So things have been a little hectic here in the Law Offices of the Angry Bell. Clients have been going from angry to incredibly happy with me, usually after they finish hearing what I have been trying to tell them.
To anyone out there that might be thinking about hiring lawyer, please do you and your prospective lawyer a favor and do the following:
1) Let the lawyer do his job. Most lawyers out there have some idea of what they are doing. At the very least, if they've passed the bar and practiced in their field for a year of more, they probably know where to look for things when it comes to an issue which they do not have experience in dealing with.
2) Listen to what the lawyer says. This is not the same as taking everything that the lawyer says at face value. This is not to say do not question what the lawyer is telling you when you do not understand. Listen to what the lawyer is saying, because in my experience, the answer the client wants is usually right there in the answer if they would only listen and not talk.
3) Remember this: even if you are a lawyer, you are still the client. After you remember that you are the client, go back and read rule 1.
4) Only hire a lawyer you are comfortable dealing with. For the attorney-client relationship to work, you need to trust that the lawyer is going to work for you. If you don't get that feeling, find someone who earns that trust. Chances are, if you are in a lawyer's office, its imporant enough that you need someone who is there to actually represent you and not collect a billable.
5) Understand that sometimes your lawyer will have to tell you unpleasant things. Just because you have a lawyer does not mean that everything will be all daisies. There are times when the law is going to require you to do some things, including some things that the opposing party is going to want to have done. For example, say you are involved in some nasty litigation and the other side wants to do a site inspection. As long as the conform with Code of Civil Procedure (and assuming that there are no grounds to move to deny this), they are entitled to inspect the real property. Its part of the rules. You want them changed, there had a better be a good reason. Another example would be when you have a case that is weak, which you know is weak, and which you have no ability to make any stronger, and the lawyer advises you of the opposing party's settlement offer. This would not be the time to inform the attorney that he is working for the other side, since all he is doing is communicating the offer to you. Yelling at the lawyer because he is following the rules while representing you is neither wise nor productive.
6) Its not that the lawyer does not believe you, rather its that he is unable to prove what you are saying. When it comes right down to it, there are times when other people horrible things in outlandish ways. However, in order for your attorney to do something about it, there has to be some way to prove what is happening. You may know that something is happening, but unless you and your attorney can prove it in some way, demanding that it be made part of the case will do nothing but weaken your case. Unsupported accusations are not helpful to winning friends, influencing mediatiors, or conving judes.
And that's my little rant on the week that was.