Monday, August 9, 2010

That big white envelope

I recently received a large plain envelope from the State Bar of Texas that said personal and confidential on the front. I held it in my hand and looked at it. Did I want to open it up? It was the same feeling when you were told the principal wanted to see you.

I opened it up and there was a letter from the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel informing me that a client in a civil matter had filed a grievance but that the office dismissed it. I looked up at the name of the complaining party and thought "that figures."

As I read through the grievance form my blood boiled as I read lie after lie -- and then I had to remind myself of what I tell countless clients -- "I know it's a lie and you know it's a lie; but there's nothing I can do to get that person to recant." She said that I had an odor of alcohol, seemed hungover and that I acted like I didn't know what I was doing.

Of course I guess we all need an excuse to fall back on when things don't go our way. In this particular case I was told from day one that my client had documents in their possession that would prove up everything that was claimed. And, believe it or not, those documents never materialized.

People come to a lawyer because they want something and they feel entitled to whatever that something is and some of them have a hard time understanding that if you don't have a legal basis for your claim, the best lawyer in the world isn't getting it for you.

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