“Don’t Be A Dumba**” : 5 Tips for The Potential New Client

Last week I told all of the non-lawyer punks that are now reading the blog about how to contact a lawyer. Of course, being muggles and potential clients, and therefore incapable of wiping their own asses with an instruction manual, the immediate response to the post was “But…But Boozy, how do we decide what lawyer to hire once we’ve found one! I mean, plenty of lawyers are scumbags who just want our money!”

You hear that sound? That’s the sound of a million good lawyers out there sighing and throwing themselves backwards in their chairs all at once because you “heard from a guy about this one lawyer that was a real son of a bitch” and “didn’t care about the case.” Look, some lawyers suck, that’s just the nature of things. Some birds don’t fly, some dogs bite, and some lawyers have no business with a bar license, but that shit happens. Most of the time, though, the reason your fuckstick friend is so unhappy with their lawyer has absolutely nothing to do with the lawyer themselves, and a lot to do with what they think happened.

So how can lawyers fucking combat this plague of people that assume we’re all money-grubbing whores out for every penny in their pocket? Well, first, don’t hire me. Because I’m likely to be a money-grubbing whore out for every last penny in your pocket. Outside of that? Well, maybe I should take a fucking moment and tell people how they can act during a consult and assess a lawyer. I mean, I told lawyers how to assess a case and a client a while back, maybe it’s time for a companion piece on what to do once one of the mouthbreathing morons that make up the mass of humanity stumbles, through sheer happenstance and coincidence, into a law office instead of their friend’s living room. You know, that friend who “totally was a criminal justice major in college and can give you free legal advice.”

So, lawyers, turn back. This one’s for the potential clients. Or, you know, don’t turn back, because you motherfuckers know how I feel about clients and you may get a little bit of enjoyment from this shit.

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Clients are F’ing Liars: Dealing With A Client’s Knowing Omissions

It’s Monday, which means I should have spent my weekend working on a nice post for you guys and digging into a post for Wednesday, leaving me free to come up with and post something for this week’s Friday entry. What I did instead was drink copious amounts of Sour Monkey from Victory Brewing Company, then wash all of that down with half a bottle of Booker’s bourbon while playing games on my new computer. The end result is I don’t really have shit for you today, and trust me, I felt bad about it.

I mean, when I started this site the whole idea was to post something three times a week. Multiple times now I’ve failed to do that. I’ve gotten busy, or fallen behind on shit, and decided that the blog entry is the last thing I needed to be worrying about. Some of you out there are saying “Oh, Boozy, don’t worry about it man! We know that sometimes you’re going to be busy or overwhelmed, it’s cool to take a break every now and again.”

No, motherfuckers, no it isn’t. Because that would make me a liar, and I fucking hate people that lie to me about shit. You know why? Because I have to deal with clients, and clients lie all the fucking time. Those assholes are giving me money to help them and they lie about shit.

And look-ee here, just like that I have a reason to be a salty bastard this early in the morning: Bitching about clients that lie.

Which is every client.

Because all clients lie.

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“Come get your file.”: 4 Reasons to Fire A Client

So, first things first, I know I didn’t exactly keep up with the two posts this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. I had a very painful, very intimate health issue that I can tell you all about if you want to hear about it, but I’m pretty sure nobody wants the details on that one. Let’s just say that my house and office were filled with curse words until sweet relief came in the middle of the night last night. It was like a biblical plague.

Every lawyer has clients that they just can’t fucking stand. If you’ve read any of my past blog posts, which by now you damn well should have, you know that I’m of the general opinion that every client should be dropped and the practice of law should simply consist of people handing me money to review high-minded concepts. Still, if you’re a real lawyer (i.e not one of those carefully preened, always correct, latte-sipping in-house monkeys that only has to deal with “Gary from Sales” and has fucking interns to make a Starbucks run for them) eventually you’ll have to get over your longstanding disdain for people and take on clients. In theory, this should be a mutually beneficial relationship, as clients will come to you with problems, you will advise them and/or represent them in regards to their problems, and you then get paid for resolving those problems.

Isn’t that just the fucking fairy tale?  Still, we all fucking know that’s not how this shit actually works, because at one point or another every lawyer has received a phone call or an email from a client that made them sit the fuck up and say “I’m firing this asshole.” It’s damn near a rite of passage for attorneys, firing their asshole clients. But it’s one they give you absolutely no training on in law school, so how the fuck is a new attorney expected to know when is the moment to tell a client “Fuck you, come get your file.” Is it when they start to be annoying? When you have too much goddamn work to do? When, Lord? When is it appropriate to unilaterally terminate your relationship with the chucklefuck?

Have no fear, shitstains, Boozy’s here.

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How To Make A Client Settle- Prepare Them From The Start

Alright, I’ve talked in the past about how clients suck, about how clients are liars, about how clients are righteous motherfuckers, about how clients frustrate and infuriate, etc.  The take away from a lot of this is I don’t have a lot of fuckin’ love for clients in general.  The practice of law would be a wonderful thing if it wasn’t for the mouth-breathers that tend to waltz in the office doors with a bucket of problems and a small bag of pennies to pay with.  However, as clients tend to be an necessary part of me being able to afford things like new socks, I grudgingly tolerate and accept them.

But even I, a certified client-hater, know that nine times out of ten when a lawyer is bitching about a client they’re actually bitching about themselves.  Simply put, clients aren’t always the most intelligent beings on the face of the earth, and therefore a client can be managed if the lawyer sets down expectations early.  Still I hear about it at every bar function: how some low-life shitbird has fucked up their attorney’s day by refusing to settle or demanding a day in court.  They’ll kvetch over how shitty the claim is or how reasonable the offer was, and then, while swilling whiskey, proclaim “My client’s a fucking idiot.”  I have no sympathy in many cases.

You know what?  That’s your fucking fault, man.  That’s a result of shit you did early on and kept fucking doing right up until a settlement offer came in and you, probably correctly, advised that accepting it was the best offer.  However, your client got stars in their eyes and didn’t want to settle now.  They had faith in you, they believed everything you said to them early on, and their confidence has only grown since then.  Why should they take $100,000 or $200,000 when initially you told them they could get $500,000?

So how the fuck did you get in this mess in the first place, and how the fuck can you get out of this mess?  Well, I mean, now you’re only getting out of it by forcing the client to see the reasonableness of a settlement, with a ball bat if necessary.  How can you avoid getting into it in the first place?

By managing their expectations realistically, fuckwit.  

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The Estate, The Widow, and a Used Parrot: A War Story

So not too long ago I blasted a guy for making a post about a fucking parrot.  The post called out another attorney for possibly copying a tweet regarding a parrot in a divorce, it got thousands of views, and got me labeled as the “parrot post” guy.  Hell, it got mentioned in an online blog ran by People magazine.  A fucking parrot.

Ever notice how sometimes cases and legal issues in various matters, all of which are unrelated, become similar?  Not too long ago I was retained to sue a titty bar.  Since then, I’ve had a number of cases come in where I’m suing titty bars, all different cases.  Likewise, a while back I got one case against a car dealership, then while it was pending got like three more.  None of these people knew each other.  I have no idea how it happens, but it’s a truth:  For some reason certain types of cases seem to come in clumps.

Which, of course, means that a parrot became the central issue in an estate I handled recently…and then I started getting a variety of pet-related matters.  Determining the ownership of thirty cats.  Figuring out which neighbor’s dog was destroying prize-winning roses.  Etc etc etc.

Because, given my history with the species, of fucking course it would be a goddamn parrot that started the multiple rush of pet cases I’m currently handling.

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