Monday, April 17, 2006

Indigent Legal Services...

Or perhaps "indignant legal services," since a large portion of my clientele is usually upset about something or other. It's sort of odd, in comparison to my criminal defense work. In crim work, most of my clients have generally been pretty happy to have someone helping them out and talking to them. In my civil job, they treat the free lawyer like an entitlement (when they aren't threatening to take their limited funds to go get a "real lawyer", that is) as if they are purchasing a share of my very being by walking in the door and demanding assistance. They never want to hear that they are wrong and are quick to blame the lawyer as being "one of them"; "them" apparently being the monied elite doing their best to keep him/her down.

And then on the other side, you have "real lawyers" who are convinced everything a legal services office does is merely obstruction and all-but-frivolous. Like how the guy who once argued adverse possession after 30 days (statute says 10 years) tried to say my reliance on the criticized but not overruled Jamal Estates line of cases was frivolous. If the bank showed up at his client's house and said "oh, yeah, here's the foreclosure notice. I should have had it to you days ago, but you know how busy I am," they'd be moving to dismiss and having a royal fit. But yet this same generic group thinks that it's discourtesy to raise the same sort of issues in an eviction, when there are routinely filing, service and pleading issues.

All and all, maybe it should be "indignant legal services" due to this lawyer's attitude.


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