Saturday, November 24, 2007

two things.

1. every family should have a lawyer; and
2. i'm glad i'm a lawyer.

last weekend, i had my schedule all set up: watch hell's kitchen, go to the mall to get shoes fixed and buy a present for a friend, have dinner with friends, do laundry, and attend my boss' husband's birthday party. i was able to get as far as the third task when someone called informing me that a family member was in trouble.

trouble as in he was being detained in jail.

he had already engaged the services of another lawyer, a friend i had recommended earlier that day to help him with an estafa case he wanted to file against someone. when i learned that he did that, i wanted to hit him - off the top of my head, i can name at least two other lawyers who could better help him with his case. but ethics demands that i stick with his decision, no matter how disagreeable it was, and to just do the best i could under the circumstances.

after forty-eight hours in detention, a poorly-executed settlement, and a lot of frustration, we were able to all finally go home. but, before that happened, it took a lot of shouting (on my part - i totally hated how lazy and incompetent my friend was throughout the entire thing), calling other people (even if i theoretically knew what had to be done, i had zilch experience in things that happen before the actual trial), and doing what i had hoped my family's lawyer would have done (as i said, he was lazy).

when i finally fell into bed exhausted last monday night, i realized that every family should have a lawyer, whether a family member or someone you absolutely trust to protect your interests. the lawyer we engaged may have been a friend (yes, i don't want to think of him as a friend anymore - he, for the lack of a better word, majorly sucked) but at the end of the day, he was after getting his job done and collecting his professional fees. never, during the entire ordeal, did i feel he wanted to do anything to protect my family's interest. in fact, the entire sunday, he never once appeared to do what he could do but would just send text messages or call (and even have the guts to get mad at me when i don't pick up) me (not even the immediate family of the person involved) and just ask regarding what was happening over where we were. and, although he was told he could go, he didn't even have the delicadeza to wait until my relative was released before he high-tailed it out of there.

what if i wasn't there to tell my relatives exactly what was happening or what we could do in the meantime? what if my relatives were totally clueless about their rights? what if we couldn't afford the settlement the lawyer made for us? what if we were totally dependent on the lawyer?

i don't know. what i do know is that i'm thankful we had gotten through the ordeal unscathed, and that i had deleted that lawyer's number from my phone book. that's one lawyer who will never get a referral from me for as long as i live.

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