This morning's consultation was an interesting (and eye opening) referendum on those lists of lawyers who are supposedly the best (but really just purchased their listing so they could have the magazine in their waiting room). I'm not even the only one discussing this one today, Attorney At Work also had a column on the attorney side of spending money on the lists.
While the Attorney at Work piece focused on the attorney side of signing up and paying to be on these lists, I had the pleasure of sitting across from a nice young lady who had paid more than $15,000 to a "Super Lawyer" to represent her. It seemed like money well spent because he had a nice office, had a nice secretary (who the client spoke to almost exclusively because the attorney was never available) and she got monthly bills that she paid because she assumed her case was moving forward.
The case was moving forward, but without much being done by her attorney. In fact, the case had been sent out for arbitration, a fact that the client didn't know until she received a notice about it. When she called to talk to her attorney, he was once again unavailable to talk to her. So the client decided to swing by the attorney's office to schedule a time to prepare for the arbitration. When she arrived at the office, her attorney was not there and the secretary was not at her usual desk.
After more calls and emails, she found out that her "Super Lawyer" has been suspended from the practice of law, his "secretary" is really a virtual receptionist and her file is nowhere to be found. The client was aghast that on the website, the lawyer is still listed and there is no indication of his true situation.
While I am a firm believer in technology and using its advantages and various assets to effectively and efficiently manage a law practice, the plight of this client really demonstrated the dark side that still exists.
So that brought her to my office, where I'm not a "Super Lawyer", but I am an active member of the bar who can help her with her arbitration.