Sep 30, 2021

One of the things I describe in my recent book titled “Minority Viewpoint – my experience, as a person of color, with the American Justice System” is about my interactions with the legal community. When I talk about the legal community I am including the lawyers, law firms and the lawyers professional responsibility board.

The first thing I observed is that the law firm I was dealing with didn’t seem to want to listen and understand the issues I was having with my lawyer. As we tried to explain our issues to the managing partner of the law firm, it seemed that his biggest concern was to make sure that we do not file a malpractice lawsuit. Several times during the conversation he mentioned that if we decided to file a malpractice lawsuit, it won’t go anywhere – meaning we would not be successful if we pursued a malpractice lawsuit. Well, we were not thinking about pursuing a malpractice lawsuit anyway, but that was clearly his main concern. Even after the meeting when he sent us a letter he mentioned it again that if we pursued a malpractice lawsuit, we wouldn’t be successful. I was totally surprised. I thought that the big boss of the law firm would be really interested in what the client thought of the performance of one of his lawyers and maybe think about changing some of the ways they do things. But there was no way he was going to acknowledge that some of the things could have been done differently. Overall it was not constructive at all.

What surprised me most about the lawyers professional responsibility board is that they didn’t seem to want to fully understand the issues we had described in our complaint. And then when we requested for a short meeting or a phone call to try and understand what their reasons were for not investigating the matter, we never heard back from them. That was most disappointing.

I truly believe that with a bit of effort the legal community can certainly become more trustworthy for the clients – but they have to be willing to put in that effort.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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