Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gimme money or give me grief

I was talking to a friend from law school yesterday about how hard it is to decide what to charge people, and he pointed out that it was the people he gave a price break to who were the biggest pains in his ass. I realized the same thing happens to me. Then it hit me - that's why lawyers charge so much! If you charge enough, people shut the hell up. Try to help them? You're their bitch. That's fucked up, isn't it? I'm coming to the conclusion that appreciation just isn't human nature.

Of course, I do court appointed work, meaning I send in applications for $150 to the state and the client pays nothing. How do I get treated? Let's just see. I actually cussed an appointed client out a couple of weeks ago and yes, he deserved it. He'd apparently been running from a bad check to a used car dealership for about four years and they finally caught up with him. Rather than pay even 1/3 of it, the guy, who was a total dick, insisted that he didn't write the check. I pointed out the circumstantial evidence and the common sense questions, such as "If your ex wife bought the car, how are you going to explain coming home to a new car in the driveway and not asking how it got there, getting any of the letters or calls about the bounced check or seeing a big ass "INSUFFICIENT FUNDS" on your bank statement, which is right here?" No go. It was the first time I felt sleazy; I had to try to get this guy off and really didn't want to.

I felt bad for the car sales people, and my job required pointing out that if they didn't have anyone who remembered taking the check, the guy couldn't be convicted. The guy got pissy that he had to wait an hour for the sales guy to get there and said if this wasn't fixed today, he was getting a lawyer. I ignored him. Later I tried to explain where everyone was coming from, which was a big mistake. I knew if I didn't handle this nicely, I'd get stuck in a really shitty trial. He said he'd get a lawyer again to uh, uh, . . . "Appeal?" I said, thinking "beat some fucking decency into you, you arrogant peice of shit?" I explained appeals. The D.A. and I hung out over lunch with these people trying to work something out and while she was on the phone, he started threatening to get a lawyer again. I turned around and said "I am your fucking lawyer, and I'm here on my lunch break busting my ass to save yours, so why don't you just shut the fuck up?" He shut the fuck up, I got his charges dismissed and hope to hell someone beats the crap out of him sometime soon.

And now for another day of getting abused for helping people. No good deed goes unpunished. I'm doubling my fees today and this week, I ain't getting kicked around.


Tina-cious.com said...

LOL and I thought being a paralegal sucked.

Though, I've never done criminal law. Hmmmmmmmm

Tina-cious.com said...

Oh and I wish I COULD double my fees to make it worth while. LOLOLOLOL

you hirin'? :P