I received a call from a prospective client a few weeks ago. The person called on the second to last day of the statute of limitations (SOL). (A statute of limitation is a legal cutoff date that bars any action after that date.) He tells me of his problem, and his desire in the action, and of his previous experience with an attorney . . .
He had an attorney on the case for the last year. He had an attorney on the case for the entire time before the SOL. He had an attorney that would not return his calls. He had an attorney that too many people in need are familiar with. He had an attorney that gave the rest of us a bad name.
Will I neglect a case in the future? Probably. Will I make mistakes that do not serve my clients interest? Almost guaranteed. Will I leave my client wondering why attorneys are so unhelpful and so highly paid? I pray I never do.
Everything I do as a professional is an advertisement for my ability to serve others. If I'm late to my dentist appointment, or worse yet (depending of your view) drunk at a baseball game, I'm telling the world, "I can help you, although you can't rely on my word, and you can't count on my controlling myself."
You, attorney that has ignored your client; or taken advantage of them financially; or encouraged divorce to make a quick buck, your reputation "proceeds" me. And I'm fighting to renew the profession's reputation without having had a chance to display it.