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

# 77. They love saying I told you so

The Legal Client’s Dilemma

If you go to your lawyer too soon you may spend money on legal advice about a problem that doesn’t happen. With the exception of many lawyers, most people would feel that this is a waste of money. 

However, if you go to your lawyer too late then it usually costs more to solve the legal issue, often a lot more, especially if like many clients you wait until you pants are on fire. 

Therefore, the Legal Client’s Dilemma is one of timing. They do not need to know what the law is as their lawyer can quickly and expertly interpret the law to fit their particular situation. They just need to know when a legal issue has reached the stage when they need to go to their lawyer. Also, they should know how not to make the matter worse before they get there. If you are in a legal hole stop digging.

For instance, in divorce you need to see a lawyer as soon as your spouse starts planning to leave you. This is easy to identify. When your spouse is planning to leave you, sex will stop. Now, you may not realise that for a few weeks, or months but as soon as you do, get down to your lawyer before the bank accounts are cleared out and you have been locked out of the matrimonial home. 

If you are one of the 40% of spouses waiting for this to happen, you must try not to make the situation worse. For instance, if you cannot stop shouting at your spouse maybe you are not ready for divorce, you should do a few more years of married life to get it out of your system.

Lawyers excel at identifying both aspects of the Legal Client Dilemma, usually after the event. 

(c) Paul Brennan 2010 is married to a lawyer and practices on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. He is author of “The Law is an Ass-Make Sure it Doesn’t bite yours!” 

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