The biggest (wrong) fear that people have with lawyers

The biggest (wrong) fear that people have with lawyers

Every week I get 2-3 calls from people that are scared of the lawyers in their area or even their State.  They aren’t afraid because of anything the lawyers have actually done to them.  What scares them is that the caller knows for certain that EVERY lawyer by them is corrupt and can be bought off.  Often these callers are out of State and want an Illinois lawyer.  Apparently Illinois is known as the land of corruption for everything but attorneys.

Don’t be afraid is my advice.  Sure there are corrupt attorneys, just as there are corrupt doctors, teachers, cops, bread makers, etc.  But the system, even if it’s not fair or working for you isn’t corrupt.

Beyond that, for an insurance company or anyone else to buy off an attorney for example would not only would be a waste of money, it would be impossible to coordinate and would put that whole business at risk.  Imagine a case is worth $1 million.  A lawyer fee in a case like that would be around $333k.  So let’s say an insurance company wants to buy off the lawyer.  Why would a lawyer take less than what they could just get by working the case up?  Why would a lawyer risk going to jail if caught?  Which company executives would risk that?  An insurance company would get shut down if this was to happen.

Yet every day people assume that their attorneys are crooked.  Sometimes it happens when they see their lawyer and the opposing attorney yucking it up in the hallway of the court house.  Many people want their attorney to hate the other side.  If they don’t they assume something must be up.  That’s simply not true and the fact is that it’s actually better for you if the lawyers get along.  They don’t have to agree on the facts of the case, but if the other attorney thinks that your lawyer is a major a-hole then they certainly aren’t going to do them any favors or work with them in any way.  It makes cases drag on if they don’t get along and probably costs you more money in the end.

Beyond all of this, for most cases (especially family law and minor criminal cases) it’s really important to have a local attorney that knows the Judge and other players in town.  Otherwise these attorney and Judges have big egos and don’t like the big city law firm from Chicago telling them how things should work in their Podunk town.

So while I agree that having to call a lawyer or be in a lawsuit can be scary, there should be no fear that your lawyer is on the take.  Sometimes they suck and that’s why your case isn’t going well.  Other times your case is terrible and that is why your case isn’t going well or you can’t even find someone to take the case on.  It could also be bad luck.  But there is no way that lawyers are getting bought off and that’s why their clients are losing.  It just simply does not happen. 

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