wage in hour, class action cases, and those listening attorneys in California will know exactly what I’m talking about. In other states, it might not be as many cases out there. But I focus on calculating, doing the data analytics and the wage and hour class actions. And then I do a variety of sort of damage calculations and other types of cases such as personal injury or business damages, employment terminations and to top it off, some fraud investigation forensic accounting.
Jared Correia: Okay. That’s a lot. So you said the A word too, analytics. So, hopefully I haven’t lost people.
Nick Briscoe: Yes.
Jared Correia: So, when you say forensic accounting, what does that mean? because that’s not a forensic economics, excuse me. What’s that mean? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that term before.
Nick Briscoe: The — I guess the definition would be applying the economic principles in a law setting with dealing with the case law that you have to acknowledge when you’re doing sort of analysis. But in general, I’d say forensic economics, forensic accounting or sort of very similar and it’s doing those types of — those cases that I referenced.
Jared Correia: So, when you’re working with law firms, it seems to me that part of the role would be not only to crunch the numbers but also explain the numbers to law firm in a way that makes sense to them. Would that be fair to say?
Nick Briscoe: Yeah, whenever I bring out my spreadsheet, I see the glaze in the eyes jump over. So, I definitely have to present the numbers and easy way to understand both to the client and also, if I’m testifying to a jury.
Jared Correia: Right. And so, we’ll talk about that a little bit more down the line. So, I’ve heard people tell me that you’re a fun economist. What was that mean? Do you make John Maynard Keynes look like an asshole or something? How does the economist have fun?
Nick Briscoe: Well, I have a lot of fun doing data and that’s the difference between (00:14:26) me and you.
Jared Correia: Yes, absolutely. Let’s move –
Nick Briscoe: Spread sheets are my jam here.
Jared Correia: All right, let’s move to Nick Rishwain, who I have to say, like, it’s tragic that I’ve not had you on the show until now, that’s my bad.
Nick Rishwain: It is tragic. You’re in – I want you to feel shamed for that.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I’m really like red faced right now. So let me ask you this. So, I was going to say that we have a bunch of non-lawyers stacked up on the show, but that’s not true. You are a lawyer and –
Nick Rishwain: I have never practiced law. I went to law school.
Jared Correia: You’re smart in there.
Nick Rishwain: Right. I went to law school and I went into legal technology.
Jared Correia: So, I got one question for you before we start. I was scrolling through your LinkedIn profile today and I noticed you went to Santa Clara Law School and I –
Nick Rishwain: For the first year.
Jared Correia: For the first year. I was remembering –
Nick Rishwain: Only one year there.
Jared Correia: All right. So, it was bad?
Nick Rishwain: Yeah.
Jared Correia: I hope we know one from Santa Clara is listening. Okay. So, like you may be can direct me a little bit. When I was applying for law school, I applied to Santa Clara solely on the basis that they had a 15 to one female to male ratio at the school.
Nick Rishwain: That’s interesting, i don’t recall that.
Jared Correia: All right, so I feel good about my choices now. Thanks for clearing that up. So, Nick R, like, you don’t necessarily work as an expert but you assist experts. So, can you talk about what you do because you’ve taken your legal degree and done something entirely different with that.
Nick Rishwain: Correct. Yeah, I don’t work as an expert. I guess in a strange enough litigation about expert witnesses, I could be called the – the litigation would have to be –
Jared Correia: We’re getting very meta here, sir.
Nick Rishwain: Then I guess I could be called. But essentially what I do is I promote people like Nick, Nikki B and Allison.
Jared Correia: Nick Briscoe is never going to forgive me for this.
Nick Rishwain: I know. I’m sorry.
Jared Correia: It will be memorable though. I promise.
Nick Rishwain: It will be memorable. Yeah, so, that’s what I do. We market economists and toxicologists, and hundreds of other areas of expertise. And we also assist lawyers in locating those. So, we have kind of a two-fold marketplace and that is primarily what we do. Not just expert witnesses, but consultants as well. I’m supposing that for both Nick and Allison the expert witness portion of what they do is just a portion of their practice. And there are other services they may offer that are consulting services to business or pharmacies, or something like that. Usually, expert witness experience or work expert witness practice is a portion of larger consulting practice. They can correct me if I’m wrong.
Jared Correia: I think that’s right for both of you guys.
Nick Rishwain: We do both consultants and expert witnesses.
Jared Correia: That’s super interesting. So, you’re placing people on both categories. That makes a ton of sense.
Nick Rishwain: Placing, promoting, marketing, yes. That’s what we do.
Jared Correia: Let me turn back to Nick Briscoe and Alison for a moment here. And Nick, let’s start with you this time, Nick Briscoe. How do you make the move from just consulting? Because I’m sure that’s where you started to becoming an expert witness in doing that work. Is it because people are reaching out and asking you to do it? Do you do that as like, a conscious choice? Like, how that come about for you? Because I’m sure some people who are listening who are not lawyers and they’re like oh, you know, that might be something I could do for (00:18:02) law firms.
Nick Briscoe: Yeah, you know for me it was my first job at a grad school happened to be in this field. So, I kind of got thrown into it.
Jared Correia: You’re like this is good. I’ll keep doing this.
Nick Briscoe: Yeah. To an economic — first I was economic consulting firm. So I have the unique path where I just started. A lot of economists in my field start in Academia, and then start getting asked to — because they’re part of the University, asked to do cases or do consulting and it sort of builds from there. So that’s a sort of popular track if I’m at one of my association events are something that a lot of folks are from Academia.
Jared Correia: So, just kind of happen naturally you weren’t — when you were in school or when you started, you weren’t thinking about hey this could be a nice angle where I could generate some more revenue?
Nick Briscoe: Correct. I didn’t — I really knew — know that the field existed in terms of consulting on law cases.
Jared Correia: I think we’ve determined the school is somewhat useless at this point. Building your career out. Sorry, everyone. Kids, stay in school. Allison, same thing for you. Did you kind of fall into it? Or were you just like consciously planning to do this?
Allison Muller: No, I had it in the back of my mind. I mean, I was a practicing toxicologist at a full-time academic medical center for almost two decades. And since I was director of the Poison Control Center there, I would have lawyers that would call me to do extra witness work and I wasn’t able to do it and the current role — that current role for a lot of reasons. Time, running a busy Poison Control Center and possibly conflict of interests with the medical center. So, I didn’t do expert witness work then, but I kind of had in the back of my mind that this is a really valuable service that a toxicologists and other experts can provide because really, it’s all about teaching the science and a completely unbiased way. And I really enjoy teaching.
So, when I went out on my own to start my consulting company, I originally was doing the majority of work as a medical writer and as a medical director for medical and pharmacy education programs around the country. And then I would take on expert witness cases as they would come across. Then I needed to put myself out there more. People aren’t going to find me just sitting at my desk. So, once I started putting out there that I’m doing expert witness work, one way or another, then I was able to build on that and it’s been nine years in January since I started my consulting practice and now over half of my work is expert witness work and the remainder is teaching and doing medical writing.
Jared Correia: Nine years in January?
Allison Muller: Yup.
Jared Correia: 2024? Congratulations.
Allison Muller: Thank you.
Jared Correia: Everybody remembers this and Allison (00:20:52) at that time. You also do a bunch of continuing legal education programs for a bar associations. That’s one of the big marketing tracks that you run. So, can you talk to me a little bit about that and how viable it is for your business.
Allison Muller: I mean, I do those programs, the CLE programs for a few reasons. I mean one, I really like to teach but also a lawyer who’s looking for an expert witness, especially a toxicologist. I can’t speak for other disciplines. Really wants to know can this person teach really complex and sometimes downright boring concepts and keep a jury awake interested and have them understand what they’re learning. So, if I just have my name on a piece of paper as an expert witness, they might not know, can Dr. Muller put two sentences together and really engage in a jury and her explanation? Whereas if I do a one-hour CLE and they come away with, wow, I learned at least one pearl from this and this complicated science really makes sense to me. And I might have actually enjoyed sitting through this one-hour CLE, then it’s more likely that they would think of me when they have a case that involves drugs or alcohol.
Jared Correia: That’s great. And I know that a lot of bar associations area looking for helpful CLEs like that. Now, Nick Briscoe you’re also doing silly presentations as well, right? So, you’re open to that work. How does that fit within your marketing plan?
Nick Briscoe: Yeah, I think CLEs are being part of panels is a great way to sort of get your name out there and like Allison said, just have someone hear you speak and explain things rather than just see your resume or website or whatnot. So, yeah, I like getting involved and does bar session CLEs, or panels or, wherever I can speak. A lot of times now, back before COVID I guess it was always, you had to travel there and as a whole sort of whole day a thing. And now it’s pretty easy to do a webinar. So, it makes that sort of avenue a lot more assessable.
Jared Correia: That’s fantastic. And as the fun economist, I would imagine that you present the CLEs while drinking and driving a martini or something. That’s how I envision you, at least. All right, let’s move back to Nick Rishwain for a second here. Nick, I think you would be particularly expert in answering this question, pun intended.
Nick Rishwain: Nice. I like it.
Jared Correia: In addition to directory profiles, what should law firms be looking at to choose an expert? Like how do you pick somebody?
Nick Rishwain: So, the CV is probably the most important. And I’ll say, for the experts who are on here today, the best thing to do if you have your CV online is put a watermark on it. Call it unofficial or not yet retained. Go change that because there are some scummy lawyers who will pull the CV and use it without actually retaining you. So, make it hard. Make them have to contact you and retain you — before they get an actual hard copy. The CV is probably the most important, but yeah, they’re going to look at your directories and so, we always recommend that you be on more than one directory because they may go looking for the usual suspects. Other things that they’ll look at is your LinkedIn profile. Your website. And a website’s really important to have these days. I know there are experts out there who do not have an expert practice website. I think that’s — I think it’s still important.
I don’t think attorneys go to them as often as experts believe if they find them on LinkedIn or Google or something. They’re probably not going there for information as much as they’re going there to see that they have a website. Like this person go around and –
Jared Correia: They care enough about their business to –
Nick Rishwain: To have a website. That’s what I think is the big thing. If they found all the information, they need through a directory like ours, or even a broker has pre valid the experts for them. They’re probably find enough of the information that they want in that but shoe – having a website shows they care enough about their business.
But also, I mean, if you’ve got your own website and you’re putting it up, I’m just changing hats back to marketing experts. Put some content on there. If you’re going to do it, you might as well try in the SEO a little bit for yourself.
But yeah, I mean those are the — those are predominantly the things that our attorneys are looking at. They want to see if the expertise fits. They really like to know if this person has had a case similar to the one that they have currently, what they’re currently in need of an expert. But think about those items as probably where they’re looking most.
Jared Correia: That’s great. All right. Allison, Nick, I’m going to ask you to a different question which is, what do you look for in working with a law firm? Like how do you build successful relationships with attorneys? And Allison, I’ll start with you first.
Allison Muller: So, right there not only vetting me but I’m vetting them. It’s kind of like we have good chemistry, so to speak to. Do we kind of have the same philosophy as to what the expert’s role is in the case. And so, the attorney who expresses the notion that me as the expert is an advocate for the case, we’re not going to have good chemistry because I always say, I don’t win cases. I don’t win cases, I don’t lose cases either. That’s what the attorney does. My role and my only role is to teach the science. So that’s both sides of a case want. They want to understand the science. They’re just hoping for a different answer. So, that’s a big thing that I’m looking for with attorneys. If the attorney really thinks that I’m going to win the case, they’re expecting things that I just don’t do.
Jared Correia: Nick Briscoe, you get the last word here. How do you like to work with the attorneys? No pressure.
Nick Briscoe: I don’t like to be jammed on time. That’s many requests are very difficult and I often turn it down. It’s not fun to do this project.
Jared Correia: And unfortunately, we are currently jammed on time and we’re done with this segment and in our last minute, let me thank Nick Rishwain, Nick Briscoe and Allison Muller for coming on the show today. Thank you all. You are all awesome. I appreciate it.
Nick Rishwain: Thanks for having me.
Nick Briscoe: Great. Thank you.
Allison Muller: Thank you.
Jared Correia: You guys are so orderly. That’s how I know you’re experts. I thought you were going to talk all over yourself and I could laugh, but didn’t happen. Thanks, everybody. We’ll take one final sponsor break. So, you can hear more about what our sponsors can do for your law practice. Then stay tuned for the rump roast. It’s even more supple than the roast beast.
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Jared Correia: Welcome back everybody, here we are again. Yes, at the rear end of the Legal Tool Kit. That’s right. It’s the rump roast. It’s a grab bag of short-form topics. All of my choosing. Why do I get to pick? Well, that’s simple, because I’m the host. Last episode I talked about my new favorite show, The Last of Us on HBO. But now, in a rump roast segment, I’m calling the rest of us. We are going to talk about another HBO show. Because why not? HBO has a lot of good shows traditionally, like The Sopranos and The Wire. This may come as a shock to everyone listening but this is actually a legal show. Yes, hope you’re seated. We’re actually going to talk about the law on the Legal Tool Kit. It’s true. So, to help me here, I brought on a real-life lawyer. That’s Rachael Ziegler. Rachel, thanks for coming on.
Rachael Ziegler: Thanks for having me, Jared.
Jared Correia: All right. So, I talked a little bit about Last of Us last time. I want to talk about Perry Mason this time. But before we get into that, like did you watch The Last of Us at all?
Rachael Ziegler: Yeah, I did. The Last of Us was fantastic.
Jared Correia: I — talked to thinks, it’s great, but you’ve got an interesting thing that you do, which I love, which I wish more lawyers would do. Which is that you write blog posts like a standard lawyer would, except you also include like pop culture references in those posts as well. So, can you talk a little bit before we get into Perry Mason about like how you do that? Why you decided to do that? And how you keep coming up with topics? Because I think a lot of people are interested in that.
Rachael Ziegler: Well, I think the truth is that I find Estate Planning and Estate Administration to be fun most of the time.
Jared Correia: Wait, is this an elaborate joke? You’re serious? No, I’m just kidding.
Rachael Ziegler: And there’s a lot of references and pop culture you’re listening to Estate Planning. I think those that can be funny find the funny in it.
Jared Correia: Now, you’ve come up with something, I think your interest. Isn’t there like a Dave Chappelle thing that happened with Estate Planning and then Philip Seymour or Hoffman didn’t have a will. Have you written about those things? Or can you give an example of a couple things you’ve written about?
Rachael Ziegler: So, what you’re talking about is celebrities, who die without estate plan documents.
Jared Correia: Yeah, which is a whole genre unto itself, right?
Rachael Ziegler: And then difficulty that follow from your that.
Jared Correia: That’s a thing that happens regularly, right? Do you want to expand on that a little bit?
Rachael Ziegler: Yeah. So, who was — it was Aretha Franklin died and test it three years ago. Which means dying without a will in place. But what do they later discover? A draft of a will or an old copy of a will underneath a couch cushion and her house or something of that nature.
Jared Correia: That’s wild and I suppose that stuff happens regularly. Because you see that on the news every on. All right, let’s talk about the show on HBO, Perry Mason which like, I got to tell you like I try my best to hate legal shows because I talked with lawyers all day. I’m kind of in the legal space and I’m like, I just need a break. But I actually like the show a lot. So, can you give folks kind of like the summary of what it is? Because I know you’ve watched it as well and I caught up last night. I’m up to date on season two, I believe episode three. I know everything you’re talking about. You can speak freely. No spoilers.
Rachael Ziegler: Yes. So, Perry Mason is an HBO show. Season one came out in 2020. I’m guessing season one was fell at pre-pandemic.
Jared Correia: I would think so, yeah.
Rachael Ziegler: And so, there is quite a delay in season two, which was released a few weeks ago. So, this is the same Perry Mason character that was the main character in the cereal shows in the 1950s and 60s. Which I watched on Nick at Night, my mother was obsessed with legal TV shows. I think it was her wish to be a lawyer and so —
Jared Correia: And look, now it’s happening through you.
Rachael Ziegler: So, I watch this Perry Mason reruns in the 1980s on Nick at Night. But this is a very different Perry Mason characters and the Raymond Burr character from that series. He was an established lawyer. This is kind of an origin story. So, we basically go back like 20 years in his life and his career and we see him at the very beginning.
Jared Correia: So, Matthew Reese who was in The Americans is Perry Mason? And then the rest of the cast is pretty good too. Not necessarily actresses’ names you would know but I think they do a pretty good job. And then it’s Robert Downey’s production company that’s doing this, which is cool.
Rachael Ziegler: The lawyer port trails are interesting and John Lithgow was in season one and playing sort of the old lawyer that employed Mason. I was a private investigator, he served at that tail end of his career. Probably overstayed his welcome in the legal community a bit.
Jared Correia: So, I think if I’m remembering correctly. We have the first season, he’s like a private investigator, not yet an attorney. But by the second season he’s actually trying cases. Second season’s ongoing right now.
Rachael Ziegler: He takes the – he goes and takes the bar exam at the end of season one and becomes a lawyer. Apparently, you don’t have to go to law school back then.
Jared Correia: Oh, yeah. That’s probably true because it’s set — that’s the other thing we should mentioned he said in the 30s, right? I think the early 30s, 1930s in LA. So, what do you think about the lawyer portrayals? Like, do you think they’re accurate or do you think it’s — I mean, how – it’s dramatized obviously. But how dramatized is it? Does it pretty well establish the life of an attorney?
Rachael Ziegler: I don’t know. I don’t know what the life of an attorney was like in the early 1930s.
Jared Correia: All right, that’s a fair question.
Rachael Ziegler: Yeah, I mean what I see in this season is, Mason getting his practice off the ground.
Jared Correia: And you’ve done before, right?
Rachael Ziegler: Yeah, a lot of the same things that I and other solo and small firm practice attorneys have struggled with. And interestingly with the same sort of reluctance. And maybe even a tad bit of regret about it.
Jared Correia: Yeah, there seems to be a lot of regret in the second season, for sure. So, what do you think of the show overall? Like how would you rate it? What would you give it out of 10? Would you give two thumbs up? You recommend other attorneys watch this like you like it.
Rachael Ziegler: Yeah, I think it’s a great show and I think season two has been a lot better than season one too.
Jared Correia: Really? Really, okay. I have the opposite pinion. Maybe I find the — the courtroom stuff to before. I thought season one was more action-packed. This is a lot more like traditional Perry Mason court scenes, kind of thing. Like the judge is like riding him and then he’s like, oh but what about this your honor.
Rachael Ziegler: Except for the court scenes with grocery store owner are interesting played by Sean Astin.
Jared Correia: Yes, of Goonies. Lord of the Rings, Fame.
Yeah. He’s a grocery shop owner this season. That’s right. It will probably worth – I bet he’ll comeback.
Rachael Ziegler: Who’s got apparently very deep pockets to pay his attorneys. And Mason very reluctantly represents him. But I think by the end we realize that it’s a good engagement and you can do other things if he takes it on.
Jared Correia: Everybody needs to find a CD grocery store owner that they can get a classic retainer from. Everybody, listen up. So, am I correct in saying that like the new episodes are coming out weekly? At this point, it’s not one of these shows that’s released all at once.
Rachael Ziegler: Yeah, I think so. And HBO have been releasing them on Monday nights.
Jared Correia: Monday nights? Okay.
Rachael Ziegler: Which I think is strange.
Jared Correia: That is strange. Okay. So, Rachel, thanks for coming on. I appreciate you taking Perry Mason. I tell everybody out there, if you’re sad because The Last of Us has ended and you’re waiting for your next show, check out Perry Mason. Mondays on HBO. It’s a really good show. Rachel, thanks again. I appreciate it.
Rachael Ziegler: Thanks, Jared.
Jared Correia: If you want to find out more about our guests from today, this is how you’ll do it. Find out more about Allison Muller from Acri Muller Consulting Group at acrimullerconsulting.com. That’s A-C-R-I-M-U-L-L-E-R Consultiong.com, acrimullerconsulting.com. Find out more about Nick Briscoe from Briscoe Economics Group at briscoeeconomics.com. That’s’ B-R-I-S-C-O-E-E-C-O-N-O—M-I-C-S. Two Es in the middle. Briscoeeconomics.com. Find out more about Nick Rishwain from experts.com. Look at that at experts.com, how odd. Lastly, but not the leastly, from the Rump roast. Find out more about Rachel Ziegler from Ziegler Legal Services, LLC at zieglerlegalservices.com. That’s Z-I-E-G-L—E-R-L-E-G-A-L-S-E-R-V-I-C-E-S, zieglerlegalservices.com.
Now, for those who were listening at Paradox Colorado, we’ve lift up an excellent playlist for you. That’s right. Since we’ve talked with a bunch of experts in this episode, we’ve got songs about smarties. No, not the candies, just the people and the things.
Now, I’ve run out of time on this particular episode. But at some point, I would like to explore whether the rumors about their being Majestic 12 program were true. Wait, who is that man in the bushes outside my house. This is Jared Correia reminding you that the (00:37:38).