How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed – Today’s guest blog is by LA Jewish Lawyer. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Marc J. Victor, P.C.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

That Monday started out fairly calmly after a weekend of family feud between my mother in law and my wife. It wasn’t even a clear why they went off on each other but, the entire neighborhood could hear the “storm”. On my way to work, driving on the 405 northbound second lane from the right, traffic was open, very unlikely for that hour, things were going smoothly until I found myself “sandwiched” up against the center divider.

The 26-foot box truck lost control while going 55 miles an hour, it crossed two lanes to ram my car and scrape another on its way to the wall. I could not move, my legs were trapped, airbags deployed and I could feel the effects of the shook numbing the pain.  It took about an hour and 45 minutes to get to the operating room, my injuries were apparently not severe or permanently damaging but, I had to get the glass and metal debris out of my right shoulder and arm.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

I was under the great care of the hospital’s staff for 2 days. My wife’s support and care made things much easier, in fact, thanks to her attentive presence, the doctors released me sooner. On the way home, my wife and I discussed legal options, and after she told me about a few critical new details about the truck driver, it was clear we had to hire a good Los Angeles lawyer. We decided to start the process the following morning as I was still on meds and needed the rest to get stronger.

My firm is well established and cared for by my great employees at the helm. At the morning of the car accident, we were scheduled to have an afternoon lunch together and celebrate a recent new contract but, that obviously did not happen. As soon as I’m back in the office, we will have a whole week of lunches together to celebrate life, I told my employees during a conference call. Al they wanted is to see is me back in the office, motivating them as I always do.

Soon after that call, I sent an email to my sister who works for a large law firm in California, they specialize in taxes and financials, not personal injury but, I was hoping she has a good recommendation.  She was very concerned and wanted to take a trip down to LA to visit me. I gave her the basic details of the accident and she sent me the phone number a personal injury lawyer who was her colleague a few years back when she lived in Beverly Hills. 

She did tell me one thing to be aware of, find a lawyer that has very low-stress issues. The reason is because; lawyers with increased sources of stress could be fatal to my case. Stress is a sign of issues related directly to the management of their practice and/or personal life. “How do I know if they are stressed or not?” was my big question back to my sister. Just like any other person who is under pressure or anxiety she replied. It was not a big deal but, felt I should ask her to see what would be her way to detect.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

I made my appointment with my sister’s’ referral who was located in West Los Angeles and, with two additional attorneys I found with good reviews on Yelp, one was in Studio City and the other in Van Nuys. All three of the Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers, had good track record, now all I needed to find out was who was not too stressed?

Sooner or later every young lawyer learns one important fact, that their greatest adversary was not opposing counsel, instead, it was stress. I read in a few fact-driven publications that lawyers, have one of the most stressful occupations in the job market and if not managed properly from the get-go, the Lawyer could lose his or her practice and or even worse, dive into a down-spiral of health issues. I agreed with what I was reading, after all, I did hire business lawyers in the past and those who were well-established seemed to show a firm level of confidence and respectable calm.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

Meeting number one was the Yelp-Recommended Lawyer in Van Nuys, anyone who has been to Van Nuys Court House knows that the area is well populated and there are no luxury high-rise office buildings to be seen.  Even though that was the topography, I walked into a 4 story building with impressive remodeling done. Two receptionists greeted me and confirmed my appointment with the Lawyer. As I walked into his office door I noticed the remarkable art on the wall, the neat organization and well-positioned lighting throughout the room. The soft baroque music playing in the background and the smooth leather seats, made me feel like I was in a 1940’s classical movie. 

I did not want to get up. This lawyer has things well under control I said to myself. He listened attentively to my story and asked me a couple of questions during, but at no point during our talk, was he showing any stress related movements or signs. He offered his way of approach and what he could possibly do. Because of the nature of the case, I didn’t need to pay him, aside from the projected settlement. I expressed my gratitude for his time and told him I will be in touch since he is on the list of three for me to consult with.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

I had two hours to have lunch and make it to my Studio City Lawyer consultation, plenty of time. Took the time to read more about the lawyer I just met. Turns out, he has been on TV a few times to talk about the dangers of DUI and how the current laws need to be revised because of the increased popularity of medical marijuana.

The second consultation with the Lawyer in Studio City was very interesting. The moment I walked into the office of the newly built two-story building, it looked like I just entered a logistical control center for a military operation.  The phone lines kept ringing, multiple cubicles positioned against the wall, occupied with busy-looking employees. The reception was busy on the phone for full 5 minutes until he was free to ask who I was.  I was asked to wait for 10 minutes as the Lawyer was still in a meeting with a new client. 15 minutes later I was called in. The lawyer walked to greet me at the entrance to his office room and show me to my seat but then asked me if I could wait a moment as he needed to take care of something very quickly. Over the corner of my ear, I could hear him speak to one of his employees about how he is dissatisfied with the way things were handled since morning.

He walked right back in and closed the door behind him and said ” I’m sorry you had to wait, how can I help you?” he had sharp body movements and kept looking at paperwork on his desk as he was nodding with approval to what I was describing. At one point he asked me for the date in which my accident took place, I answered him but, had he paid attention, he would have made that fact by looking at the paperwork I handed to him. I felt uncomfortable in that chair, I was daydreaming about that smooth leather chair I so enjoyed in my previous lawyer encounter. This was obviously was a big no for me and even more so after he asked me to start with a $3000.00 retainer. Perhaps he was confused because his eyes certainly reflected uneasiness in his character.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed

On my way back home I called my wife, told her of the two very different lawyer consultations those have been. We’ve been married for 17 years, she knows I do not make decisions on a whim and will need to see the third lawyer to choose one.

Two days later, I met with my sister’s friend Lawyer in West Los Angeles, 7th floor with valet parking and a security at the lobby. When I stepped out of the elevator I know this was no small time law firm. The lawyer came out to greet me before I made it to the reception desk. She was very cordial and introduced me to the other two partner lawyers of their firm. We spoke about my sister for a few moments and then, walked into her office, my jaw dropped, the design and view…. breathtaking. She saw me gasping for air and quickly said, “yea, I know, you can even see the ocean from here”. She kindly welcomed me to sit in a contemporary style armchair positioned across from her desk, she sat too and pulled her chair closer and said: “tell me how I can help you”.

This was no ordinary Firm, they worked on high caliber cases involving Mergers and Acquisitions, My case was nowhere near what they deal with but, this was a great experience. Her confidence, knowledge, and patience made me feel like I was there to drop off a 100k check. It was obvious now which Lawyer I was going to hire for my case, who would you have hired?

How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Too Stressed