Same Old Story

...but I need to vent about it anyway.

Client's girlfriend calls me and asks me if I'm her boyfriend's D.A. See, there's a problem when clients (and their families) use a little law lingo, thinking they sound smart, when, in fact, talking about things you don't know about can end up hurting you.

Anyway, I explain to her that I'm not a D.A., that I'm a defense attorney, and she says "Yeah, that's what I said. You're the D.A." Hmmm... I can see how you think those initials work out... So, I explain that the D.A. is the one who tries to put people in jail, I'm the one who tries to get them out. It's not getting through, so I move on and ask her how I can help her.

And client's girlfriend asks me how she can go about getting him a... wait for it... "Real Lawyer."

I didn't want to, but I felt that I had to inform her that I am, in fact a real lawyer. (Sometimes I'm tempted to just say "Yeah, you're right, a real lawyer would probably be a lot more helpful.")

Anyway, I tell her that I am a real lawyer (and even hold back from saying, "What am I, imaginary?"), and she replied, "Well, I don't know. Because my friend who knows a lot about criminal law (read: gets arrested a lot) told me that it's much better to have a real lawyer."

At this point, I'm not going to argue with her (since, she apparently knows so much about criminal law), so I give her the number for a lawyer referral service.

Then she asks me what she should say when she calls.

So, I said, "You should tell them that you're looking for a real lawyer to handle your boyfriend's 3 misdemeanor marijuana sale cases."

And she told me, "He wasn't arrested for that."

Oh crap. All of the sudden I wonder if I've been talking to the wrong person. I didn't have his file in front of me, I just thought I remembered the client.

But then she said "No, he was arrested for Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree."

Oh. Yeah. What's that saying? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing? Yeah, that's the one.


  1. Ahhhh. . . the 'helpful' girlfriend. Those are really my favorites. Actually, what I love is when you've been talking to one girl for the entire time the case has been pending, and then right before sentencing another girl calls and asks what's happening with the case and you go on thinking she's the same girlfriend but in fact she's his wife. Hmmm. . . .how to handle that one.

  2. Wow. I used to do telephone support for computers, and your descriptions of client calls are very similar. Someone who knows nothing is a lot easier to deal with than someone who knows a little bit and tries to help, especially when they mangle the jargon.

    I've never gotten a call from a girlfriend, but I've been called by a few secretaries. The chances that her boss understood the problem well enough to describe it to her in a way I'd be able to figure out is...too small to ever have happened.