Tag: cases

Should I pay my lawyer to talk to the attorney of the other party? He spent 3 hours last week responding to 12 emails from the other lawyer and I need to pay him for this time. At this rate I my lawyer will become a secretary and I will be bankrupt.

Should I pay my lawyer to talk to the attorney of the other party? He spent 3 hours last week responding to 12 emails from the other lawyer and I need to pay him for this time. At this rate I my lawyer will become a secretary and I will be bankrupt.

This is a great question.

Clearly, if the opposing lawyer is trying to run up the costs of the litigation by calling or corresponding with your attorney excessively, so that your attorney has to take the calls and/or write responses to all of the correspondence, that opposing lawyer is playing dirty.

Still, some cases are expansive and/or complicated and may require a great deal of back and forth between attorneys as a reasonable and necessary part of the litigation process.

If your case is the kind that doesn’t require anything close to the amount of calls and emails the opposing side is sending to your attorney, if it is clear that the volume of the opposing attorneys communications are excessive and engaged in in bad faith, you are not obligated to suffer it.

One way that your attorney and you may be able to remedy this problem would be by having your attorney send opposing counsel an email like this:

Dear opposing counsel,

It is clear to any reasonable person that the frequency and volume of your telephone calls and/or written correspondence with our office are unnecessary, unduly burdensome and oppressive, and engaged in in bad faith. My client cannot afford to have my staff or me take such calls and read and/or respond to every one of such written correspondence. Consequently, my client has now directed my staff and me to:

  • spend no more than five minutes per week taking calls from anyone at your office; and
  • read and/or respond to written communications from your office totaling no more than 250 words.

If in a given week you honestly believe you need more than five minutes to speak with me; and/or more than 250 words to communicate in writing to me, my client requires that you send me an email (no printed letters, no faxes) stating a clear and concise explanation why. No one at the office will read your email but I will forward it to my client to determine whether [he/she] authorizes me that week to speak with you for more than five minutes and/or review and/or respond to more than 250 written words from you.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, you are welcome to call me and discuss them with me for up to five minutes this week and/or email me with your questions this week, so long as your email is no more than 250 words in length.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why is my lawyer ignoring me?

Why is my lawyer ignoring me?

There are many possible reasons. Lawyers are notorious for being hard to reach and for being unresponsive and nonresponsive.

If you aren’t paying your lawyer, don’t be surprised if you’re being ignored and don’t wonder why.

But if you are paying your lawyer (in full and on time), there are still many possible (common) reasons could include, in descending order of the most likely explanations:

  1. Your lawyer has way too many open cases and has thus rendered himself or herself unable to give you and your case the attention they both require.
  2. Your lawyer is incompetent, and so your lawyer avoids your calls and emails to avoid having to do hard work and/or give you bad news about how he or she has screwed up.
  3. Your lawyer is lazy and thus does not respond to you in a timely manner.
  4. Your lawyer doesn’t care about your case enough to give it the attention it requires.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Do lawyers ever regret helping a client or obtaining a particular judgment?

Do lawyers ever regret helping a client or obtaining a particular judgment? 

Yes, yes, of course. 

We all know that there are plenty of lawyers who will prostitute their professional skills for money and litigate any case as long as the price is right. Clearly, those lawyers should be regretting taking such cases, but don’t, or more accurately, if they do regret taking the case it’s usually because it ended up being more trouble than it was worth to them, i.e., not profitable. 

But there are other lawyers who are good and decent people, people who want to see justice done and want to be a part of that process. I consider myself one of these kind of attorneys.  

Even these attorneys, who try as best they can to represent clients whose cause they believe is just, can be duped. And I am no exception. 

Good and earnest attorneys can be fooled by people with a good sob story or even a meticulously crafted cover. When these good and earnest attorneys are exploited by such people, these decent attorneys regret it. It reflects badly on their reputations and most of all, it upsets them to know that they were used and exploited to achieve unjust ends, the very thing they got into the profession to fight and prevent. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lawyers, why do some cases drag for years without a conclusive decision? Does it help to get a favorable outcome or not? Does delay help one to get a favorable outcome for oneself?

Lawyers, why do some cases drag for years without a conclusive decision? Does it help to get a favorable outcome or not? Does delay help one to get a favorable outcome for oneself?

It certainly can.

It depends upon the participants and which one(s) believe(s) the delay benefits him/her/them. I can tell you many reasons why divorce and family law cases can (and often do) drag on (not usually for years, but it does happen), and in no particular order:

  1. Clients who don’t pay their lawyers. When the lawyer is not paid, he/she does not work. When the lawyer(s) do(es) not work, the case does not progress.
  2. Attorneys who are terrified of going to trial. Most divorce cases settle. There are many reasons for this. One of the dirty little secret reasons many divorce cases settle is because many divorce lawyers don’t want the case to go to trial. Some reasons for this include: the lawyer is an incompetent trial lawyer; the lawyer is afraid the client won’t pay for all the work involved with preparing for and going to trial; and the lawyer has been lying to the client about what a “great case” the client has and is afraid that the lie will be exposed when the client has his/her head handed to him/her at trial.
  3. Opposing parties and/or lawyers who revel in delay. Delays are frustrating (maddening) and costly. Knowing this, some spouses and their attorneys cause and exacerbate delays.
  4. Attorneys and/or parties who just don’t care about the case. The case stagnates because getting the case resolved, whether by settlement or trial, just isn’t important to them.
  5. Courts that believe/hope that by dragging out the pretrial phase of the case the parties will eventually settle out of sheer exhaustion and impatience.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Legal Research Is and Why It’s Important to Your Case

Most clients have no idea how much work takes place behind the scenes at most law firms. More than the copious phone calls, emails and text messages back and forth to opposing counsel/parties. Planning, research, evidence gathering, document drafting, court filings, etc. are vital steps in ensuring that we provide clients with the best legal work possible.

Legal research is crucial because to make or refute a claim, arguments must rest on a solid foundation of compelling authorities that persuade the reader—in most cases, a judge or court commissioner—to issue a decision that benefits the case.

Researching legal arguments includes reviewing the statutes and the decisions of the courts that construe the meaning and application of those statutes.

The legislature passes statutes (in Utah it’s the “Utah Code”). The appellate courts (courts that hear appeals of the trial court decisions when parties claim the trial court judge committed a legal error or errors) interpret the Code and determine whether the trial court got it right or wrong. We refer to these decisions of the appellate courts (Utah Court of Appeals and Utah Supreme Court) as “case law,” which, as the name implies, is based upon real-life cases that have been brought before a court, and how said court decided upon said cases. These court decisions bind not only the people who were involved in the case itself, but set “precedent” for how trial courts will construe the law in the future, until the Code changes or until an appellate court may strike down that decision in the future.

This means that if one year I’m able to make a great argument based upon a decision of the Utah Court of Appeals, but the following year the Utah Supreme Court abrogates (overrules and does away with) that decision, then I cannot cite that case in any future arguments. A large part of legal research involves reviewing the statutes and the case law to ensure they are still current, still binding. As you can imagine there’s a lot of digging to be done, and what I have mentioned thus far is just about legal research; imagine all the other things I must do besides legal research to build a strong case.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Click to listen highlighted text!