Advice Is Cheap, Especially From Opposing Counsel

, , , | Legal Right | April 29, 2009

Me: “This is [Law Firm]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I’m calling about the court date tomorrow. Do I have to appear there?”

Me: “Well… I see from the file that you are the defendant, while we represent the plaintiff. Did I get that right?”

Caller: “Yes. Do I have to appear there?”

Me: “You do realize that you are talking to your opponent’s lawyer?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Well, okay. You don’t really have to appear. If you don’t appear in court, you’ll lose the case, though, because you’re not represented by anybody else.”

Caller: “So, I don’t have to appear there?”

Me: “No, not in the strict sense of the word ‘have to.’ But you do realize that you are calling the opposite lawyer, don’t you?”

Caller: “Yes, I do.”

Me: “Very well. I take you won’t come, then?”

Caller: “No, I won’t.”

Me: “Okay, very well. Thanks for the call.”

Caller: “Goodbye, and thanks for the advice!”

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Your Urgency Is Not My Emergency

, , , | Legal | June 1, 2008

Me: “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”

Caller: “My phone’s been shut off and the only number I can call is 9-1-1.”

Me: “Are you calling about your phone being shut off or do you have an emergency?”

Caller: “My phone. I paid my bill. It should be working.”

Me: “You’ll have to take that up with the phone company.”

Caller: “Well, can you tell them to turn it back on? I paid my bill.”

Me: “No, you’ll need to contact them. This is the police department and this is an emergency line. I’m going to have to disconnect the call. You need to contact the phone company to get your phone turned back on.”

Caller: “But my phone’s not working! I need it fixed now!”

Me: “I’m sorry. This is the police department. We can’t fix your phone. You’ll need to hang up and contact your phone company. We can’t do anything about your phone.”

Caller: “Well, that’s not right! I need help. My phone isn’t working and what if I need it? What if I have an emergency?”

Me: “You just dialed 9-1-1.”

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