Paralegals and Vampires

I am not aware of any actual relationship between paralegals and vampires but I am told that in today’s market it is important to work in vampires on a fairly regular basis. Certainly there will be times when even the most paralegals will confront clients and attorneys that the paralegals will referred to as “blood-sucking so and so’s” or worse. The danger is in when and how this reference is made.

For example, if an attorney practices long enough it is almost inevitable that she will face ethical and malpractice complaints, many, if not all, of which will be unjustified. It is important that there be adequate and comprehensive records to document the client file. A client may allege that they called twenty times in two weeks with no response. A telephone call log showing he called three times, each of which received a response within twenty-four hours even if the responsive phone calls resulted only in repeated busy signals not only deflates that claim but cast doubt on any other complaint they make.

Written memos to the file are also important. Even though such memos, like emails, are informal, each such memo and email must be written with an eye towards the possibility that it could be read by a judge or jury in a malpractice case, by Bar Counsel or the next attorney to handle the case. Be especially careful what you say about your client. Convey the fact that your client is a confrontational, uncooperative, stubborn and drunk moron, but be careful and diplomatic about how you do it.

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  • […] I am a hugh fan of organizational techniques that serve mutliple purposes. As regular readers know, The Empowered Paralegal: Effective, Efficient, and Professional focuses in large part on the ability to manage time, work, workspace, and calendar effectively and efficiently. Every now and then I run across someone with a manner of handling a task that I find well worth adding to the tool box. Here’s one that not only serves the organization function, but the function of creating a log in the event the paralegal is attacked by a vampire. […]

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