I do not pretend I am anything less than zealous about the law, my client’s predicament and, especially, children. I make no secret about the fact I love what I do, and so calm decision-making is crucial to every facet of my practice.
I do nothing but family law. It is intricate, intellectually challenging, emotionally exhausting, and, when done right, deeply satisfying. It requires all of my professional attention. In the end, there is nothing more satisfying than receiving a photo of a 6-year-old girl from her mom a year after going to court to protect the child from an abusive father. Or getting an invitation to a high school graduation from a kid I got out of serious gang trouble when he was 14.
This profession says “pendente lite” where the word “temporary” would suffice, or “arguendo” when “speaking hypothetically” is perfectly fine. So an important, and frankly enjoyable, part of what I do is getting my clients through the tortured English we attorneys are so fond of. For example, for years I have suffered lawyers writing, “I am in receipt of your letter of today’s date and hereby respond to same.” Is this supposed to make you feel you are getting your money’s worth? I much prefer, “I got your letter of this morning.”
A respected local attorney once complained to me that I am the most stubborn advocate on behalf of my client that she had ever met. Although I do not regard stubbornness as a virtue, in this context I took it as a compliment. We eventually settled out of court, and both parties saved thousands of dollars.
You will never see from me on your bill an itemized Xeroxing charge for normal copying, a per-page fax charge or a long-distance charge for a domestic phone call. I will not bill you for a minimum quarter-of-an-hour for a three-minute conversation. To do so would insult us both. Long ago a senior partner once told me to charge a client for leaving them a voicemail that lasted less than a minute. I will have none of such unscrupulous gouging.