No Litigation Hesitation

, , , , , , | Legal | October 23, 2018

I am a very experienced, expensive lawyer who has worked in the area of family law for over nineteen years. I am well known in my field, and have acted for people in expensive, protracted disputes.

I say this because the capacity of some clients to think that for “reasons” they know more about family law than I never ceases to amaze me.

My favourite was when a client was determined to take a course of action (involving the commencement of litigation rather than trying to resolve matters by way of a negotiation) which I had no doubt would cost him more in legal costs and result in a less favourable outcome.

Because I’m not an idiot, I advised him against his preferred course of action clearly, and confirmed my advice by way of letter, which he countersigned.

About a year later, the client had spent maybe $30,000.00 more in legal costs than he should have, and received the same, if not worse, outcome than would have occurred in a negotiated outcome.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, he was furious with me, although he knew that my advice had been clear and, because he’d countersigned the letter, he couldn’t deny receiving it.

I asked what on earth I had done wrong. His response will live with me until my dying day:


Sometimes… I just can’t.

This Kind Of Stupid Shouldn’t Be Legal

, , , , , , | Legal | October 12, 2018

(I am lawyer who works at a legal office. I open some mail addressed to me. A letter says that a lady has sued one of my clients without going to court and is ordering him to pay $100,000 or she will leak confidential information. I call my client and inform him of this, and he tells me not to worry about the bluff and to just bin it. In about two weeks I get a phone call from my client in a panic.)

Me: “Hello, Mr. [Client]. How are you today?:

Client: “Not f****** good!”

Me: “What is the problem, sir?”

Client: “You know that weird lady?”

Me: “Yes, what did she do?”

Client: “Well, she posted all this stuff all over my Facebook wall that was not true. I am now getting terrible messages saying stuff that I am not. I am losing customers from my online shops and everything!”

Me: “Okay, do not delete the messages. Copy every message and send them to me for evidence. Just get off that account while I work on this for you.”

Client: “So, you want these message sent to you?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

(The client sends the messages. We decide to sue for defamation since she has said stuff that is not true and he has now suffered financial loss because of it. Fast-forward about six months. We are about to have our hearing in court when I drop by the office on Saturday to collect some files. I walk in and see the lady that is in the court case ruffling through my files.)

Me: “Hey, [Lady], get out of there! You are not permitted to be here, and this is trespassing.”

Lady: “Oh, f*** off, you little b****. I am taking this evidence so you won’t be able to do anything to me anymore!”

Me: “Listen, we have security cameras rolling 24/7 here. In fact, your face has been on camera the entire time.”

Lady: “I don’t care! They don’t know it is me—”

Me: “It records audio, as well, and you just admitted to a crime.”

Lady: “But—” *sprints to the front door that is locked*

Me: “That door is locked.”

(I call the police while she is struggling with the door.)

Lady: “Let me out!”

Me: “Police have been called; please remain here.”

(The police arrive soon after the call and handcuff her.)

Me: “I would like to press charges on her, please; she has broken a lot of laws!”

Lady: “Oh, go f*** yourself!”

Me: “I will. Have a nice time!”

(I got a call on Monday… Guess who wanted me as their lawyer?)

Can’t Divorce Themselves From The Fees

, , , | Legal | October 6, 2018

Me: *answering phone* “[Law Firm].”

Woman: “I need a divorce attorney. Probably. Maybe.”

Me: “Our firm does do divorces—”

Woman: “But I don’t want the divorce!” *bursts into tears* “HE does! He moved cross-country for work and I was starting to pack our stuff, and then he called and said he wanted a divorce…” *sobs*

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. I’d be happy to schedule you an appointment with an attorney so you can know your rights and what to expect.”

Woman: “I just have one question first…” *asks a question about separation rights that would require a lawyer to answer*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t answer that for you; that’s something you need to discuss with an attorney.”

Woman: “How much would that cost?”

Me: “An initial consult is a one-hour meeting for a fee of [total].”

Woman: *suddenly no longer crying* “Well, what if I don’t have that kind of money? My god, my husband’s abandoned me and I need help, and you’re going on about money! I’m not going to pay for an hour-long meeting when all I really need answered is one question!”

Me: “Ma’am, as I am not an attorney, I literally cannot answer that question. I do not have the knowledge. You would need to schedule an initial consult at the stated rate.”

Woman: “Well… well… Maybe I’ll go find a free attorney!”

Me: “You are welcome to do so, ma’am. We want you to be pleased with your legal representation.”

Woman: “You know, I was ready to schedule a meeting with one of your attorneys! Completely ready! All I needed was my one question answered first!”

Me: “Ma’am, one of the paradoxes of needing a lawyer is that you often need to meet with one to know for sure whether you need one.”

Woman: “I am going to find a free attorney who will answer all my questions immediately!*hangs up*

Me: “Good luck with that.”

To Deal With A**holes, Describe Yours

, , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(For the past few days, we have gotten an obscene phone caller.)

Me: “[Law Office]. How can I help you?”

Caller: *whispering* “Oh, yeah… Oh, baby.”

Me: *confused at first* “Hello?”

Caller: *moan*

Me: “This is a law office, and we do track phone logs.”

Caller: *hangs up*

(Next day:)

Me: “Good afternoon. [Law Office]. How can I help you?”

Caller: *moans and whispers*

Me: *sigh* “Hello?”

Caller: “Yeah, baby, oh…”

Me: “I’m not joking about the call logs, you know. Police will be notified if you do it again.” *hangs up*

(Next day:)

Me: “Good afternoon. [Law Office]—”

Caller: *whispering* “Oh, baby… Oh, yeah…”

Me: “So, let me tell you about this painful zit I have growing near my a**hole!”

(The pervert never called again.)

File This One Under Crazy

, , , , | Legal | July 27, 2018

(The office I work in only has three employees for one lawyer: the legal assistant, the medical records worker, and me, the receptionist. It is a busy day, with a constant flow of clients and the phone constantly ringing. The medical records worker comes up to my desk after a lengthy phone call.)

Medical Records: “I just had a nasty call from a previous client’s daughter. She’s on the way up here for a letter from her mother’s closed file, even though I told her there’s no way we can get it right now.”

Me: “What did she say?”

Medical Records: “She told me that she’s still coming from [City 30 minutes away], and that we had better d*** well get it, even though it’s a closed case from 2012 and we filed it away already. I tried to tell her we won’t have it today, but that we may have it tomorrow, and she hung up on me.”

Me: “Well, [Legal Assistant] would know where that is, but she’s with clients all day. I’ll just tell [Client’s Daughter] that we can’t get those files.”

(Thirty minutes later, the client’s daughter shows up as I’m in the middle of a call with another client, loudly interrupting me.)

Client’s Daughter: “I called earlier about my mom’s letter. I need it now!

Me: “One moment, please.” *puts the caller on hold* “Yes, you were told over the phone that there’s no way we can get that letter for you right now. Our legal assistant is the only one who knows where those files are, and she’s currently with clients.”

Client’s Daughter: *looks around our now empty waiting lobby* “I don’t see anyone here. I need that letter now. My mom almost died, and she needs this letter to help her get healthcare. They told me I need to have that letter by tomorrow or she’s not getting it.”

(I can already tell she’s lying, because we talk commonly with doctors and healthcare agents. They never give an ultimatum like that — not without calling us first.)

Me: “I am truly sorry to hear that. And still, we cannot get that letter yet, because the legal assistant is with clients and is unable to retrieve that file. She will need a few days to find it and make copies of the letter. Which one is it that you need?”

(The daughter names off a letter that we wouldn’t even have.)

Me: “You could have saved yourself a trip. We wouldn’t have that one, anyway.”

Client’s Daughter:What?! I just drove 30 miles to get up here, and you couldn’t have told me that over the phone?”

Me: “Do you mean when you hung up on us?”

Client’s Daughter: “Whatever! While I’m here, I want my mother’s files. We’re going to take the case to someone else.”

Me: “We would still have to find the file, which is in storage at a location away from here. We would have to do this on a day we don’t have clients, since we are currently busy with clients–” *motions pointedly to my phone* “–and can’t take the time to drive to that location to get it. The best I can do is take a message to give the legal assistant. Or, you can wait an hour to see her. It’s 3:30 now, and we close at 5:00, so you’d have only 30 minutes to convince her to drive there and get it for you. Or, you can wait for us to get it for you and call you to pick it up at a later day.”

Client’s Daughter: “I’m not leaving without my mother’s file. You need to get it now.”

Me: “No, I don’t. I don’t know where it’s located. I’m not leaving my station because you were too impatient to let us get it for you and call for you to pick it up.”

Client’s Daughter: “My mother almost died last week, and you’re going to go get that file right now! She’s outside in my car, in the boiling heat, with my child and husband! They cannot wait a d*** hour for someone else to go get it!”

Medical Records: *messages me over our network* “Tell her to wait one f****** moment. I will go outside to see if it’s still here on premises or out in the storage room, or if we’ve moved it offsite.”

Me: *to client’s daughter* “[Medical Records] has kindly offered to go out to our supremely hot storage room to see if it’s out there, since your dying mother can’t sit outside in this unbearable heat. It can take her a while, so I would suggest you bring her inside.”

Client’s Daughter: “She’s fine outside. Besides, my husband is in a wheelchair, and it would take too much work to get him inside of here.”

Me: “We have a ramp you can use to bring him inside.”

(The client’s daughter ignores me and instead takes a call, so I resume my conversation with my previous client. As I’m talking, I can overhear the client’s daughter telling whoever is on the phone, “Yeah, they told me they were tired of fighting with me about it, so they’re getting the file right now.” I make a point to message the medical records worker and legal assistant. Almost fifty minutes later, the medical records worker returns with the file. She takes it to the legal assistant, who finished with her clients a few minutes ago. The legal assistant comes out shortly after.)

Legal Assistant: “We need to make a copy of your driver’s license. Here are your mother’s files. You were told over the phone that we do not have the time, and you still decided to disrupt our work period for something that was clearly not that important. Nothing in your mother’s file is going to help you to get insurance. You were told that. You still decided to keep your dying mother waiting in the hot, blazing car while you sat up here for this. I wish your mother the best in her endeavors, but you are not welcome up here for any reason. Do not return. Do not call. We don’t care to have anything to do with you any further, and no longer have a reason to. There is the door. Leave.”

Client’s Daughter: *to me* “It didn’t take that long to find her file.”

Me: “If your mother was really sick and near death, then she’d have died by now, waiting outside for an hour for you. Goodbye.”

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