Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth??????

***All names and numbers are fictional and please note this is not one person in-particular, I get at least 10 of these phone calls a day***** 


MIP: “Good morning ‘TheHellHole’ can I help you?”

Caller:  “Yes ma’am is ‘Ms.Boss’ there?”

MIP:  “She’s out of the office may I take a message?”

Caller:  “Yes, just have her call ‘Jane Smith’ at 555-1212”

MIP:   “May I tell her what it’s regarding?”

JS:  “I just need to talk to her about some legal advice.”

MIP:  “oh in that case we would need to set you up with a consultation appointment”

JS:  “she just can’t call me back?”

MIP:  “no ma’am she requires all new clients to come in for a consultation, would you like for me to set you up with that now?”

JS:  “yes please”

MIP:  “Okay, what type of case will this be?”

JS:  “there’s no case I just need some legal advice.”

MIP:  “yes ma’am but what type of issue are you wanting to see her for?”

JS:  “I just wants some advice on what to do, just legal advice.”

MIP:  “Ma’am what type of matter are you coming in to see us about, there are several issues we don’t do here such as traffic, criminal, etc…. so she wouldn’t be able to advise you on them.  We mainly do family law here.”

JS:  “oh well I guess it would be a family issues, my husband……….well I just need to ask her what to do”

MIP:  “So you’re coming in about divorce/separation type issues……..”

JS:  “I”m not sure if we’re divorcing yet or not I just need some legal advice”
MIP:  “so it’s about you and your husband possibly splitting up, right?”

JS:  “I guess so”

(see how damn exhausting this is…….but it’s not over)

MIP:  “okay what’s your husband’s name?”

JS:  “Um….. do I have to give you that information, I really don’t want anyone to know?”

MIP:  “Ma’am we keep everything confidential of our clients, we don’t give out names and such, I need it so I can check for conflict.”

JS:  “He’s never been there!”

(WTF???? how in the hell does she know this, we have people come in all the time that their spouse has no idea they’ve ever been here.)

MIP:  “Okay ma’am but I still have to check okay, what is his name?”

JS:  “I know he’s never been there”

MIP:  “Ma’am I just need to put it into our computer, so in order to make you an appointment I will need his name.”

JS:  “John Smith”

MIP:  “Hold one moment please”

(put on hold, check for conflict and take a minute to breathe……..)

MIP:  “okay ma’am I can set up you a consultation appointment and my next available date is next Wed. at 2 or 3 p.m.  Our consultation fee is $200 and that allows you to come in and speak with her for an hour.  At that time she will quote you a retainer fee for any further work…………..”
JS:  “$200.00!!!!!”

MIP (in my nicest possible voice): “yes ma’am”

MIP:  “yes ma’am, that is her normal fee for this”

JS:  “I can’t pay that”
MIP:  “I’m sorry ma’am, maybe you should try one of the other attorney’s in the area”

JS:  “Well I hear she’s the best attorney for this sort of thing, but $200.”

(Duh, if we’re the best, hence the $200 fee)

MIP:  “Would you like to make a consultation?”

JS:  “I’ll have to call you back”

MIP:  “Okay, have a nice day, bye”


Yep and they usually do call us back.  6 months later after they’ve gotten another cheaper attorney that they were not satisfied with……………….whew what a waste of time.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rene
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 15:57:34

    I used to work for my hubby in his law office and I went through this all the time. He only charges a $50 consultation…but he’s a business and real estate lawyer. It’s mainly a gauge to see if someone is real or not. When I worked for him, he was still in the early stages of his sole practice so we got all kinds of dorks and had to take them. He shares space now with a PI lawyer and the secretary tells me how much she prefers my hubby’s clients to the other lawyer’s. Of course, hubby deals almost entirely with business people and real estate developers, so they are a bit more sophisticated. Hubby said he’d rather work at Arby’s that do family law.


  2. mominprogress
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 16:08:53

    LOL, I’d rather work at Arbys than work for a PI attorney. We use to do PI here and I hated it. I do love family law but I guess no matter what kind of office you work in you’re still going to get the crazies 🙂


  3. utenzi
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 16:59:54

    Michele sent me by, MinP.

    I like Rene’s comment. Using the fee as a way to make sure the client is serious. I agree that $200 is a lot of money, but obviously for the people that need the best attorney in the area that shouldn’t be any obstacle. It’s more of an investment!


  4. Carmi
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 17:29:39

    $200 isn’t all that onerous. People do, after all, get what they pay for. Too bad they’re so focused on cost instead of value.

    Thanks for the excellent lesson. Found you on Michele’s: love your style!


  5. Jon, Intergalactic Gladiator
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 21:00:37

    $200! Jeez for that kind of money, I think I’ll just represent myself.

    (With hillarious results) 😉

    Michele sent me.


  6. rashbre
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 21:08:29

    Phew! sounds tough. Great patience required. I can see the point of a qualifying payment though.

    Here via Michele’s!


  7. sandy
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 21:14:29

    I’m exhausted just reading that. 😉

    Here by way of Michele’s.


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    Feb 06, 2010 @ 14:44:03

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