Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Client Communications

Like most attorneys, I'm heavily reliant on my cell phone for pretty much everything I do in the course of my job.  From my calendar to my contact list to my case management software, I have everything I need on my cell phone.

I've also found that text messaging with my clients is the fastest and most efficient way to deal with quick questions that don't require full-length conversations.   If my client is out on bond, I make sure that they have my cell phone number and I tell them that the fastest way to get an answer from me about something is to just shoot me a text message.

Obviously, there can be some pitfalls with letting clients have your cell number.  Clients and their family members sometimes don't respect the fact that you might not appreciate a phone call at 5:30 a.m., for instance.  Sometimes clients give your number to "prospective clients" who don't have any intention of hiring you, but would love some free legal advice since they have your number.

But, on the whole, the benefits have outweighed the downsides for me. So, I always exchange cell phone numbers with my clients when we first meet.

This morning, I was appointed on a new case.  After giving her my business card, I went through the usual steps of giving my new client my cell phone number.

It went something like this:

ME:  I usually communicate with my clients by text message, so let me get your cell phone number.

CLIENT:  Okay.  [GIVES ME CELL PHONE NUMBER]

I created a new contact for her.

ME:  I'm going to send you a text message now, so that you have my cell phone number.

CLIENT:  Okay.

I send her a text message that reads:  "This is Murray."

ME:  Okay, we don't have any of the Discovery on the case so I'm going to go get you a reset and get you out of here today.

CLIENT:  Okay,  Sounds good.

I then went to reset the case.  As I was talking to the coordinator, I received a text message.


Literally, two minutes had passed since I had texted her.

I got the reset and then walked over to the client, who was looking at her cell phone.

ME: I'm Murray.  I told you I was sending you my cell number.

CLIENT:  What?

ME:  You just texted me "Murray who".

CLIENT:  No, I didn't.

She then looked at her phone.  

CLIENT:  Oh wait, yeah I did.



These are the types of moments that never seem to make it into legal dramas.  

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me guess...it's a weed case, right?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous October 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Do you mean a weed case denied by HCDA and filed in a muni-court as possession of drug paraphernalia?

Anonymous said...

It wasn’t me!