Here's a familiar scenario:
A family comes to our office. Something bad has happened or is about to happen. It just so happens that we know the people who are making the decision. Perhaps with a well placed phone call and follow-up meeting, and we can change what has occurred or is about to occur.
The family is in great distress. They are about to lose a great deal of money, or a family member is about to lose their freedom. There is a price for our services. Not everyone can just pick up the phone and get the decision maker who is causing such problems on the other line.
"Here is our fee" we say. They wince, and we stand up and suggest they talk in private for a few moments. No rush. The family confers and after deciding that there are several people they can call to raise the money, plus a second mortgage on a home, they agree to our terms and hire us.
This is what we do. We profit on the troubles of others. If we do our job well, we are successful, often saving the client from themselves and their own poor judgement. ( "Tell me again why you confessed, on tape, to something you didn't do?")
Well now, after the big meeting on Wednesday with the high powered political lobbyist, doesn't it seem like the shoe is on the other foot? "You blew it" we have been told. "You were getting tens of millions of dollars of tax payer money and you never spent a nickel to protect what you were getting.
Welcome to the big leagues."
"Well now, all is not lost." (Gleaming white smile). "For a fee (re-occurring every year) we can solve your little problem and get back your lost kitty. Just ante up and let the professionals take it from here. "
Rumpole says: We are reminded of the story of the very successful surgeon who had some pain, went to a doctor and was told he needed some surgery. He scoffed: "Surgery is for patients...not for me."
Apparently we lawyers are in about the same position, collectively, as our clients. True we have not committed any crimes (most of us anyway). But we have been told by the pros that we don't know how to play the game, and we have no one to blame but ourselves for the position we now find ourselves in.
Here's the rub- and don't deny that many of you have been thinking the same thing:
Are we going to hire the lawyer who really believes in our cause, is good, and will give us a chance at winning? Or -and unfortunately we all know colleagues like this- are we about to spend more than a quarter of a million dollars with some guys, who will be going out to the bar afterwards to brag about the big, fat, loser client they just got hired to represent?
Food for thought.
Hey you guys in the Keys, hows the weather? Hows the tequila?
See You In Court.