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“Hello, I Need Your Opinion”

Lawyers are fundamentally wary of conversations which begin this way.  We render opinions at our peril, as we are by nature professionals who like to have as many facts and known variables at our fingertips before we venture a sort-of opinion, accompanied by a bunch of caveats.

But a potentially new client called yesterday, relating he is someone who works with the daughter of a client I represented about 10 years ago (the relationship is so distant my comfort level drops further). He thinks it is time to buy a house but his parents want him to wait, so they agreed to abide by my opinion (what the what?).

“So what do you think?  They are saying on a show I watch that things have pretty much bottomed out so I think I am buying at a time I can’t get burnt too much by dropping prices.  Right?”

Groucho sang:  “Hello, I must be going.” I wish I had the guts to sing that over the phone to the caller!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
MY ADVICE
Next thing you know people will call you wanting to know if they should put their money on red or black on the roulette wheel. After all, it has hit red the last ten times in a row, so therefore it SHOULD come up black next, RIGHT??? If they asked the dealer at the table what his opinion would be, he/she has a VESTED INTEREST in you playing to retain their job and earn an income.
It seems to be human nature for way too many people out there to ask for advice so they have someone to BLAME should it all go wrong. Therefore, its not their "fault".
Whatever happened to doing your homework before making a decision, whatever happened to people taking "accountability" for their actions? Lita, tell them that "Everyday is a GREAT day to buy a new home you love! The buyer stimulates the economy, gets the home of their dreams, and it helps ME PAY MY BILLS!!" See what they say then after giving your "free" advice (that cost you a small fortune in student loans) just so that you can be an expert!
real_lawyer
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Re: MY ADVICE
Hi,

Thanks for your comments.

Please do not misunderstand. It was not the "free" advice that concerned me, it was the caller and his family's agreement to rely on my opinion as to whether he'd be buying at the bottom. I'm happy to comment on what I do know if it will help a client decide for himself whether to retain me or not, but I cannot in good conscience offer an opinion on whether or not he'd get "burnt too much."

I love the roulette analogy. Mind if I use it sometime?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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