Finding a lawyer: Or maybe not

Just as I’m getting set to offer my advice about how to find a lawyer, the New York Times Magazine from Sunday, October 2, had a fat special advertising supplement called Super Lawyers/New York—Metro 2011.

You’ve seen this sort of thing before. Lists of the Best Lawyers in NY, the Best Doctors in the Metropolitan Area. Although it may surprise you, I will be suggesting that you use this list (in an unusual way) to find a lawyer.

I actually read through it fairly thoroughly and what should appear before my eyes? A full-page advertisement for my Foot Lawyers, whom I’ve already identified here as Dinkes & Schwitzer.

I’ve related my problems in getting these lawyers to respond to my requests for updates. So you can understand why I laughed at one paragraph in the ad, and why it inspired me to write and send by USPS the following letter to William Schwitzer:

October 4, 2011

William Schwitzer, Esq.
Dinkes & Schwitzer
112 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Dear Mr. Schwitzer:

I was interested to see your advertisement (and nice picture) in the Sunday NYT Magazine.

I especially noted with wry amusement this paragraph:

“Dedication to Clients: Client contact is the firm’s most paramount principle. ‘An attorney, not a paralegal or a secretary, regularly advises clients of the progress of their case,’ Schwitzer says.”

I’m amused, because – hi! – I am your client. And I’ve been trying to get information on the “progress of [my] case” for more than a year, long after I dragged my broken foot into your conference room on February 8, 2008 and signed a (Blumberg form) retainer agreement.

Indeed, I had a nice conversation with your associate Nick DiSalvo about how lawyers should have a policy about keeping in touch with clients. That conversation was in court, on July 14, 2011. The reason I was in court? Because I had tried three times to contact one of your attorneys by e-mail, asking for a status update. No response.

Ergo, you should add to that “Dedication to Clients” statement the following:

“Although we’re too busy to respond to a client’s request for information about the progress of her case, we are always happy to speak to a client at court conferences, providing she makes the effort to (1) find out when the court conference is; (2) get to the court; and (3) walk around trying to find a particular associate whom she’s never previously met, yet who represents her.”

Just in the spirit of honest advertising.

Sincerely,

Naomi Fein

I wonder if this will get a response.

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