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Mr. Client: How about a little respect?

Being a criminal defense attorney has opened my eyes to many things about people. I've had so many experiences through this profession, that I'm sure I could write a book, and a long one at that.

Probably the most perplexing and frustrating part of practicing criminal defense is the unreliability of potential clients. I find it fascinating that people are in dire need of my services, call the office, make an appointment and then simply do not show up. Occasionally, a person will call and cancel, but that is the exception, rather than than the rule. I can't wrap my head around the lack of simply common courtesy.

Recently I was contacted by a family member of someone charged with very, very serious crimes in Morris County: carjacking; robbery; credit card theft; kidnapping; conspiracy; weapons possession; and fraudulent use of a credit card. Some of these are First-Degree charges, exposing the defendant to twenty plus years in state prison.

I took the time to visit the accused in the Morris County Jail, made several phone calls to the family member to advise of the charges, and of course, my fee. He agreed to meet my quote and we arranged to meet at my office on a Sunday morning, as he was traveling from Connecticut to visit the accused on Saturday.

I drove to my office expecting a productive meeting. At 11:15, after the person did not show up, I called and left a voice mail, but I already knew the outcome: a blow-off was imminent. I hung around until noon, getting on top of some things for the coming week. I never heard from them again.

It's just inconceivable to me that after extending such a courtesy to someone as to meet up on a weekend morning, they couldn't even call in a white lie as to why they weren't coming. "My car broke down"; "My grandmother is sick". How about "We found someone else to handle the case for less"?!

I'm sending them a bill for my time......

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