Seaton: Don’t Be A Dick Like J. Wade Smith

When you graduate from law school you get two letters next to your name for the three years of effort and debt. Those letters are J.D., and in theory they stand for “Juris Doctor.” Sometimes, those letters stand for “Justa Dickhead.”

Submitted for your humble consideration is such a motherfucker by the name of J. Wade Smith, an attorney from Lake Charles, Louisiana, working mighty hard to make those of us who call ourselves lawyers look mighty shitty.

J. Wade has a neighbor named Elizabeth Richards. Ms. Richards either has kids or lets kids play in her yard. On November 10, two children were kicking a football in Ms. Richards’ yard. One kick sent the football “dead center” into the “designer metal fence” surrounding J. Wade’s property.

Yes, I’m using scare quotes for a reason. Be patient.

One kid said “Sorry” when J. Wade noticed the horror of no significant damage whatsoever to his precious designer metal fence. I’d imagine the children continued to play football after that.
J. Wade, however, was not amused in the slightest. Nor was J.Wade in a forgiving mood.

How do we know this, friends? Because J. Wade Smith decided to send Ms. Richards a letter. On his office letterhead.

Now before I get into the specifics of said letter, let’s examine the ways J. Wade could have handled this like a normal person. He could’ve knocked on Ms. Richards’ door and asked politely about the situation. He could’ve maybe said, “Please be more careful” to the children that day. At bare minimum, if he wanted to be so goddamn passive-aggressive to his next door neighbor, he could have bitched about it on social media like Nextdoor or Twitter.

But as we shall see, dear readers, J. Wade Smith is no normal man.

First, marvel at the thought of J. Wade using his official letterhead to send his next-door neighbor a threatening letter. And using the signature block of “J. Wade Smith, Attorney-At-Law.” This is a guy who’s not just sending vibes to the universe that he’s a dickhead, he’s practically screaming “I have a tiny penis and huge issues I must overcompensate with my imaginary superior status in life!’’

Now to the cliff notes of the letter itself. J. Wade details the non-incident on November 10, explains to Ms. Richards that hits to his precious “designer metal fence,” “at minimum, weakens [its] stability.” He then goes on to list another egregious offense of children kicking a football over the fence and into his yard. It narrowly missed the fence.

Next comes the good part. J. Wade tells Ms. Richards if anything happens to his precious fence there will be “financial consequences.” While he welcomes Ms. Richards to the neighborhood in one breath, he threatens to bill her for “accidental property damage.”

The nerve of this fucking guy. This motherfucker’s threatening a woman for letting kids play football in her yard all because he can’t stand the thought of his precious designer metal fence getting damaged?

Let me break this down for the non-lawyers who come to SJ. J. Wade’s fence gets damaged, hypothetically. He sends Ms. Richards a bill for the damage. Ms. Richards tells him to fuck off. J. Wade then spends time and money actually bringing the lawsuit to court.

I’ll give you the verdict right now. The judge says “Kids will be kids, counselor. Case dismissed.”

This is the kind of LOLsuit nonsense no judge wants to hear. The money J. Wade spends on bringing the suit to court will be perceived by jurists as a waste of the legal system. He’ll look like an asshole for bringing this to court, and immediately alienate his neighbors just for being such a tremendous dick.

So J. Wade, if you’re reading this and you actually sent this letter, you’re a gigantic dick and a disgrace to the legal profession. And I feel sorry for Ms. Richards and her kids who suffered the misfortune of having your miserable ass as a neighbor.

In the distinct possibility Mr. Smith didn’t actually send this letter to Ms. Richards: J. Wade, I think you should know some asshole’s sending out letters with your name on them. And you might want to know they’re using your office letterhead. You might want to call a staff meeting and correct this problem.

Happy Black Friday, friends! If you’re out shopping for discounts, I hope you’ve got on your best combat boots, infected yourself with something good and contagious, and have your best truncheon ready. If you’re the sensible type staying indoors, good on you.

Come back next week when I’ll get back to more jokes.

h/t Rick Horowitz.

32 thoughts on “Seaton: Don’t Be A Dick Like J. Wade Smith

  1. Harry McKee

    This reminds me of the letter sent by an Ohio attorney to the Cleveland Browns complaining about paper airplanes. The Browns’ response was the best letter ever and this situation deserves the same.

    1. SHG

      It was a very funny letter, and yet can there be any discussion of any lawyer letter ever where someone doesn’t feel compelled to raise the absolutely most obvious and well-known lawyer letter ever, or are we doomed in perpetuity to never get beyond it?

      Besides, it’s Jim Tyre’s job to belabor the obvious. Are you trying to put him out of work?

      1. Jim Tyre

        Well, actually, I was thinking that J. Wade seems as if he’d fit right in as a South Carolina Mag. (Even though he has a law degree.)

  2. C. Dove

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, Google Streetview is worth its weight in designer metal fences. J. Wade Smith is apparently the *only* person on the block 4300 block of Essex Street in Lake Charles with a fence. And what a fence it is: a wrought iron masterpiece, topped with spikes, and surely anchored deep enough into the soil of Lake Charles to support its weight. While the fence is sadly not high enough to keep out errant footballs, J. Wade clearly uses it as a point of pride, if only to say “Mine!”

    1. Rendall

      A section of the fence on the left side of the yard bordering the neighbors is pretty bent, going by Streetview.

      1. C. Dove

        You apparently are referring to what appears to be a bulge visible only upon zooming in on GSL, but you don’t say why it matters. For that bulge to have any significance to the letter means to assume: (1) it is an actual bend in the fence and not J. Ward’s mental stability or a computer glitch, (2) J. Ward’s bulge is closest to the offending neighbor’s house, and (3) the ballsy kids were playing near J. Ward’s bulge.

        Even so, the bulge is convex. That is, it bends towards the neighbor. Did J. Ward himself ram the fence in a pique of fury at the idea of flying balls violating his airspace? Was an angry alligator trapped in his yard? Or was the bulge part of the design? I don’t know (or care) since there are better ways to be neighborly.

        1. Rendall

          It looks like it bends out from his property in one photo, and into it from the other side, in another photo. Or maybe it’s a glitch in the street view seam.

          I thought pointing it out added an interesting detail to the story we’re constructing here, about perfect strangers. Its import and significance is a Rorschach, revealing more about the commenter than the letter, lawyer, neighbor.

          Given this blog, I didn’t think I would have to Gertrude, but here we are: yes, I think he’s a jerk for writing that particular letter, even if the neighbor was responsible for the bent fence.

  3. Skink

    According to my exhaustive research, a high percentage of lawyers who put scales on their letterhead are dickheads. Is there a shortage of symbols? Why not just use a smiley face?

    Sure, he helps feed a lawyer stereotype, but he also appears to be a golfer. What kind of dickhead golfer acts like this? I gotta designer 2-iron for his precious fence.

  4. Jim Tyre

    He sends Ms. Richards a bill for the damage.

    Not “he” Chris, “they”. The letterhead is that of a solo practitioner who self-refers as “we”.

      1. CLS

        I hate to even say this, but Jim’s…got a point. We don’t know what pronouns J. Wade uses. Even if they’re a dick they deserve dignity and respect while the rest of us tear xir a new one.

  5. Kirk A Taylor

    “Now before I get into the specifics of said letter, let’s examine the ways J. Wade could have handled this like a normal person. He could’ve knocked on Ms. Richards’ door and asked politely about the situation. He could’ve maybe said, “Please be more careful” to the children that day. At bare minimum, if he wanted to be so goddamn passive-aggressive to his next door neighbor, he could have bitched about it on social media like Nextdoor or Twitter.”

    This makes the ass in me say things like, “And the neighbor could have done something other than post the letter online…”

    1. CLS

      As a Georgia jurist once remarked, “You have a constitutional right to be a dumbass.” That statement seems especially appropriate here.

    1. Matthew Scott Wideman

      I actually respect J. Wade Smith for being such an open dick head. Who has not shaken their fist in anger at dangerous sports missiles aimed at destroying the integrity of a fence.
      He reminds me of a 1980’s attorney villian from a movie.

      The first thing I woul do is look at this guys bar number and see that he probably passed the bar sometime in 2018. My next letter would say “bring it”.

    1. CLS

      Between you and Dave today I’ve bookmarked these links the next time I need to throw a good insult without putting in too much effort. I thank you both for your service.

      1. losingtrader

        If it helps with the insult collection, I am the self-appointed “keeper of the SHG insult list,” culled from the last 5 years of biting retorts SHG has used in this section.
        Because SHG would rather I perish than publish, the list is offered privately….for a price, of course.

        Trading isn’t what it used to be.

  6. Steve UK

    I know we’re living in the sharing era, but could you not have redacted the home address of the person you’re defending?

  7. Richard G. Kopf


    OK, I agree that the lawyer might be a dick. Fact is you are a dick just like all the rest of us with JDs. But children should be drowned at birth–that is simply not debatable. So, which category is really most worthy of condemnation? Dickish lawyers or children? Think about it. It is an easy call, despite the underlying theme of your insipid post. Kids must die!

    All the best.


  8. Mario Machado

    A few things make this letter extra special: there’s an actual line on the signature line; “attorney at law” is worse than “Esq.”; there’s no wannabe-thugish “govern yourself accordingly” at the end; it’s signed on the far left; “11-13-19;” and the “re:” is on the top right in all caps.

    Boy, do I feel triggered.

  9. Ken

    I think you may be being a little harsh on this guy. After all, you haven’t asked what kind of football these hooligans were playing with. As I remember it, when our footballs hit the ubiquitous chain link fences in the suburb I grew up in they barely made a noise. For a wrought iron fence to rattle/shake the little monsters must have been shooting a lead football out of a cannon.

    To quote the immortal Les Nessman, “Oh, the humanity!”

  10. KronWeld

    A “designer” wrought iron fence that can be damaged by a football? Please! If that is the case, they should be going after the “designer” and the fence installers, not the neighbor.

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