I recently wrote of 10 Annoying Attorney Traits. I only listed 10 of them, though there could have easily been 100+. A colleague suggested I write about Annoying Client Traits. I agreed to do it. Disclaimer: This applies to none of my past, present and/or future clients. Any resemblance to you is purely coincidental.
- 10. Calling at the Last Minute. You have a trial tomorrow?! You have had the papers for months, were served and ignored the other attorney’s calls and letters for weeks. Then you are upset with the attorney because we cannot get involved…
- 9. Petty Cases. You want to sue your neighbor because some leaves blew on your side of the fence, or in the family arena, because he was 5 minutes late for visitation drop-off. The Court does not want to hear it unless it matters.
- 8. Expecting Something for Nothing. I get multiple calls a month where the potential clients say they “don’t got no money, but…don’t you attorneys have to take some cases Pro Bono…” All Mississippi attorneys donate at least 20 hours per year on Pro Bono cases, or pay $200 dollars to the Mississippi Bar. Just because you don’t want to pay doesn’t mean your case is Pro Bono.
- 7. Declaring War. Okay, so you have a serious case. It does not mean that the right move is to put on your helmet, arm yourself and put on war paint. Listen to your attorney. Sometimes resolving your differences or settling your case is a better long-term outcome.
- 6. Suing for the Principal. Your case just got 3 times more expensive. Moral victories do not taste sweet. Suing on principal costs you lots of money, gets you in a quagmire and it may not end up the way you were hoping.
- 5. Not Taking Our Advice. You paid us to tell you what to do. Don’t follow at your own peril.
- 4. Weekend Calls About Non-Emergencies. Emergencies happen. We are paid to deal with them. However, it is not an emergency because your friend’s cousin in Toledo just settled their case without an attorney and you were wondering why we did not tell you about the Toledo case. What? Are you okay? Yes. Call me Monday.
- 3. Not Responding to Your Attorney. Attorneys get a bad rap for not returning calls. Well, clients don’t return calls either. We cannot effectively represent you if we cannot speak to you when needed. Please do not avoid calls.
- 2. Not Paying. You hired a lawyer. In most instances you caused the mess you are in or at least contributed to it. You agreed to the fees. Pay your bills. Not all lawyers are stinking rich.
- 1. Lying. Why on Earth would you lie to your attorney? We are so immune to judging you based on whatever it is that you did due to the fact that everyone else did it too. They just did not get caught. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…to your attorney.
Matthew is a family law attorney and when he gets calls on the weekends, for non-emergency “emergencies” it goes something like this…
Client: Matthew, I hate to call on the weekend, but…
Attorney: Are you safe, are your kids safe, are you in jail, are your kids in jail…?
Client: What? No, we’re all fine. My Cousin’s friend in Toledo…
Attorney: Call me on Monday.
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at(601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.