Every Halloween I enjoy reading the cautionary tips from local police for safe trick-or-treating.
You know – wear reflective clothing, travel in groups, don’t eat any candy that’s moving.
Which got me thinking. New lawyers could use some similar advice. As you navigate your legal career, I’m sure you’ll have a few cautionary tips of your own to add.
Following are 10 Creepy Clients To Run From In Terror:
1. The Mummy. This client is not tightly wrapped to start with. But just wait until you go to trial. Once he takes the stand, the real unraveling begins.
2. The Donald. The hair is a red flag. The verbal spew is another. Oh sure, he talks a good show. He’s got schemes to make you both rich beyond imagination. But watch out – before you know it you’ve been Trumped.
3. Zombie. Patiently you go over the terms of the settlement agreement for the twentieth time. But all the client does is sit there in mute incomprehension. How can a person be so dense? Then you notice the vacant stare, the shambling gait. In horror you realize this is no person at all. This is Zombie Client, and it will eat you alive.
4. Bride of Frankenstein. All she wants is a simple divorce. But look closer and you see this case is anything but simple. Alimony, adultery, indignities. You would scream but you’re too exhausted.
5. The Incredible Hulk. At first he was so mild-mannered. Scholarly, even. But the second something goes wrong – you miss a silly deadline or fail to return a phone call – this formerly meek client turns into a raging green monster.
6. Honey Boo Boo. So cute. So adorable. Just wait until she guzzles the Go Go Juice – a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew – and you realize they’re all laughing at you, not with you.
7. Goldfinger. It’s all about the money with this guy. Forget ethics, honesty or following the rules. This client demands that you go for the gold. And woe be unto you if you don’t get it for him.
8. Dracula. This one’s a real charmer with his European accent and silky cape. But once he sinks his teeth in you he will drain every drop of your blood through incessant requests, unreasonable demands, and endless phone calls – especially after the sun has gone down.
9. Ghost. Everything is great at first. No fuss, no muss. This client is so low-maintenance she is barely there. Then you send your first bill, and she disappears into thin air.
10. Justin Bieber. Avoid at all costs. No explanation necessary.
Ernest (Jay) Reeves Jr. is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Once upon a time he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. In a prior life he is rumored to have been a close personal friend of the elusive Risk Man. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 919-619-2441.