October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Making A Dis-Appointment

| Hanover, Germany | Crazy Requests

(I am a law student doing my practice course at a law firm which houses about a dozen lawyers just in the office where I am. It’s my last day, a Friday, and I’m assisting the lady at the front desk. She has just left for the back room, leaving me at the desk, when a client storms in, beet-red in the face and clearly agitated.)

Client: *in heavily accented German and just about to yell* “I have to talk to one of the lawyers. It’s about [case reference number].”

Me: “Sure, with whom do you have an appointment?”

Client: “I don’t have an appointment. But it’s really urgent.”

Me: “Oh, that’s a bummer. You do need an appointment. With whom do you want to talk?”

Client: “Mr. [Name].”

Me: “He’s not here today; he’s in the office in [Other City]. Do you want to make an appointment for Monday, as it’s so urgent?”

Client: “No, Monday doesn’t work. I don’t have time then.”

Me: “Would you like him to call you back?”

Client: “No, this needs to be done in person.”

Me: “So you would like an appointment with him.”

Client: “No.”

(I am starting to get a bad feeling about how this conversation is going to go.)

Client: “There’s more lawyers in this office, though, aren’t there? Let me talk to one of them.”

Me: “I’m afraid that won’t be possible. Mr. [Name] is the lawyer assigned to your case.”

Client: “Well, but he wasn’t my original lawyer here at this firm. I used to be with Mr. [Other Name].”

Me: “Yes, but Mr. [Other Name] left this office and moved to another, and all his cases were re-assigned to Mr. [Name].”

Client: “How is that even possible?!”

Me: “When you brought the case to us, you signed a letter of authorization.”

Client: “Yes, for Mr. [Other Name]!”

Me: “No, our standard letter of authorization clearly says it’s for all the lawyers of this office. And when Mr. [Other Name] left, Mr. [Name] took on all his cases.”

Client: “Well, then send me to another lawyer if the letter is good for everyone!”

Me: “I can’t do that. None of them are familiar with your case; they don’t work on it. Mr. [Name] does.”

(The client starts to pace in front of the desk and is breathing heavily.)

Me: “Do you want to talk to Mr. [Name]?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Then let’s make an appointment.”

Client: “No.”

(The entire discussion described above is repeated. Twice.)

Me: *really annoyed now* “Okay, I’m going to break policy a bit now and see if I can reach him at the other office.”

(Usually, the offices act separately from each other, but I figure since the lawyer in question is a bit of an oddball by working at two offices, it’s okay for me to call. I do, but can’t reach him because he is with an appointment. The lady at the front desk of the other office – after chewing me out for breaking protocol – jots down the client’s mobile phone number, though.)

Me: “Now, Mr. [Name] has your number now, and he’ll call you once he’s available.”

Client: “Great. Now I can ask him when he wants me to come in on Monday for an appointment.” *leaves*

Me: *mentally goes through every known method of murdering a person*

Colleague: “Soooo, d’you think you’d like to work here permanently?”

Me: “I wasn’t planning on going to jail that soon into my career.”

Getting Lawyered By Both Lawyers

| VA, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

Caller: “Hi, I’m the plaintiff in a lawsuit against [Our Client]. My lawyers want to charge me a lot of money, so I was wondering if you would be my lawyers instead.”

Me: “I’m… I’m sorry, are you asking us to represent you against our own client?”

Caller: “Yeah, because then you wouldn’t have to charge me any money, right? Since you’re already getting paid to do all the work by [Our Client]?”

Me: “Okay, first of all, that’s not how it works. At all. Second, we’d be sanctioned for ethics violations just for suggesting it.”

Caller: “What the f***?! My lawyer was right. You guys are a bunch of a**holes.” *click*

(Three minutes later, his lawyer calls.)

Lawyer: “Did you just offer to represent [Caller] for free?”

Me: “No, we turned him down because, as you apparently told him, we’re a bunch of a**-holes.”

Lawyer: “He said what?! Hang on.” *speaking to someone else with his hand covering the phone* “[Caller], I’m resigning as your counsel. Get the f*** out of my office.” *back to me* “I’ll be in touch about this later.” *click*

No Money, More Problems

| Washington, DC, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work at a law office that represents banks in their dealings with the SEC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, etc.)

Caller: “I need bankruptcy help!”

Me: “We represent banks in their dealings with federal and state regulators.”

Caller: “I need to file bankruptcy!”

Me: “We don’t do that here.”

Caller: “Well, who does?”

Me: “I don’t know, sir.”

Caller: “Let me talk to the lawyer. He knows.”

Me: “We don’t do that sort of work, sir. We can’t help you.”

Caller: “I’ll tell everyone about you! I’ll tell your boss you’re not helping me! You’re supposed to help me! It’s in the Hippocratic Oath!”

Me: “Have a nice day, sir.” *hang up*

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 32

| CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Money

Me: “[Client], your bankruptcy has been discharged. Please come by the office to pick up the final paperwork.”

Client: “So all my debt is gone?”

Me: “Correct, sir.”

Client: “So, how long before I can get more credit cards?”

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 30
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 29
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 28
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 27
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 26
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 25

His Assumption Is Not On The Money

| West Allis, WI, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal, Money

(I’m a legal secretary at a law firm, and I answer a call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Law Firm]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. You guys handle bankruptcies, right?”

Me: “Yes, we do.”

Caller: “Oh good. So, I think I need to file bankruptcy…”

(The caller explains his financial situation.)

Me: “Okay, I can go ahead and schedule an appointment with an attorney for a free consultation if you’d like.”

Caller: “Yes, let’s do that. I just have a question, though. What would the cost be?”

Me: “It would be [attorney’s fee] plus costs.”

Caller: “And I pay that after it’s all finished, right? I don’t pay anything up front?”

Me: “Actually, you have to pay one-third of the fee up front.”

Caller: “What! But I just explained that I have no money! That’s the whole point! Why do I have to pay up front?”

Me: “Well, because if we allowed that, then clients would just cut and run once the bankruptcy is concluded, and we end up paying the cost of the case ourselves. It’s happened too many times before. It’s just our policy now.”

Caller: *trying to sound sweet* “It’s such a shame that a few bad apples have ruined the process for everyone else.”

Me: “Yes, it really is.”

(Long pause.)

Caller: “So, can I pay after the bankruptcy is concluded?”

Me: “… No.”

Caller: “D*** it! What’s the point?!” *hangs up*

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