Wednesday, March 2, 2022

#147 Lawyer's Resume

#147 Blog Post  - Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Posted by Denny Hatch 


A Marketer Parses a Losing
Lawyer's Mediocre Résumé

Alina Habba, J.D.

Lehigh University, Widener University School of Law
Managing Partner, Habba Madaio & Associates LLP
Bedminster, NJ 07921 - Population 8,067

• It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s unreadable.

• She is not welcoming. Her scowl presages a fight.

• "Don't mess with me," she seems to be saying.

• In court appearances she's famous for pissing off judges.

• In that sense, her resume is honest. 

• “Never set your copy in white type on a black background and never set it over a gray or colored tint. The old school of art directors believed these devices forced people to read the copy; we now know that they make reading physically impossible. —David Ogilvy

• “Avoid gray walls of type.” —David Ogilvy

• “Neatness rejects involvement.” —Lew Smith

• “After two or three inches of copy, insert your first mini-headline [crosshead], and thereafter pepper them throughout. They keep the reader marching forward—David Ogilvy

• Short words! Short sentences! Short Paragraphs!"        —Andrew J. Byrne

• Taped to every desk lamp Scott Huch inherited for 30 years was this clipping from the Virginian-Pilot:


Clipping Above in Readable Text 

“Tests have shown that a sentence of eight words is very easy to read; of 11 words, easy; of 14 words, fairly easy; of 17 words, standard; of 21 words, fairly difficult; of 25 words, difficult; of 29 or more words, very difficult; so, this sentence with 54 words, counting numbers, is ranked impossible.”


• Analysis of the readability of Alina Habba’s résumé:
   —Total number of words                          480
   —Total number of paragraphs                      5
   —Total number of sentences                        9
   —Average number of words per sentence    40
            Ergo: Readability impossible.


• Since the document is unreadable. The only way to read it is to: 

  — Go to Alina Habba's website.

  Paste the text into Word.

  Change the gray type to black.


The Axios Alert That Triggered This Blog Post


Scoop: Trump's Friends Worry Legal

Pick for N.Y. Case Lacks Experience

Close associates and advisers to Donald Trump tell Axios they're concerned by his decision to use a relative inexperienced New Jersey attorney, Alina Habba, in his high-stakes legal fight against New York Attorney General Letitia James.


Why It Matters: A former president typically has access to the country's most prestigious experts, including lawyers. Trump has turned to the former general counsel for a parking garage company, who works from a small law office near his Bedminster, N.J. country club.


What They're Saying: "He has some lawyers that are very sophisticated with years of experience litigating, and he has now fallen prey to inexperienced lawyers who are just telling him what he wants to hear," said one source close to the former president.

—Jonathan Swan, Axios 01/21/22

Trump: Lawsuit Libertine

Trump and his businesses have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in state and federal courts over the last 30 years, a Wednesday USA Today report found.

 In more than half of the lawsuits — about 1,900 Trump or his companies are the plaintiff, while in about 1,450 cases they are the defendant. The rest are bankruptcy or other cases. 

Jesse Byrnes, THE HILL , 06/01/16


The Trump Organization's public brawls with the legal profession are legendary. A small sampling of headlines:


• Trump's Long History of Getting Sued by His Own Lawyers...

— Max J. Rosenthal, MOTHER JONES 08/18/20 


• Trump Can Sue Regularly Because "He Didn't Pay Most of His Lawyers..."

—Jason Lemon, Newsweek, 09/23/19 


• Trump Stiffs Rudy for All His Amazing Legal Services...

  Liz Dye, ABOVE THE LAW, 01/14/21


• Top Conservative Lawyers Steer Clear of Trump's Latest Legal Fight...

  — Katelyn Polantz, 10/13/21

Alina Habba’s résumé is as inept as
her court appearances for the Trumps: 

• A law clerk repeatedly had to tell Trump’s lawyer to stop interrupting the judge while she ranted about political bias and right- wing conspiracy theories 
—Sonam Sheth, Yahoo News, 02/08/22 


• Judge Knocks Trump Lawyer for Claiming He’s a ‘Protected Class”  —Jason Lemon, Newsweek, 02/17/22


• After Star Turn in State Court Trump Lawyer Alina Habba Lobs Inanities at Federal Judge.
—Liz Dye, ABOVE THE LAW 02/18/22


• Trump and Two of His Adult Children Must Testify in New York. —Dan Mangan, CNBC, 02//17/22 

Takeaway to Consider 

• If a designer submits a thing like this, fire the designer.


Word count: 721



The Most Fun You Can Have
In the English Language
At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press. He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 years he has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.


Note to Readers:  
May I send you an alert when each new blog is posted? If so, kindly give me the okay by send
ing your First Name, Last Name and email to I guarantee your personal information will not be shared with anyone at any time for any reason. The blog is a free service. No cost. No risk. No obligation. Cancel any time. I look forward to being in touch!

Google owns and this Comment Section. If you do not have a Google account — or if you find it too damn complicated — contact me directly and I will happily post your comment with a note that this is per your permission. Thank you and do keep in touch.

Invitation to Marketers and Direct Marketers: 
Guest Blog Posts Are Welcome. 
If you have a marketing story to tell, case history, concept to propose or a memoir, give a shout. I’ll get right back to you. I am:
215-644-9526 (rings on my desk). 

You Are Invited to Join the Discussion.


  1. In business we face trade-offs. Do you want a prominent name on your client list and not get paid or sacrifice the celebrity and make a bank deposit? Too often people go for the name in lights. They think it will attract new business. It typically doesn't. The Trumps don't pay people. They sue, waste time, and ultimately settle. What a sham; what a scam. Thanks for this column.

    1. Hey, Jeffrey…
      Great comment. Thanks for taking the time.
      I’m not a fan of Trump. At the same time, since this is a blog/e-newsletter about direct marketing, I’m not real comfortable taking sides in politics. That pisses off some thin-skinned readers who write angry letters of resignation.
      That said, your line: “Too often people go for the name in lights. They think it will attract new business. It typically doesn't.”
      With that in mind, I think the greatest oxymoron of recent years is “Social Media Marketing.” Social media is like a giant goofy cocktail party where people are busy “engaging” and “being engaged.” “Seducing and being seduced.” Boozing and schmoozing. The idea marketer can crash the social media orgy or a cocktail party and try to sell something is nuts.
      Do keep in touch!

  2. I was in the advertising business for over four decades. During that time, I rarely, if ever, met any advertising practitioners who benefited from what the industry had learned – because they were more interested in the latest fad than in reading books.

    Everything that's wrong with this ad was well-documented at least half to a full century ago. (Starch explained the fallacy of reversed type early in the 20th century.)

    Oh, and by the way, the scowling, arms-folded CEO was a cliche by at least the 1960s.

    Thanks, Denny, for exposing this rubbish – yet again. As Ogilvy said, "Direct sells – or else!"

    Tim Orr

    1. Tim,
      Great hearing from you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Love the Ogilvy comment: “Direct sells – or else!” My favorite Ogilvy Story:

      “One day a man walked into a London agency and asked to see the boss. He had bought a country house and was about to open it as a hotel. Could the agency help him to get customers? He had $500 to spend. Not surprisingly, the head of the agency turned him over to the office boy, who happened to be the author of this book. I invested his money in penny postcards and mailed them to well-heeled people living in the neighborhood. Six weeks later the hotel opened to a full house. I had tasted blood.”— David Ogilvy
      Do keep in touch.