I see more than one thousand new clients every year. Many depart after a single visit to my office, on the basis that they don't have a case or that I'm not the solution. And these clients are almost immediately forgotten.
But some stay with you.
About ten years ago a respectable middle aged man presented in my office bearing a summons from the Court of Session seeking damages against him and the Motor Insurance Bureau for a significant six figure sum. I asked him for some background.
"My car was off the road" he explained "so I asked my pal if I could borrow his car. I assumed my insurance would cover me and so did he. Only it didn't. And I had an accident".
Not a morally reprehensible accident, just the outcome of the momentary error of judgement that might affect any of us who drive. But one which had written off a high value other vehicle and injured its occupant and caused them significant loss of their, high value, earnings. Hence the pursuit of six figure damages.
I explained the doleful likely consequence in law flowing from this to be met with the response "but I don't have £100,000."
"Do you own your house?" I inquired, and with that the blood drained from his face. For he did, and it had a significant net value, albeit that was all he had in the world. And was primarily looked at by him not as an asset but as simply where he and his family lived in relative comfort after twenty years of honest toil..
After a bit of my ruling out the various suggestions he made as to how he might avoid losing all he had in the world, we parted company. And I've no idea what the outcome was. Although, logically. I do.
Scotland, like every other advanced legal system, has a law of verbal injury. I might not like Alex Salmond but I couldn't write a letter to the newspapers making the wholly false claim that he was a serial adulterer or a drunken sot without expecting some consequence from that action. And no newspaper would publish such an allegation anyway.
But what's been revealed this week is that some people; bright, intelligent people seem to labour under the misapprehension that the same rules do not, or at least should not, apply to the internet.
Well, they ought to (my opinion only I accept) and they do (a statement of fact).
I hold no particular brief for Mr Ian Taylor. He's a Tory and I would no more wish to be making common cause with him than Patrick Harvie would wish be making common cause with Brian Soutar. But single issues make strange bedfellows. Michael Foot and Enoch Powell famously made common cause to defeat (a particular) House of Lords reform
But what I say is this. It is unacceptable for lies to be told about Mr Taylor. On the internet or anywhere else. And even more unacceptable if lies are being told about him simply because he holds a political position that others might disagree with.
If an anti-independence website was daft enough to publish an article maintaining that Mr and Mrs Weir, the lottery winners principally funding Yes Scotland, were, contrary to all available evidence, terrible neighbours; and to do so, not because that was true, but simply because it might discourage their continued financial support for Yes Scotland, then I would positively encourage the Weirs to sue. Indeed, I'd act for them myself, pro bono.
For lies are never an acceptable basis of political discourse.
Some of those telling lies about Mr Taylor have seen sense. Good. Others have persisted in a spirit of defiance.
I look forward to them being asked if they own their house.