11 Things Your Lawyer Won’t Tell You

by on October 24th, 2014
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1. Attorneys don’t deserve a bad reputation. We are no better or worse than anyone else; we just have more opportunities to prove it.

2. At least once per week someone will ask me to take their case pro bono. You wouldn’t ask a mechanic to repair your car pro bono, nor would you ask a waiter to feed you pro bono. My malpractice insurance alone costs $2,000 per month. What is so special about your case that leads you to believe that I would be willing to sacrifice dozens of hours of my time to helping you instead of feeding my family?

3. Television and movies have led you to believe that I have a magic wand. I don’t. If you lead police on a high speed chase that ends with you crashing your car through a grocery store wall and ten minutes later law enforcement measures your blood alcohol content at three times the legal limit… Buddy, you’re going to jail.

4. Don’t tell me that I am the fourth attorney to handle your case. If you have had one other attorney, there are several legitimate reasons why you might need someone new. If you have had two other attorneys, the problem is probably you, but there is still an outside chance that you are a victim of circumstance. If you have had three other attorneys and want to make me your fourth, it is because you are radioactive.

5. Don’t ask me if there are any loopholes to save you from your mistakes. A loophole is where the legislature passes a law written in a way that unintentionally excludes a person or action from the intended consequences of the law in question. The last time this happened was approximately around the time that Calvin Coolidge was in the White House.

6. Not including municipal laws, the Federal and state governments literally have approximately ten million pages of law on the books. Cut me some slack if I occasionally have to do a little research.

7. I don’t care what you read on the Internet; if you are going to challenge my expertise based on something that “mjjunkie86″ posted on his blog, you are wasting everyone’s time.

8. Always treat me nicely. When I charge you by the hour, I bill based on how long it feels like I have been working on your case. If you bake me a plate of sugar cookies at Christmas time, that gesture will probably save you around $100 per cookie in fees.

9. My win/loss record is irrelevant. Some cases are so easy to win, a monkey in a tuxedo could do it. An attorney who has never lost a case has never taken a risk. Instead of asking about my record for winning, you should ask me to tell you about a case that I lost.

10. Never agree to pay a personal injury attorney 1/3 of your settlement unless your case goes all the way to trial. Occasionally, a case will be worth something like $30,000; I will call the defendant’s insurance company and say ” hey, we’ll settle this thing right now for $30,000″ and the insurance company will agree. If I get 1/3 of that, guess what? I just made $10,000 for myself in ten minutes.

11. I put clients in one of four categories: those who I like and pay their bills on time, those who I don’t like and pay their bills on time, those who I like and don’t pay their bills on time, and those who I don’t like and don’t pay their bills on time. If your fall into that fourth category, you would probably be better off without me.

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