Your lawyer is not the enemy. Today’s blog is about how lawyers and clients interact, that is to say should interact. As much as you might be angry at your lawyer for well…giving you bad news such as that you may have to go jail for drunk driving or that child support is going to cost $1000/month, I would like you to remember something:
We didn’t cause your problem, more than likely you did.
We didn’t tell you to marry that jerk that is divorcing you and taking your car. We didn’t pour that last round of tequila shooters, the “one for the road” round, that caused you to crash your car into a house, get out run and end up getting tasered (true story). We didn’t go to the bar and suggest you flirt with that girl, have an affair and have your wife leave you and then demand $5000/month in alimony. I’m also pretty sure we didn’t egg you on to beat the crap out of that guy who was being a smart-ass causing you to get arrested and charged with felony assault.
My favorite clients are the ones who generally accept that their current situation is one they made, or at the very least, played a significant part in creating the problem. I think that when a client understands that they are at least partially to blame they can accept that we, as their advocate, are trying our darndest to get your life back on track and fix the situation. We are trying to help you. You are paying for our advice, for God’s sake, listen to it! I’m not saying every lawyer gives great advice, but most lawyers give the advice for a reason, to fix the situation you created.
I can tell you that I’ve never met a lawyer who has “been on the take” or taking bribes to sabotage the case. I’m sure they are out there but for most divorce lawyers doing something that dumb, for one client, is not worth losing ones’ law license (let alone any criminal sanctions). I can also let you in on a secret that we, as your lawyer, rarely, and I mean RARELY will get worked up enough to take the case personally. I can think of one or two opposing clients that I really didn’t like and that’s mainly because they would call and swear at me! We don’t hate you or the opposing client and except for real jerks, we don’t hate the opposing lawyer, heck, we normally like them!
We have families and kids and don’t spend every minute worrying about how to clean up your mess. We want to make a decent living, true, but we know that happy clients are the best referral sources and most of us will charge you a fair price for our work.
Well, there you go one lawyer’s rant after a hard day. What can you take from this Dear Reader? I hope this: That your lawyer is on your side, they may not believe you, may not even like you, but you can count on your lawyer working long hours and doing everything possible under the law to help you get the outcome you want. You should expect nothing less from your lawyer and I’m proud to say that the vast majority of Minnesota family lawyers do exactly this.