Involuntary Pro Bono: When Clients Ignore Invoices

Here’s a rule of thumb to keep in the front of your mind during every client interaction:

Clients are scum that will take every opportunity to screw you over.

Clients will walk off with your invoices unpaid, taunting you to come after them. If you do come after them, clients will file unfounded bar complaints that you have to defend. If you sue a client for past-due fees, you’ll draw the ire of the local bar association because you didn’t submit to their fee-dispute mediation program. If you try to retain a client’s file to try and force the payment, they file a bar complaint. At the end of the day, trying to collect from a client who wants to avoid paying you is a nightmare for the lawyer, to the point that many of us look at how much is owed, figure it’s the cost of doing business, and write it off.

By the way, those written off fees?  They don’t count towards your pro bono requirements if you have one.  Ain’t that some shit.

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Champerty Champions: Betting on Litigation

I think I mentioned before that I’m the son of a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney.  Essentially, growing up, this meant my family’s fortune was pinned onto the misfortune of others.  Paying a water bill for my father wasn’t a matter of billing time so much as it was a matter of hoping someone got bit by the neighbor’s dog or t-boned by a semi truck.  There were Christmas’s where a wrongful death suit meant a new Nintendo, and there were nights where a bad jury verdict meant the family was playing Uno by candlelight and filling up empty gallon jugs with water until the utilities were turned back on.  Feast or famine was the name of the game in those days, and all because of the concept of a contingency fee.

Which is why lawyers, like shitbirds of all stripes and colors, turned to lenders to meet their normal expenses.

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