Monday, August 2, 2010

Advice

I've often said that I like to know the size of the truck that's going to hit me.  That way, I know whether I'll need to reach for an ice pack or a shovel.

When dealing with clients, I keep the same thing in mind.  Those seeking advice will get the best advice I can give them.  It may not be what they want to hear, but I'll tell them anyway.  I owe it to them.  For every interaction with a potential client, I try very hard to control the interview. I need to drill down past the emotions and obtain the information I need. I also need to judge body language and other clues to determine if the clients are being honest with me. Someone who is demonstrably dishonest will not be a client.

I opened the door and walked in to the conference room.  The room was brightly lit because of the large windows to my right.  In the middle of the room is a large conference table, with six chairs around it.  I took my seat at the head of the table and introduced myself to the couple already there.  The wife was seated directly to my left.  Her husband was in the chair next to her, but he had rolled it all the way to the end of the conference table.  There he sat, with his arms crossed, his head lowered, his face twisted into a scowl, and his eyes trying to burn holes into me.

Unfortunately for him, I'm pretty much immune to the evil eyes of a stranger.

From the beginning of this interview, it's pretty clear to me.  This couple is used to calling the shots.  They have a plan in mind and need me to go along with it.  The wife talks, the husband sighs and scowls.  He mumbles displeasure at my questions.  She tailors her answers to what she thinks I want to hear.  However, I'm not exactly new at this.  I see right throught it, and it annoys me.

In spite of their best efforts, I gather enough information to get an idea of what they intend to do.  It's not legal.  But that's no surprise.  Their behavior shows they have a lot to hide.  I lay out my advice, beginning with a simple warning.  If caught, they face years in prison.  The statute of limitations is measured in decades.  That's a long time to look over a shoulder.

The husband finally speaks up.  He releases his anger, sharply focused at me.  Apparently, their life has been one of finding ways to skirt the system.  They have not been successful, and every turn has left them worse than before.  He tells me he is angry at me, because I will not help them.

I end the interview, decline to help and show them the door.  The husband's attitude has gotten worse, and the wife's has not improved.  They walk out the door, the husband releasing one last insult as the door closes.

I chuckle and shake my head as I head out to lunch.

You are not worth putting my license in jeopardy.  I plan on sleeping in peace tonight.

2 comments:

Patty O said...

Gads, how do you manage to put up with that kind of horsesh*t? I would have charged them for giving me a migraine...or perhaps just for taking up space. BTW, I really enjoy your blog...will recommend it to my "Don't Tread On Me" friends! Keep up the good (and honest) work.

Patty O, OKC, OK

Lawyer said...

Patty,

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your compliments! You know, the people that just stop by my office once, I tend to forget who they are. It's the clients that fall off the deep end that get a gray hair named after them.