Let’s face it. Attorneys are stereotyped. Ambulance-chasers, Bulldogs, or Greedy are just some of the monikers that society gleefully attaches to lawyers. Some are true and deserved.
However, lawyers also stereotype themselves. Here are a few I have dealt with.
Holier Than Thou– This lawyer is usually a young female lawyer who is equally showing how tough they are, but also reasonable. They have never made a mistake and when they did it was not their fault. This lawyer also ALWAYS has the innocent spouse. The well-meaning, single mom just trying to make an honest living in this cruel, unfair world. The Holier Than Thou attorney is so “sweet” on the phone they think they are being nice. They are not.
Know It ALL– This lawyer has never met a question that could not be answered and answered at length. You seek a “yes” or “no” to a question and they give you an explanation that is mostly irrelevant and non-responsive. When you ask again they get agitated with you for not listening.
Know-Nothing– This lawyer cannot be bothered with details. Let’s throw it on the wall and see what sticks. This is all fine and good when what you want and what they will agree to are similar. This is a problem when parties’ needs are opposite.
Do Nothing – This lawyer is reactionary. Sometimes there is a good reason to react instead of blazing a trail which may be unnecessary. However, if the Do Nothing creates problems for achieving results, it’s a problem.
Bull in the China Shop – This lawyer goes with the gusto. If you can file it, file it. If it can be sued, sue. Let the Judge sort it out. That’s why they are paid the big bucks, right? So what that you sued him for contempt for something he literally paid 2 years ago and has proof of. What? Shown the cancelled check and your client’s signature on the cancelled check. Well, there’s probably something he’s in contempt of anyway, right?
Sneaky Snake– The sneaky snake is pleasant to talk to and fun to be around, but you cannot trust them or believe them. Don’t. The Order is not in the mail, they are not calling you tomorrow, they will not Agree to a date certain even though they said they would. Their client won’t “let” them.
So, which are you? Which am I? What does the situation call for? Some attorneys have a knack for being the chameleon, nice to you, mean to me, a great guy, a wonderful gal, as honest as the day is long and as crooked as a “j” hook. There are many other stereotypes. Stay tuned for more…
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and the best advice you can take away from this is know who you are dealing with, as best you can.