When the attorney Becky Klemt Macmillan in Laramie, Wyoming wrote to fellow-attorney Stephen G. Corris in Irvine, California asking him to enforce a judgment, she was not expecting the reply she received:
bq. Without sounding pretentious, my current retainer for cases is a flat $100,000, with an additional charge of $1,000 per hour. Since I specialize in international trade and geopolitical relations between the Middle East and Europe, my clientele is very unique and limited, and I am afraid I am unable to accept other work at this time.
Ms Klemt need not have spent time on a reply, but her letter is described as the most-photocopied lawyer’s letter in the USA. An excerpt:
bq. Steve, Ive got newsyou cant say you charge a $100,000.00 retainer fee and an additional $1,000.00 an hour without sounding pretentious. It just cant be done. Especially when youre writing to someone in Laramie, Wyoming where youre considered pretentious if you wear socks to Court or drive anything fancier than a Ford Bronco. Hell, Steve, all the lawyers in Laramie, put together, dont charge $1,000.00 an hour. …
bq. Another thing you should know, Steve, is that the firm has an extensive foreign language background, which I believe would be useful to you. Hoke took Latin in high school, although he hasnt used it much inasmuch as he did not become a pharmacist or a priest. Vonnie Nagel took high school German, while Paul has eaten in Italian restaurants. I, myself, majored in French in college, until I realized that probably wasnt the smartest career move in the world. Ive forgotten such words as international and geopolitical (which Im not too familiar with in English), but I can still hail a taxi or find a restroom, which might come in handy.
bq. Steve, let us know when we should join you in California so that we can begin doing whatever it is you do.