Just Leave A Message

So, here's something I don't get. Maybe if you have the 411 on urban life, you can explain it to me.

During my lunch hour, I have about a half hour to eat my lunch, sort through my mail, maybe send a fax, and return all of my clients' phone calls.

As I've stated before, I have no problem taking as much time as needed to explain my client's case to them as many times as they need to hear it. I don't mind laying out the options again and again.

But you know what I don't have time for? Getting a client's answering machine, and, instead of an outgoing message, it just has 3 minutes of a rap or hip-hop song playing before the beep. What's up with that?

I guess the one upside is that it keeps me up-to-date on the music my clients are listening to.

In my clients' files, I document my messages received and the date and time that I returned each call (basically to cover my ass in the event of an ethics complaint). Just once, though, I'm going to write "Tried to call back, couldn't wait through song."

And, of course, that one time - that will be the one client who files a complaint. And when the Review Board goes through the file, they will find the notation and say, "What could this mean?" Because I'm sure that the attorneys on the Complaint Review Board do corporate work and have never once called a client only to listen to three minutes of "You Will Always Be My Boo."


  1. The problem is that half the time I can't hear anything but a little tinny sound (which I suspect is music) and and deeper (but still tinny) boom boom for the beat. ATT et al. just have not developed technology which allows a really good recording through the mouthpiece of a phone.

    I probably wouldn't mind the wait as much if I could really hear the music.

  2. I've even run into client having a hymn on the voice mail announcement.

    This always reminds me of the Family Guy episode where they called Peter Jenning's home phone (I think it was Jennings) and heard the 70s rock song playing then a soothing "This is Peter, you know what to do..."

    I wouldn't have ever thought to put music on my phone.

  3. I think that you are right about who sits on ethics review boards. My experience is that it is the mega firm attorneys. How else do you explain the double standard.

    There is a disbarred atty. in AZ who is always skirting UPL (Bob something, I will come up with it after I post this comment). He got himself disbarred by refusing to return nonrefundable retainers in divorce cases. His defense was that it is common practice in divorce cases, esp. in big firms. Well, yes, but he wasn't in a big firm - he was solo. Different standards. Shouldn't be, but that is life.

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