b'POINT/COUNTERPOINTTerrible Lawyersand Clients from HellBy Bob Shaw and Steven Bers, Esq.T he tag-team of Shaw and Bers,firmly on both sides of the fence.I appreciate that clients seek the no strangers to PVA members,Steve, why do lawyers so often giveanswer to any inquiry. Unfortunately, are often caught parrying pointthe on the one hand this, on the othermuch of the law lives in the world and counterpoint in business manage- hand that talk without taking a firmof gray with no certain answer, and ment in presentations to the PVA.position? sometimes the identical case can be Here they go again. answered differently by different Shaw:Businesspeople face uncom- courts. It is unreasonable to expect an fortable situations every day, butattorney to provide absolute certainty most learn how to maintain forwardNo one would think of going in this context. I personally believe that progress. But my team was alwaysto a doctor, saying something isa lawyer is most helpful when sharing uncomfortable with lawyers. Theyseriously the matter, and askingan opinion as to what outcome is most would seemingly shut off their brainsthe doctor for the price of a likely, and to a client who accepts this in meetings and become overly defer- full cure before any direction as an opinion, not certainty.ential. Im not alone in this sentiment,examination occurs.Shaw:In business, we make fast calling out a universal frustration withdecisions all the time. Why cant an lawyers. Having lobbed that bomb,expert, in their own field, give us quick imagine my horror to have an attorneyanswers and better certainty?son! [Fortunately, he is a recoveringBers:Okay Bob, you have certainlyBers:My favorite client challenge comes attorney and got reprogrammed withdone a fine job on my brothers andfrom individuals seeking complicated business school.] sisters in the profession, wait until mylegal advice provided within minutes Lets start with my uncles quipturn. Lets start with the complaint thatof the proposed question. As a lawyer, about attorneys: standing like a toweryou never get a straight answer fromI appreciate that a mistaken response of strength, with both feet planteda lawyer. given in minutes can result in six-figure litigation involving years. Accordingly, clients stampeding attorneys by insisting upon an immediate answer may well disserve their own interests if an attorney succumbs to the request, without adequate review.Shaw: I like to say in business that we are very good at making the right decision about 85 percent of the time, and hopefully respond quickly to fix those poor, and not infrequently, RELIABLE POWER FOR Aterrible decisions. The law just seems to DEMANDING SCHEDULE have so much gray.Your business cant compromise when it comes toBers: To that, I say keep embracing maintaining a demanding schedule. Thats whythe gray. Take another one of my customers count on reliable John Deere PowerTech marine engines. With high torque and low-rated rpm,favorites: clients seeking a legal opinion John Deere engines deliver dependable power andproviding only facts, or shading facts quiet operation. in a way to foster a favorable legal opinion. This usually happens in Full power range of marine engines 60 to 559 kw (80 to 750 hp) large organizations where a frustrated JohnDeere.com/Marine frontline is told they have to run it by legal before they do something. 30APRIL 2020FOGHORN'