Sunday, March 07, 2010

Where there's a will

Dear Attorney Jane Doe,

I am firing you as our lawyer because you are the worst lawyer I have ever worked with. Not that I have worked with many, but I have used a lawyer on all of my real-estate transactions and consider that money well spent. King Self in Memphis was wonderful. Maybe he set the bar too high and I am expecting too much, like a lawyer who actually prepares documents correctly, uses my name when he writes to me, and does not keep me waiting for 20 minutes for an appointment.

You might think I am over-reacting to what you said was "a simple typo," but if you had actually proofed the will before you sent it to me as the final document that you wanted SH and me to come in and sign and emailed to me only at my insistence, you would see that not only that you had put my name as "Mary Factotum," but you would also notice that you had put Serious Honey's name as "Serious Halibut."

But yes. Those errors would have been reasonably easy to fix, although sitting in a conference room with my always too much work to do husband while a secretary made those adjustments would have annoyed the heck out of me, both because SH would have been going nuts thinking about how he wasn't getting any work done and also because I would have taken these simple typos as an indicator of a general level of sloppiness that would make me concerned about the rest of your work.

I am one of those annoying people who reads an entire document before I sign it. Crazy, I know, but I found a huge mistake on the papers when we bought our house and no, I was not willing to let them take care of it after we signed and then just send us the updates because I did not think it was a good idea to let SH be listed as the sole owner of the house, especially as we were not married yet, so I'll just sit here while you call down to the county records clerk and get this all straightened out, thank you very much. I don't care if you have other things to do, it's your job to make sure things like WHO OWNS THE HOUSE are listed properly.

So. Attorney Jane Doe (because that is how you identify yourself in phone calls as if I couldn't figure it out based on your name and the context of the call). It wasn't just the names. It was the fact that you did not get a single item correct on the will. Even though I sent you everything in writing. And all you had to do was check what you put in against what I sent you to make sure they matched.

Is it that hard? You couldn't proofread a simple document?

The other reason I am firing you is that you didn't use my name in an email until after I called the group legal plan to complain about you and get the name of a new lawyer and they must have called your boss who must have told you that you better fix this problem right now. Customer Relations 101, honey.

I don't care that you did all that work and now won't get paid. SH has had this group legal plan for over five years now and has paid about $700 in premiums. For that much money, I want an error-free document. Actually, what I want is all that money back. I will never again use a lawyer who does not come without a recommendation from a friend.

Sue me.

Class Factotum


Jan said...

This lawyer must have gone to the same law school as the attorney I hired to draw up the papers to allow me to move The Young One to another state. You'd think the fact that Only Good Ex and I had actually AGREED on terms for the move and visitation would have made his job all the more easy. But no - like your experience, his office could not get simple things like names and dates correct, to say nothing of the details Only Good Ex and I had agreed on before I even hired an attorney.

This is why Beloved loathes lawyers. And I can't say as I blame him.

Anonymous said...

When we bought our house, the seller's attorney was making fun of our attorney who had his little checklist and went through it step by step. Guess which attorney messed up and didn't have a required document that caused us to return another day to close. It wasn't our attorney with his checklist!


Leigh said...

As a paralegal, I have to say that I have NEVER been impressed with legal plan attorneys. That includes the one my STBX is using to represent him in our divorce, snicker. The only attorneys who are willing to sign up for legal plans are the ones who need the business. Hmmm. What kind of attorney do you suppose that could be? Yup. Brand new, or terrible, or god forbid, both.

Class factotum said...

I just don't like bad lawyers. And this woman was bad. I had no idea someone could be so bad at her job and still keep it.

But yes - the legal plan is going to be canceled. I didn't know SH had it. I called and asked questions about the lawyers and they say on the website how many years they have in the business, but I shouldn't have to ask if the lawyer proofreads.