Tag Archives: consultation

Don’t Bring Your Child to the Divorce Lawyer Meeting.

Things happen. I get that.  But, generally speaking you should not bring your child to your first meeting with the divorce attorney.

The first meeting with the divorce attorney is tough, emotional and can be embarrassing.  At least, you could be discussing potentially embarrassing and confidential matters.  This is no place for small children.  They will be bored, hungry, thirsty, have to use the bathroom, and will break things in the office.  They will eat all of the candy in the dish, touch all the nick-knacks, and if their sibling is there a fight will ensue.  They will be loud, hot, cold, sleepy, wired, angry and goodness only knows what they will overhear and repeat at the most inopportune time.

Attorneys probably take for granted that the client knows not to bring their children to the meeting.   Don’t.  I try to make sure the client has thought about not bringing the children to the meeting.  It is genuinely rare that there is no other option.  So, if you are a client the only time to take the children is when the attorney requests it.  Otherwise, do NOT take your children to the meeting.  If there is no other choice, reschedule.  If you cannot reschedule, let the attorney know that you must bring your children and bring another adult to watch the children.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney and implores you to please NOT bring your children to the meeting with the lawyer.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

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Red Flag Representation

This blog topic was requested by a colleague.  This posting is geared toward attorneys on spotting warning signs and/or red flags  of potential difficult clients.  This can also apply to a variety of  business owners to be on the lookout for potential difficult customers.

Difficult clients and difficult cases come with the territory of being a lawyer.  The following are some red flags to be aware of, however, these are not necessarily cases or clients to avoid.  I have read many other attorney and business guru’s opinions on avoiding certain types of clients/customers.  They are time stealers, energy wasters and headaches in the making.  In my practice, however, “clients to avoid” have been some of the more gratifying cases for a variety of reasons.  Nonetheless, it is always best to know what you are getting into.

  • Calling/Hiring at the Last Minute.  We have all had the call.  “I need an attorney for tomorrow!”  There’s a trial setting that has been ignored and the client wants you to work miracles.  When the trial is tomorrow – red flag.
  • Multiple Past Attorneys.  This client has been through 2 or 3 or more attorneys.  This is a huge red flag.  The former attorneys either “did not know what he was doing” or “was on the take” or both.  (Sometimes there is a former attorney “no longer willing to do anything” because the potential client owes them a lot of money.)
  • 5 Boxes on the First Visit.  It takes 3 trips to get everything upstairs from car.  Every possible shred of paper has been kept, not necessarily in an organized manner, but…”I know it’s in there somewhere.”
  • No Call/No Show for an Appointment.  After accommodating someone’s work schedule, staying late to meet them and they do not show, did not call, and did not answer when you tried to call them, it could be a sign of the future.
  • When it’s Just Too Hard.  You know the client.  Having to convince them you are honest and on the up and up, having to justify every minute spent speaking to them and/or working on their case.  I charge a fee for my initial assessments with clients. I do this because I provide valuable information, answer questions, provide them with a specific plan of action and it creates a “future conflict” upon the meeting taking place.  When I have to go to great lengths to justify a fee because so and so will see them for free for a “consultation,” I tell them to go see so and so.
  • When There is Animosity at the Outset.  Along the lines of being Just Too Hard, is when you just don’t click.  Sometimes we have to give hard advice.  Sometimes we tell people what they do not want to hear.  Sometimes they attack the messenger.
  • Interviewing Multiple Attorneys.  This one is seemingly innocuous.  It differs from the multiple past attorneys above because the potential client never actually hired the interviewees.  This is the classic “Conflict the Attorney Out,” scheme.  People do it.  Be aware.
  • Super Emotional.  Family law is always difficult and is always emotional.  However, sometimes the hurt and emotional pain of a case are too much for the client to deal with AND litigation and all of the rigors that requires at the same time.  Recognize this to better serve your clients.
  • No Pay or Slow Pay.  The check is in the mail, can you hold the check until ___?, or the check bounced.  As Professor Jeffrey Jackson* at Mississippi College School of Law is known to say, “I can worry about your case or the money you owe me, but not both.”  It is fair to ask the potential client about their income, available resources and intentions to pay the necessary fees. *(As an aside,  Professor Jackson was named to National Jurist’s 23 Law Professors to Take Before you Die.)

These are just a few red flags that a potential client could be difficult, but in my opinion any one of these can occur due to the circumstances of a particular situation and should not disqualify representation.  If all signs are present in your next new client consultation, tell them to go hire so and so.

Matthew is a family law attorney and is not scared to take on a red flag representation, well, except the ones that don’t pay.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

Know Your Rights! Get a diagnosis.

This blog is inspired by the many, many folks I encounter on a weekly basis who have “no clue” what their rights are.

  • If you’re ill, you go to the doctor to get a check-up.

  • If your car is squeaking, you go to the mechanic.

  • If your roof is leaking, you call the repair man.

But if you think you are in a legal situation, what do you do?  YOU IGNORE IT!

Do NOT ignore it.  Go see an attorney.  They don’t bite.  We’ve already discussed how to determine if you need one (here) and how to find one (here).  This is just aimed at the folks on the fence and those choosing to be blissfully ignorant.  Not knowing your rights, not knowing the law, and not knowing your options is a bad thing.

There are deadlines, timelines, and statutes of limitation.  Memories fail, people forget or misremember, documents get lost, people get lost, and “witnesses” die.  Records get erased, deleted and shredded.  Bruises and wounds heal, scars fade, and most persons recall times past more fondly (or at least not as bad) than they were.

Get off the fence.  Get informed and know your rights.

Thompson Law Firm, pllc    Matthew@BowTieLawyer.ms    (601) 850-8000