I love noir fiction. And there are few better than Doug J. Swanson, whose protagonist is Dallas private investigator Jack Flippo. Listen to this from his novel “96 Tears”:
“Jack thought about big, nasty surprises, how they shouldn't happen. Not if you asked all the right questions, not if you paid attention. You only had to be alert for the signs: the spot on the skin, the smoke on the wind, the noise at the window, the unreturned kiss. See it coming. That was the trick.”
Lawyers are people who need to see it coming — whether “it” is a sticky suit, a bad witness, a shady client or a back-stabbing colleague. Here is one of 10 warning signs to help you do just that. The other nine will be posted throughout the week.
1. “Isn’t it obvious?” I hear this from managers when a company refuses to hire a disabled applicant, as in, “Isn’t it obvious that a man with one arm can’t do this job?” The manager unwisely forecloses the inquiry required by the Americans With Disabilities Act: An employer must determine if the employee can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.
Another example is when a supervisor says, “Isn’t it obvious that we don’t want to hire a convicted felon for this job?” That person unwisely ignores the EEOC’s new emphasis that automatic exclusion of an applicant with a criminal record may be a proxy for race discrimination.