Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Sunday, May 1, 2011

# 93. They can procrastinate

Procrastinating Attorney Inactivity Nuisance Syndrome
Legal cartoon, judges, gay, Paul Brennan
Dear John

Is there any way that I can speed up my lawyer? The only thing that he did promptly, during the present transaction, was to go on vacation half way through it.
CB, London
Dear CB
I assume we are dealing with months, rather than years or, in some cases, decades. Generally, except in the case of legal issues arising at 4.50pm on Friday afternoon, a lawyer’s pace does not alter. They tend to show their form early on and like race horses it is best to quickly get rid of the back markers.
It can be a recognized disorder, Procrastinating Attorney Inactivity Nuisance Syndrome (“Pains”). Over the years a Procrastinating Attorney (“PA”) develops coping mechanisms which can make it hard to spot. Such as, he will insist on written communications only, his being intermittent. When pressed he will claim that he was waiting for instructions from his client which may be a surprise to that client. He will call for careful consideration of legal issues while doing little or nothing himself.
If you finally decide to change lawyers the PA will insist on being paid. To avoid argument and further delay, seek donations from the other party and lawyer to the transaction; they may be more than willing to contribute as they have suffered too.
Alternatively, turn to one of the many associations and organisations who are willing to help. Here is an extract from one such organisation’s website:
• Are you afraid to upset your lawyer for fear he will delay even more?
• Do you make threats, such as, "If you don't get a move on, I'll leave you"?
• Do you have money problems because of your lawyer’s delay?
• Do you tell lies to cover up for your lawyer?
• Do you think that if your lawyer stopped delaying, your other problems would be solved?
If you have answered "Yes" to any of these questions, Clients’ Anonymous (“ C-Anon”) could help you.
How will C-Anon help me?
In C-Anon you will meet others who share your frustration. It has expanded not only to include clients but other lawyers, partners, spouses, employees, judges and others who have been affected by the delay of a Procrastinating Attorney (“PA”).
How does a PA affect others?
PAINS is a progressive disorder and only the PA can stop the delay however they never seem to get round to it.
We focus on them, where they are, we try to control their delay, we do their work for them. We take on the blame and guilt that really belongs to the PA.

I hope that this helps.

(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved.  Extract from John Fytit’s International Legal Problem Page. 
John Fytit is the name of the central cartoon charter in Law & Disorder cartoons which started in Hong Kong in 1992. He is from the fictitious Hong Kong firm Fytit & Loos (pronounced “Fight it and Lose”). A very unsuccessful name as people read “Fytit” as “Fit it”. The International Problem Page started in 2005 and was merged into Paul Brennan’s blog. But, not before John Fytit started to receive real legal questions from various parts of the world.

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