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Talking to Civil Attorneys

Because my practice is limited to criminal law, I don’t often work with civil practice lawyers. When I do, it’s usually because one of my clients is being sued civilly for something related to his or her criminal case. I have a few clients in that situation right now.

When the attorneys involved in those civil matters call me, I know they are civil practice attorneys before they can finish their first sentence. This is because they always introduce themselves as “so-and-so” from “such-and-such, such-and-such, and such-and-such.” They don’t say “from the firm of such-and-such, such-and-such, and such-and-such.” I suspect that’s because their venerable firms are such well-known institutions in the Arizona legal community that I should instantly know just what they’re talking about. The firms all seem to have no fewer than three names, and many of them have repeated names, which is particularly impressive. A firm must be awfully large to have two partners with the same last name, right? Regardless, it makes me more than a little ashamed of my poor little two-name law firm.

For some reason, criminal lawyers don’t do that. What’s wrong with us? When a co-defendant’s lawyer calls me, they just give me their name and their client’s name. Sure, it’s direct and to the point, giving me all the information I need to begin the conversation, but it just doesn’t command respect. People don’t want to talk with “John Doe who represents Jane Doe.” They want to hear from “John Doe at Doe, Doe, and Doe.” It might make me laugh a little inside every time I hear it, but that’s just because I’m a criminal defense attorney. We don’t get it. Civil attorneys do.

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One Response to "Talking to Civil Attorneys"

  1. Andrew Becke says:

    Andrew Becke of Murphy, Schmitt, Hathaway & Wilson concurs

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