I recalled my dislike for such a negotiating style when the daughter of a former client called me about her mother’s need for governmental assistance. She was reeling from the eldercare attorney’s no-nonsense approach to her incapacitated parent’s predicament. “Pay the bills and don’t bother getting documents if you think she’ll die in the next few months anyway.”
I offered to help her gather the documents anyway, and she was grateful. But our conversation reminded me of a day that my boss eavesdropped as I negotiated a real estate deal. When I was done, she came in and brusquely said, “It sounded to me like he was dangling his balls out there and you didn’t cut them off.”
I really don’t know how I replied, but I did manage to say, “How do we get to an amicable closing if I do that before contract?” She said something like “MmmFfffMmmPhht” and left, and I was certain that I’d never pursue a career in domestic relations. Now I also know why I didn’t go into eldercare law.