I have a client whom I do work for on occasion. This is an attorney who needs contract help on some of his cases. Lately, though, he seems to be treating me like I am an associate rather than an independent contractor. For example, yesterday, I received at my office, a couriered document that he wants me to deal with. He did not ask me if I had the time to deal with it (which I have, if I want to cut out sleeping at all this week before Friday). I definitely do not charge him enough for this.
But what is really steaming me right now is the email that he sent me this morning about my meeting tomorrow. Apparently, the client will be there and wants to critique the document (an appeals brief) that I am writing on the case. Like he did when I was writing the opening brief. Like he did last week when he tried to tell me how the law worked in an email (an address which I did not give him for very reason I did not want him contacting me).
Critique me? Where the frak does this little idiot of a client get off thinking he knows anything about legal writing, much less appeals work? Did this guy go through three years of hell known as law school? Did he sit through the bar exam? Did he pass the California Bar on the first try? Does he know the difference between res ipsa loquitur and res judicata (one of them being very important to the case)?
Oh wait, let's think about this. That's right, this is the guy who decided that he was too smart to allow a lawyer to handle the case. This is the guy who could not be bothered, apparently, to go to a law library, if he was going to be idiotic enough to be his own client, and figure out exactly what it takes to follow the rules. It would be like me being trying to be a plumber without first knownig the difference between a crescent wrench and a pipe wrench. Or to diagnose and treat my own maladies because I have access to wikipedia or webmd. I sure as hell do not go out, screw up my engine by tinkering with it and then try and tell the mechanic what to do.
There is a reason that there are professions. Its not because we are trying to keep ourselves exclusive for exclusivity sake. Its because some jobs require more than the basic education you get in school. You want it done right, whether it be plumbing, medical treatment, or legal advocacy, you go to the person who knows what the frell they are doing.
Going to this meeting tomorrow will be... interesting.
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