Your Silence Speaks Volumes

, , , , | Right | September 10, 2020

I’m the problem-solving legal assistant from Enlarging Your Client Base and She’s A Different Kind of Calendar Girl.

Due to the health crisis, we have stopped having in-person meetings with our clients, preferring Skype or telephone calls. Most clients are grateful for our efforts to keep them safe and have been nothing but complimentary of the staff’s efforts to remain personal but professional.

One client belonging to my boss — the villain of the “Calendar Girl” story — calls in for a conference and, while covering basic questions about medical treatment, gives me this treat:

Client: “I have to ask, is [Boss] as condescending, arrogant, and b****y in person as he sounds on the phone?”

Me: “I… I really couldn’t say.”

Client: “Oh, right. He can fire you.”

Me: “Yes… Yes, he can.”

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Can’t He Just Celebrate On The Weekend Like A Normal Adult?

, , , | Legal | September 4, 2020

I am the manager of a law firm. I have spent several days coordinating a date and time for a deposition. The next day, I get a phone call.

Junior Lawyer: “Hi, I’m [Junior Lawyer]. I represent [Client Being Deposed]. I need to talk to you about rescheduling his deposition.”

Me: “Why?” 

Junior Lawyer: “I’ve just been told that it’s my client’s birthday. We need a different day, preferably a Tuesday.”

Me: “I had to find a day that worked for four different law firms, a judge, and your client. This was the only available day.”

Junior Lawyer: “But it’s his birthday!”

Me: “He’s a sixty-year-old man who works for the state. Are you telling me he’s not working that day?”

Junior Lawyer: “He’s working but… it’s still his birthday.”

Me: “I’m not going to reschedule unless you clear it with the judge.”

She calls back a few minutes later to tell me she’s got the judge on a conference call.

Junior Lawyer: “[Judge], I have [My Name] on the line. She says she can’t reschedule the deposition unless you clear it.”

Judge: “Why do I have to clear the date? You can change the date as long as my schedule permits.”

Me: “I wanted you to be aware of the reason for the change. It’s her client’s birthday.”

Judge: “So?”

Me: “She wants to change because he doesn’t want to do it on his birthday.”

Crickets.

Judge: “Are you really telling me that we spent days trying to schedule this and now it’s not going to work because it’s his birthday?!”

Junior Lawyer: “Well, he wants to go…”

Judge: “I’m sure he can go to Chuck E. Cheese a different day. We’re not changing. Goodbye!”

Me: “So, I’m going to go ahead and confirm the date now.”

Junior Lawyer: *Sighs heavily* “Okay. He’s not going to be happy.”

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Unfiltered Story #207092

, , | Unfiltered | September 2, 2020

(We have a client who has been antsy about her case. She keeps calling us about it to ask what the judge has said, and finally asks us to withdraw her case, because we’re not moving fast enough for her. We keep trying to point out that it’s the judge we’re waiting on, we have to wait for the ruling to come out. Otherwise, we don’t know a thing. All the same, she demands we send withdrawal papers to her to sign. Our legal assistant sends them out the same day, but it still takes two to three days before they’ll reach her via mail. We sent these out on Tuesday.)

Client: *On the phone on Wednesday* “I need to talk to [Legal Assistant]. I still haven’t gotten those papers.”

Me: “We sent them out yesterday, ma’am. You won’t get them for another day or two. Once you get them, sign and send them back in.”

Client: “There’s no way that [Legal Assistant] can do them up for me again and I come up there to pick them up? I’m only ten minutes away. I’m driving there now.”

Me: “Even if she could, she’s not here today.”

Client: “Well, when is she coming back?”

Me: “Tomorrow. She took a personal day today. They should reach you tomorrow, anyway. Just look for them, sign them, and send them back in.”

Client: “Well, can you do them for me?”

Me: “No, I’m not able to. It has to be [Legal Assistant], because she’s the only one up here able to do them.”

Client: “Is [Lawyer] in?”

Me: “He’s in court today and won’t be in office, ma’am.”

(She hangs up only to call Thursday for the same reason.)

Client: “I need to talk to [Legal Assistant] about those papers. I’m on my way up there right now to see her.”

Me: “She isn’t in yet, she won’t be in until after one. She had to see her doctor this morning. Has your mail already run? It may be there this afternoon, you know.”

Client: “No. I still haven’t gotten them. I need [Legal Assistant] to get them done up for me. I’ll come up there to sign them.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll get her a message, but she won’t be able to see to them until tomorrow. She has three cases to work on for the lawyer when she gets in.”

Client: “Is [Lawyer] in?”

Me: “He is, but he has a full day. He has an appointment at every hour, and he leaves paperwork like this for [Legal Assistant] to do.”

(Again, she hangs up, rude about it, and I hear nothing about it for the rest of the day. Friday, however, she storms in.)

Client: “I need to see [Lawyer] NOW!”

Me: “He’s with a client, Ms. [Client]. He’s not going to be able to see you for a while, and [Legal Assistant] is dealing with a long distance appointment that is likely to take up to three hours. It’s why we asked you to please be patient and wait for the withdrawal forms to come by mail for you. You should get them today.”

Client: “I need to sign them NOW! Tell [Legal Assistant] I need to see her and I need those papers.”

Me: “I can’t interrupt her call, ma’am. You have to understand, she has appointments just like [Lawyer] does. I’m not able to interrupt them. I can give her another message. She will give me the papers and I’ll call you when they’re ready to be signed.”

Client: “I don’t have time. I can’t wait that long.”

Me: “There’s nothing I can do about that. My hands are tied in this.”

(She sits down and glares at me. Then she stands back up and storms down the hallway to the lawyer’s office. He is none too pleased about having his current client’s appointment interrupted, either.)

Client: “Your receptionist was rude to me. She told me that I can’t get my papers, and I’m going to have to wait three hours to sign them. You’re my lawyer, you need to make her get to work or fire her for being incompetent. I need those papers done now!”

Lawyer: “Yes, yes. Please go sit back down in the lobby. I’ll get [Legal Assistant] to draw the papers up.”

(He excuses himself from his office to go to the legal assistant’s office and talk to her. She comes up there ten minutes later. The whole while, the client has been giving me smug grins, because she got her way after all.)

Legal Assistant: “Sign here, here, date here, and sign here. *She waits for client to sign and date* Good. Now, you’re no longer welcome up here, as you’re no longer our client. Here are your papers to withdraw from the case. You can send them in to the judge yourself once you’ve signed them. The envelope is already pre-addressed. Thank you for interrupting my day and my call. I hope the inability to wait an extra day to withdraw your case gives you a feeling of happiness. Please don’t come again.”

(The client gaped at the legal assistant, then stormed out with a “Bet your a** still gets fired.” The only thing the lawyer said to me as he was leaving that evening was, “Some people are just too self involved and feel too entitled. I hope she doesn’t come back.”)

Talk About Leaving Things To The Last Minute

, , , | Legal | August 29, 2020

I take a call at 2:00 pm.

Client: “If I get documents to you by the end of the day, can you still file them with the court today?”

Me: “Yeah, sure. There will be a rush fee, but I should be able to do it. What type of documents are they?”

Client: “It’s a [document asking the judge to reschedule a hearing date].”

Me: “Oh, okay, that’s pretty straight forward. I can—”

Client: “Yeah, the hearing was today.”

Me: “…”

Client: “So, can you still get over there?”

Me: “…”

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Unfiltered Story #205774

, , , | Unfiltered | August 22, 2020

I work in a firm of solicitors which deals only in personal inujury. We get new clients through internet and phone enquiries. I’ve answered a call and I’m trying to take details of the accident.

Me: What I’ll do now is take some details of what’s happened and see if we can take your claim on.
Client: I had a car accident.
Me: I’m very sorry to hear that, can you go through what happened for me?
Client: I don’t want to give any details, I just want to know if I can make a claim.
Me: You may be able to, if I can take some details on exactly what happened, I can speak with one of the firm’s partners and see if we can assist you with a claim.
Client: I was in a car accident, that’s all I am willing to tell you until I know you can take me on.
Me: Unless I know what happened and what your injuries are, I won’t know if we can take your claim on. Were you driving the car, or a passenger?
Client: It doesn’t matter where I was sat, I was in an accident! I want to make a claim. Why can’t you tell me if I can or not?
Me: Without knowing exactly what happened, I don’t know if we can help you or not. If it puts your mind at ease, we keep all of your information confidential, and you’re not obligated to bring your claim through us even if we can take the claim on.
Client: Just go and ask your boss if I can get money for this accident.
Me: OK, can I take a couple of personal details from you? May I take your full name?
Client: No. You have my first name and my phone number. That’s all I am willing to tell you.
Me: OK, I will speak to a partner this afternoon and call you back to let you know if we can take your claim on.

Needless to say, the partner said we couldn’t take the claim on without at least basic details of the accident. When I called the client back to let them know, they shouted at me some more for not being able to take the claim on without more details, and demanded we take all their details off our system and to never call them again. I happily obliged.