Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lesson from solosez

Interesting discussion on solosez - an attorney called back a potential client who had left a message to reschedule an appointment. The attorney called the client back by using the caller id on her phone and left a voice message to the client, using only the attorney's name and phone number (not identifying herself as an attorney). The client then called back the attorney, saying that her spouse figured out from the phone message that she had contacted an attorney (which spouse did not know at the time), and that this had caused her trouble.

Two thoughts: an innocent use of technology and a message that leaves minimal information could potentially raise negligence issues (i.e., spouse could have injured the potential client if violent) - or at least destroyed any advantage of "surprise" in bringing a dissolution action. [I'm not sure that all elements of a tort would be present, but I'm sure an enterprising attorney would attempt it.] Second, whether or not a client tells an attorney not to call her at a number, it would be extremely prudent to raise this orally or in writing during the first contact with a potential client and create some kind of reminder system before contacting any client, especially in a family or consumer practice area.

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