Right Question, Wrong Answer

Attorneys have strong feelings about things that they do NOT want.

I have heard many complaints from attorneys  who had a bad experience in the past.

They abhor overly long chronologies that include every detail but fail to identify what is most important, or make it clear to all where they can find that information.

“Look at this” said a defense partner to me a few years ago, as he slapped a 75 page chronology down on his desk. “If I had wanted a book I would have just read the records myself.” We should make their work easier, not harder.

At a Christmas party last year from an attorney I did not know: “Say!” (somewhat slurred at this point in the evening), “Do you know Sallie Patootie?” “No, I do not”, says I, taking one step back. “Well, I will never work with that b**ch again. I wish she were dead.” (two steps). “She charged me $7,000.00 for a chronology I did not even ask for. I just wanted to know if she thought I had a case against a nursing home. She told me her hourly fee but not how many hours she would stick me for. Never again.”

I didn’t bother to introduce myself for fear he would confuse my name with Sallie’s the next time he ranted.

We clarify the work up front, so that we provide value that is readily appreciated, not resented.

In large defense firms, you have to know that partners are the ones who have dialogue with the client. Associates do a ton of legwork for which they often get no credit, and when they are salaried, their work requires no new outlay of funds. For that reason, the only defense work I do involves complicated cases; otherwise, senior attorneys are generally content to have their associates do the research. Dues they paid in their own time.

Our clinical work is not less expensive than their salaried attorney. But what we can do is be faster. We already know what it will take hours of research for the brightest non-medical person to find out, so when time is of the essence, they can call on us. And that is something attorneys do want.

0 Comment   |   Posted in Blog January 10, 2014