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    A Winning Counter-Threat

    | USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids

    (We have a client who frequently calls and threatens to send her father to our firm because her case isn’t resolved, in spite of us telling her repeatedly that she has to wait for the final hearing which has been scheduled. Her father also repeatedly threatens us as well. I’ve finally had enough with this phone call.)

    Client’s Father: “If you don’t file a [name of motion] by TODAY, I’m going to come down there personally, and we’ll see what happens!”

    Me: “Good. I’ve been looking for a reason to call the police.”

    Client’s Father: “What? You can’t do that! Attorney-client privilege!”

    Me: “See, here’s the thing Mr. [Name]: you are NOT the client. Furthermore, I’m the paralegal. I don’t get paid enough to deal with your threats. If I quit, the attorney has no one to deal with your abuse. If you come in and threaten me, I have every right to fear for my safety and take actions to ensure I am safe.”

    Client’s Father: “WHY YOU B****! I’LL TEACH YOU—”

    Me: *interrupting him* “FURTHERMORE, your daughter is in the middle of a custody battle with her ex being represented by one of the loudest attorneys in town. How do you think a criminal charge will affect her case?”

    Client’s Father: “DON’T YOU DARE SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT!”

    Me: “Likewise. Show up at the office and I’ll call the police, and you’ll lose your case. If you have a problem, take it up with the attorney. I’m not dealing with you anymore.”

    Client’s Father: “HOW DARE YOU!” *I hang up mid-sentence*

    (He never did come in to threaten me… and he never did complain either!)

    Courting Disaster

    | Coeur d' Alene, ID, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

    (It’s my first day working at my new career. I just graduated college and my boss asked me to call a client and remind them their sentencing is tomorrow. It’s the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend. This is my first client call:)

    Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] from [Law Office]. I’m calling to remind you that your sentencing is tomorrow at 1:00 pm. [Lawyer] asks that you meet him in front of the courthouse at 12:45 pm or so.”

    Client: “Oh! Well, I don’t think I can make it.”

    Me: “What?”

    Client: “Yeah, um, I don’t think I can make it. I just gassed up my motorhome and I’m leaving for Memorial Day tomorrow morning.”

    (At this point, I was completely floored and not sure what to do. It’s court… not a choice. Do I explain that she’s going to have a warrant if she doesn’t show? I told her I will talk to my boss and get back to her. He ended up calling her. She did show up for court.)

    Job Unap-para-ent

    | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I am a paralegal. Paralegals are trained in the law, but they are not lawyers, and are prohibited from giving legal advice. I am also a young woman. I am helping two elderly clients when this happens.)

    Me: “Hello, clients! I’m the attorney’s paralegal, and I will be assisting today.”

    Client: “Oh, I see. So…”

    (The client proceeds to ask a question that would clearly be the practice of law if I answered it.)

    Me: “We’ll have to ask the attorney on that one. That goes out of scope for me as a paralegal.”

    Client: “What do you mean? I thought you were just like him! Why can’t you answer my questions?”

    Me: “I’m a paralegal, sir, not a lawyer.”

    Client: “Oh. I thought that was what they called lady lawyers… paralegals.”

    Me: “Um, nope. Paralegals do a lot of legal work, we set appoints, do research and writing, and a good deal of interviewing, but we don’t represent people in court or give legal advice.”

    Client: “SO you’re basically a glorified secretary?”

    (I breathe a deep sigh, as I have a two year degree in legal studies.)

    Me: “If that helps you understand it, then yes, I suppose so.”

    (Note: A paralegal is NOTHING like a secretary. NOTHING.)

    Rectify The Situation, Part 2

    | FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I regularly update medical records for our clients. One of my clients is getting angry that his case is taking so long, and has been yelling at me for a few minutes.)

    Client: “Yeah, well this is taking way too long. I bet you don’t even know that I had surgery last week!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, where did you have your surgery?”

    Client: “Up my rectum!”

    (There is a long and awkward silence.)

    Me: “Um, well, I meant at which hospital did you have your surgery, so that I can get your medical records?”

    Client: “…oh.”

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    Rectify The Situation