Lawyers and Attorneys consistently get a bad rap from public opinion. Why is that? Most Lawyers are just people with a profession like you that only want to make an honest buck. Just because a small portion represents huge corporate interests that are unpopular the general public has demonized them. I hope to provide you in this article some of the Myths about Lawyers that consistently get passed by word of mouth without any facts to back them up. Lawyers are one of the cornerstones of business, if we didn’t have them criminals would go free and innocents would be executed.
1. All Lawyers are Sharks – The truth is that they are in a very competitive business that requires heated debate as its hallmark. Some take this so far as to manipulate circumstances to appear as they wish or force higher settlements but that is a small group. There are thieves in America but do we assume all American’s are thieves? Most lawyers are honest men and women trying to make a difference in the legal systems of their communities.
2. Lawyers are Overpaid – Often lawyers are actually far underpaid for their services. The average court case requires a lot more than what you see in the courtroom. Legal documentation can be some of the most tedious reading ever, they can take a long time to review and to make sure they missed nothing. Before ever stepping foot in the court they have to interview you, design a brief for the judge, outline their case and review all legal documentation and evidence. This amounts to hundreds of hours usually, even a burger flipper would get a few thousand dollars for that amount of time and effort.
3. Attorneys Try to Draw Out Cases – This is entirely on a person to person basis and exists in every industry, your mechanic does it, your employees do it etc. Most Attorneys have so many cases that resolving them all in a quick manner would be refreshing, often they have finished dozens of other cases before managing to put together a brief for a complicated one. The majority of the time this isn’t because of malice or avarice, it is because the case is very complex and requires many legal hoops to be jumped through.
4. All Good Lawyers are Loud & Boistrous – This isn’t always the case, a lot of the “magic” they perform is paperwork and hours of intense study. The news has sensationalized the image of the lawyer banging his fists and nearly committing contempt in order to achieve true justice. The true crusaders of the endless litigation battle do most of their work in the quiet of their offices. Often times they don’t even get a half an hours worth of time to speak their case. Passion for justice and their client’s cases is great, but it isn’t always exemplified by boisterous natures.
5. Lawyers All Hate Each other – Sometimes in the motions of a court hearing one of the lawyers gets succinctly defeated in a way that damages his reputation. This causes him to lose business and in turn revenue. This will cause animosity in any industry but it does not mean that all Lawyers burn their bridges, if that were true there would be no firms or partnerships. Often times the nature of the legal system causes many lawyers to work together in many scenarios and then face eachother as opposition the next year. There is a certain camaraderie between Lawyers in most larger cities. They are competitors in the same way sports stars are, when the games done most hold no hard feelings over who won or lost, it’s the fans that get furious with eachother, just as clients do for Lawyers.
6. Every Attorney has About the Same Training – This is completely untrue and makes it seem as though only experience makes a lawyer competent. In reality the situation is far more complicated than it may seem, A Probate or Estate Attorney will not necessarily be a competent Defense Attorney. Also location and available resources dictate a lot of how well educated a Lawyer is when they leave law school. If they lived in an area with a large population and lots of seminars they are likely to be better trained than someone that practices in a small city. Also laws change so frequently that age may even cause an issue because they may work on the basis of old laws.
7. You Don’t Need an Attorney – Wrong. The insurance industry wants us to believe that lawyers are an unnecessary bump in the legal system; they just want to keep more of your settlement money. They have entire divisions within their companies designed to cut payouts to the minimum necessary. Even outside of that some people think taking it upon themselves to run their own defense is intelligent. Do they honestly think that they know the legalities of our complicated system better than someone who deals with it on a daily basis? A lawyer is going to have resources and information that would not be easily available or apparent to the common citizen.
8. If I Already Have an Offer I Don’t Want An Attorney – Some people find themselves not wanting to talk to a Lawyer once they see the sum of money they are being offered, afraid the Lawyer will take a large portion. The common fee is in excess of 1/3 after all, but with a Lawyer on your side you may find your settlement offer gets much larger. Often you will not make claims for items because you are unsure if you legally qualify, a good Personal Injury Attorney will be able to find those items you missed and most of the time makes the increased amount far greater than that of the original offer.
9. Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because of Lawsuits – This is being painted in a bad light, of course insurance rates are going up but that is not through fault of the Lawyer, it is the high profit margins the Insurance Industry demands that cause this ever increasing rate. Frivolous lawsuits are not caused by the Lawyers but by their clientele’s demands and deceits. Insurance Companies will use any factor they can to increase rates justifiably and legal costs is an easy scapegoat.
10. Trial Attorneys Charge Hourly – Some Attorneys do charge an hourly rate but this is far from standard practice, there is a precedent that was made only decades after the founding of our country that made it so anyone could obtain representation by paying a percentage of their award at the end of trial. They do this at great risk, they could end up spending months fighting a case that their client lied about to them and they make no money for their hard work. Steuerberater