The Model Citizen: An Actual Client Call

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The following is a true account of an actual call made by a prospective client (as always, names and details are omitted in order to protect the identity and confidentiality of the caller!):

A lady called in order to ask if I could represent her for an injury she suffered inside a pawn shop’s premises.

“Tell me what happened,” I said.

She explained that she had gone to a particular northwest Texas town in order to get some dental work done, because she’d heard of this dentist who would take payment by check. She told me, without a hint of reservation, that she had written a “hot check” to give him because she knew she didn’t have the funds to pay him, but “really needed the work done!”1

After getting the work done and giving him the check, she realized she had better come up with some cash to pay the amount if she was caught.2 So she took some of a relative’s jewelry (she didn’t say whether it was by permission, and by this point, I didn’t want to ask) and hurried to a pawn shop to see what she could get for it.

While inside the pawn shop, she tripped due to what she described as a “buckle” in the painted concrete floor of the shop (quite possibly a depression in the concrete flooring), and fell forward on her hands and knees. She complained of aching in one of her knees and her hips, and wondered how much she could sue the pawn shop owner for…

Needless to say, I did not take this case. The caller sounded very unashamed in her desire to “find an angle” and get everything she could, despite her own wrongdoing. This would make her a very difficult client to work with, and a very unappealing witness in front of a jury, no matter how serious her injuries were, or how negligent the pawn shop owner may have been.

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