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Client Defiant

| TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work in a law office as both receptionist and as consultant for new clients. We always do our consultations over the phone, since walk-ins tend to expect to see the lawyer right away. Seeing as his schedule is planned usually a month in advance, that isn’t feasible.)

Me: “Law office, how can I help you?”

Caller: “I need your address.”

Me: “May I ask why?”

Caller: “To see the lawyer. What is your address?”

Me: “[Lawyer] is not in today, so you wouldn’t be able to see him today. Can I help you?”

Caller: “No, you can’t. This is sensitive information. I just need your address.”

Me: “Okay. We only do [types of law] at this office. Is this the type of case you have?”

Caller: “Yes, it is.”

Me: “Well, new callers are unable to see the lawyer the same day. We have to schedule them to see him. I can take your information over the phone, however.”

Caller: “No, you can’t. I would prefer to talk to him. Just give me your address.”

Me: “Okay. The address is [address]; however, we still would not be able to schedule you for an appointment to see him without first doing a consultation with you.”

Caller: “Listen, sweetheart, I don’t give sensitive information out over the phone. Working at a law office, I would think you’d understand that. I will be in there today to see [Lawyer].” *hangs up*

(One hour later, the caller and her husband arrive, and instantly glare at me.)

Caller: “I’m here to see [Lawyer].”

Me: “Do you have an appointment to see him?”

(I already know she doesn’t, but I’m dying to know what she has to say.)

Caller: “I wasn’t told that I need to have an appointment! I need to see him today. It’s imperative that I see him today. How long will it be before I can see him?” *They sit down.*

Me: “Hmm, if you don’t have an appointment, then it’s not going to be until [three weeks later].”

Caller: “WHAT? But I have to see him about my case!”

Me: “OH! You need a consultation!”

Caller: “YES!”

Me: “Right! We don’t do consultations in person. I do them over the phone. I’d have done so earlier, but you were unbelievably rude, with no reason to be. And you told me that you refused to give me your information. Without your information, there’s no way we can set an appointment for you.”

Caller: *stares at me*

Me: “We can’t take your case. Have a nice day!”

(She argued with me until the legal assistant came to back me up. With her attitude and insistence to see the lawyer, there’s no way we would want her as a client.)

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No One Disables You Like Family

| TX, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Popular

(I work for a disability lawyer, and we hear some interesting reasons for why people believe they should get disability. One afternoon, an elderly woman comes in with her two grandsons.)

Grandma: “I need to, uh, talk with someone about disability.”

Me: “I can help you with that!” *pulls out information intake sheet* “What’s your name?”

Grandma: “It’s not for me, though.”

Me: “Oh! Okay, who is it for?”

Grandma: “It’s for my grandson. He’s gay.”

Me: “Okay…” *looks at the two guys with her, since both are clearly over 21 and considered a legal adult* “Which one…?”

Grandma: “Oh, he’s not here. He won’t come out of his room. He’s gay. He doesn’t want to talk to us or anything.”

Me: “I see. Well, being gay isn’t a disability. Aside from that, if he’s over 18, he would have to call us himself.”

Grandma: “But he’s gay!”

Me: “And that’s not a reason for disability.”

Grandma: “It is for me!”

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The Client Condemned Himself

| TX, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Popular

(My boss and I are having a discussion about an old house that is across the street from where he lives, and how he wishes he could buy it since it was once a beautiful two-storied Victorian home. As we’re talking, the phone rings, and as the receptionist, it’s my job to answer. I’m still talking with him as I pick the phone up.)

Me: “They might have to condemn it.” *on phone* [Law Office], how can I help you?”

Client: “Did you just curse at me?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Client: “You did! You just cursed at me! I heard you! You said “damn it” to me. I will not be talked to like that. I demand to speak to [Lawyer] right now!”

Me: “Sir, I didn’t say anything of the like. I was talking about—”

Client: “I heard what you said. I can’t believe you’d say something that horrible over the phone. I want to talk to [Lawyer] RIGHT NOW!”

(I put the client on phone and hand the phone over to my boss, the lawyer, and tell him what just happened.)

Lawyer: *picking up the phone* “Who is this…? Right. Mr. [Client], stop being an a** to my receptionist, d*** it. Now, there, it was said to you. What are you going to do? Nothing? Thought not. Call like that again, and I’ll drop your case.”

(Apparently, this client was always using some rude excuse to talk to the lawyer, just so he could complain. It wasn’t shortly after that he got dropped, because he was calling to harass the legal secretary for saying his name wrong once.)

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.)

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