Jaws: Occasionally, Buzz has been known to indulge in a little lawyer bashing, going so far as to suggest that some lawyers are less than honest. No, wait. We're lying. We frequently suggest that it's common for lawyers to lie like a rug. But not this week. We have found a lawyer whose honesty, not to mention his lyrical use of language, would make us want to bear his children, if we were a woman. We're talking about James Best, the man who stuck a statue of a great white shark on the roof of his law offices to advertise his services. The man who, when we asked about how that was received in the buttoned-down legal community, replied, "I get a lot of flack for that shit, but fuck 'em."

God love him.

Best says he put the shark, a fiberglass cast taken from a real Australian fish, on the roof of his offices on Central Expressway about four months ago. It has since attracted "quite a few cases" to Best and Associates, a four-lawyer firm specializing in (surprise!) auto-accident litigation. Best also fishes and scuba dives and has decorated his office with fish, so the shark seemed like a natural sign, given the nature of his practice.

As for other lawyers' reactions, Best says, "Some of them liked it; a lot of them thought it was horrible, but they're not paying my bills."

Then, in language worthy of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Best summed up for us his view of what makes a good, shark-worthy lawyer: "If people want to hire a nice lawyer, they [can] ask their grandma. People want a mean, aggressive lawyer, not some pussy."

That makes us want to either step in front of a bus, just so we can hire the guy, or drive very, very carefully so someone else doesn't.

Go team: The Washingtonian magazine this month, prompted by Gov. George W. Bush's recent comment that New York Times reporter Adam Clymer is a "major-league asshole," rated the personalities of reporters traveling with both the Bush and Gore campaigns. We're proud to say that one of this city's own has made the a-hole big leagues.

The Washingtonian wrote that Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News "is a nice guy and knows a lot about Bush's record in Texas, but he's loud and loves to hear himself pontificate." (Sounds like a good Texan to us.)

Way to make the team, Wayne. You go, guy, and when the campaign is done, remember that you have two of the qualities needed to advance to a newspaper management position or to become a columnist. You just have to get over being a nice guy.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams


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