Throughout my 23 years of practice as an attorney, I've met a lot of nice people, despite the fact that they are lawyers. Notwithstanding what seems to be a negative perception among the public, to paraphrase an old cliché, "Lawyers are people too". One thing I learned is that if you litigate and negotiate in good faith, it promotes a faster resolution and is less expensive to the client.
On the other hand, every once in a while, I come across an attorney, who, at best, I would describe as being a jerk. One such incident happened recently. Although, I expected such behavior when I was practicing family law on a regular basis, I have enjoyed great relationships with opposing counsel in almost all of my consumer law cases. In fact, it was just relayed to me this week, that a prominent collection attorney, whose firm has lost several cases to me, described me as being straightforward, professional and honest. I take that to heart and am duly flattered.
Recently, after having a 20 year cordial relationship with a well known mortgage foreclosure firm, one of their newer attorneys decided to play games with me in a particular case. For years, this firm and I have litigated a multitude of cases and have resolved many cases in a manner which is favorable to my clients, meaning that they saved their homes. I don't know why this lawyer, after years of his firm having a good relationship with me, resorted to what I would characterize as questionable tactics. I can only surmise that since we have been uncovering and litigating the pervasive fraud in the foreclosure industry that I have been getting too close to the truth.
I discovered that this attorney filed a document in court, in response to my filing, but failed to send me a copy, despite certifying to the Court that he did send it to me. In light of some of his other actions, which I found inappropriate, I sent an email to this attorney, expressing my dismay of his actions and stated that this was consistent with how he had been handling this case. I immediately received a belligerent and accusatory phone call replete with slanderous statements directed towards my client.
In unsolicited statements, this attorney said that my tactics are known and that he is not "scared" of me and can't wait to litigate against me. Well, you don't have to be Sigmund Freud to analyze this one. I was not the one who put the word "scared" into play. Obviously, he is "scared" but, of what, I can only speculate.
Without going into detail about this case, I have strong suspicions as to what may be motivating this attorney's fear and it has more to do with his actions or lack thereof in the way he handled the case and the fact that I caught him on it. So, now, we are apparently in for what appears to be a nasty fight for no other reason than having an opponent who has put his agenda before that of his client.
I still maintain that most attorneys are good people and mean well but there are still those out there that seem hell-bent on perpetuating the stereotype that has caused lawyers to the object of many untoward stories and jokes.