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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 748853  
Subject: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 11:09 AM
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The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting interview with Michael Lewis (author of Liar's Poker and The New, New Thing) on the future of the Internet, here's the link for those who have access,

http://update.wsj.com/articles/SB997390106691173448.htm

This is what he said about the effect of the Internet on doctors and lawyers,

<snip>

Q: You say the Internet gives everyone equal access to information, thereby undermining the status previously held by professionals such as doctors and lawyers who traditionally have had privileged access. Does this mean people eventually won't need a doctor or lawyer, and will be able to treat their own diseases and argue their own cases in court?

A: [Laughs]. I was just on a radio show with a man who said that he had a doctor explain to him that he could teach anyone how to remove his own appendix in twenty minutes [laughs again]. Well now, that's taking it a little far. No, what I do think is that the first effect [of the Internet on doctors and lawyers] is to reduce mystique. ...

I think part of [medicine and law] will cease to be commercially viable because you can just get it for free from the Internet. ... Hell, I was being driven around London by a taxicab driver. I told him about the lawyer boy [Marcus Arnold], and he said, "Hot damnit, I just divorced my wife for 60 pounds!" I said, "How did you do that?"

He said, "Well, this lawyer wanted to charge me whatever it was -- some astronomical fee -- and I found a Web site that enabled me to do it all myself." So there's gonna be that kind of effect on the law and medicine.

There is a second effect, and it is to subject lawyers and doctors to a ruthless critical scrutiny [by] their customers. ... We just moved into a house in Berkeley, Calif. We were looking for doctors and there were these chat rooms devoted to saying which doctor is good, that sort of stuff. ...

The business probably becomes a bit more ruthlessly meritocratic and probably turns a bit more on customer relations. The doctor will sense that the patient can't just be cured, but he has to be happy about it so he goes on the Web site and says, "This doctor is a great doctor."

Q: Sort of like a "Consumer Reports" for doctors and lawyers?

A: You got it! But a much more thorough "Consumer Reports," because it's a lot of patients weighing in, not just one authority


</snip>

intercst
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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48372 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 11:28 AM
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I can't wait until we have a reliable flow of freely provided information about service professionals, including doctors and attorneys, from their customers. After all, customer satisfaction is one of the best indicators of quality !

I want the same for plumbers, A/C technicians, carpet layers, painters, builders, etc...


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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48390 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 12:45 PM
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http://update.wsj.com/articles/SB997390106691173448.htm

This is what he said about the effect of the Internet on doctors and lawyers


This something I first started thinking about in my early years on the web/internet (I started on BBs in '92).

The three traditional professions are law, medicine, and clergy. To achieve certification/professional status, people (mostly men 'til fairly recently) go to school for ~10 (hard) years. What is the main component of these years of study? Remembering stuff. Doctors have to remember every bone, every muscle, every gland; lawyers remember thousands of cases, precedents, decisions; clergy remember scripture, commentaries on scripture, pronouncements and edicts. What is the need of a 'remembering' class when everything is on data bases? And the knowledge of the species is so large that the rememberers can no longer remember all of it (medicine especially).

Several years ago I had blood poisoning. I knew what the problem was, and I knew the cure was antibiotics. The doctor spent less than 5 minutes to prescribe the dose and variety; the nurse did all the work of setting up the IV and telling me what to do then and after I went home.

Obviously, we still need doctors; but maybe not for all the traditional doctor stuff. Maybe we need more nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, nurse midwives.

Maybe we need more paralegals, and people to help fill out forms (something like ancient scribes).

The need for clergy has been decreasing with the increase in literacy; the Old and New Testaments are all over the internet in all sorts of translations with all sorts of annotations (I think the Talmud is out there too).

Maybe we (society?) need to rethink traditional education structures at all levels.

Grace Hopper said it more than 15 years ago: (paraphrased)
"The computer, like the automobile, is changing everything in ways unpredictable and unimaginable; and we are still at the Model T stage."

May you live in interesting times.

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Author: BeanieMike One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48400 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 1:43 PM
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I recently filed a $25K civil suit i/n/o my wife for negligence against a restaurant/franchisee for a trip & fall situation. Previously talked to two lawyers - one didn't want it 'cuz "they're difficult cases" and the other seemed too busy to return calls and answer questions.

So I said, screw it. I went to nolo.com and d/l a two e-books on personal injury claims and on representing yourself in court, read the pertinent parts, got the court-approved judicial council forms online, read a little from a civil litigation manual at the law library for the right boiler plate and filed it myself. It was almost a no-brainer.

The real purpose for filing was to toll the stattue of limitaions to preserve my remedies while we are negotiating with the insurance claims people. Don't know if I would want to take it trial by myself, but the Nolo book lays it all out, and for relatively simple matters, I'd take a stab at it.


Why give 30-40% of the settlement to a lawyer who's not doing anything different? Even in situations where I expect to use a lawyer, doctor or other professional/expert, I do a lot of research on the net to get informed and prepared to evaluate whoever I might consider hiring.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48403 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 2:07 PM
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<<The real purpose for filing was to toll the stattue of limitaions to preserve my remedies while we are negotiating with the insurance claims people. Don't know if I would want to take it trial by myself, but the Nolo book lays it all out, and for relatively simple matters, I'd take a stab at it.
>>


Filing a lawsuit for the purpose stated above isn't a bad idea, unless it might cause the insurance company to switch from a settlement mode to a litigation mode, in which case you saddle yourself with a lot of expense.


I had occasion to take a number of casdes to small claims court while I was treasurer for a homeowner's association, and a few for issues of my own. I like small claims court.


But I wouldn't get involved in a legal dispute as a layman against an attorney. The process is too arcane and complex and I think you would be at a severe disadvantage.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: YZF1K Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48405 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 2:12 PM
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SeattlePioneer wrote:
Filing a lawsuit for the purpose stated above isn't a bad idea, unless it might cause the insurance company to switch from a settlement mode to a litigation mode, in which case you saddle yourself with a lot of expense.

Of course, if he lets the Statute of Limitations expire, the insurance company may well go into "go to hell" mode.

--Mark

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Author: Daryll40 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48409 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 2:25 PM
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SeattlePioneer wrote:
Filing a lawsuit for the purpose stated above isn't a bad idea, unless it might cause the insurance company to switch from a settlement mode to a litigation mode, in which case you saddle yourself with a lot of expense.

Of course, if he lets the Statute of Limitations expire, the insurance company may well go into "go to hell" mode. -Mark-


"may"???

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48421 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 4:03 PM
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What is the need of a 'remembering' class when everything is on data bases?

When a doctor has his hands in my intestines, I don't want him to have to look stuff up...

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Author: djharker One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48423 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 4:10 PM
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>When a doctor has his hands in my intestines, I don't want him to have to look stuff up...

Precisely. My wife and my brother are MD's, and I know the IMMENSE number of hours/wk they each spent learning their craft - for years and years of training. They are still continuously learning. There is no WAY anyone can do what either of these people do just by reading on the internet (and I'm a BIG advocate of research on the internet).

There are plenty of things physician-assistants and nurses can do, things presently mainly done by MD's. That would be fine w/ my wife, she is SWAMPED with work.

Don't lump lawyers w/ MDs.





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Author: BeanieMike One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48424 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 4:17 PM
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Yeah, yet the statute run and your totally SOL.

But I wouldn't get involved in a legal dispute as a layman against an attorney. The process is too arcane and complex and I think you would be at a severe disadvantage.

I think lawyers are happy to have people believe that - just as investment advisors rely on a similar mindset as to the financial markets.

I'm not suggesting that everyone attempt this, but for the kind of people that you'd find using TMF, doing their own investing, and especially if you've been in small claims court, then handling some of your own legal situations is not a big stretch. Of course, it helps to be retired and have some time.

I do suggest that anyone facing some legal matter do some research. In my case, I found that the insurance companies work with a very set formula to figure what an injury is worth:

3x to 5x "specials" [all your medical expenses] + lost wages. Severity of injury, length of recovery, permanent effects [future lost earning capacity, physical restrictions, etc., if any] determine the muliplier. It's that simple. You demand high, they counter low and you'll probably arrive somewhere near the middle. And I need any att'y to do that for me, for 40%?

Never mind!
-Roseanne Roseannadanna

Per my readings on negligence:
- I was walking in your parking lot at night - where you expect people will walk.
- I tripped in a trench.
- You didn't have sufficient lighting, signs, painted lines, etc,
- You failed to adequately maintain your property.
You're at fault.

Contributory negligence? I don't think so here, but it can always be an issue in a P.I. cases.

Anyway, I recommend everyone do research in a legal matter just as they would before turning over their investments funds and decisions to someone else.

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48425 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 4:19 PM
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warrl writes,

<<<<What is the need of a 'remembering' class when everything is on data bases?>>>>

When a doctor has his hands in my intestines, I don't want him to have to look stuff up...


A few medical and legal specialties operate in an environment where "remembering" is crucial to success, but they in the minority of either profession.

There's no question that a surgeon or emergency room doctor would have to make quick decisions without the luxury of of consulting a textbook or database. But most of medicine is practiced at a much more leisurely pace. You go see the doctor, they order a blood test or x-ray, and get the results a day or two later. Plenty of time to consult a database or other reference.

Same thing in the legal profession, a trial lawyer would need to have legal precendents at the tip of his tongue to make objections during a trial. But a lawyer writing a contract at his desk has plenty of time to research relevant points of law on a database -- indeed it would likely improve the quality of the end product.

intercst

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Author: cmorford Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48426 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 4:21 PM
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warrl said: When a doctor has his hands in my intestines, I don't want him to have to look stuff up...

On the other hand...I don't want my doctor relying on 10 year old information she/he memorized in med school when they're mucking around in there...

Chuck


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Author: UncaMikey Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48427 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 4:49 PM
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Professionals are highly paid not because they memorized some stuff, but because they have gained experience in highly controlled environments over a number of years. They learn the general stuff and how to apply it in specific cases. No two medical or legal cases are exactly alike.

Go beyond lawyers and doctors. Pilots? Plumbers? Engineers? Cabinetmakers? Each skill has books and online resources, but that's no guarantee that reading something allows the newcomer to perform as well as someone who's done it for a while.

In all fields, the average person could probably do a lot more, but they'd have to know their own limits, and when it's time to call in a professional. Of course the professions try to protect their monopolies, but the Internet has helped the rest of us understand and learn much more than ever before.

The financial professions are different, I think, because once you learn the mechanics of the market you run up against the biggest barrier of all: no one can predict what the market will do, in the next second or the next year. That's like a surgeon not knowing beforehand what organs the patient will have, or how they are arranged.

Doctors and lawyers and pilots and all the rest have pretty decent track records, based on their performance, all things considered. But financial advisors and the like? ho ho

*>UncaMikey

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48433 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 7:21 PM
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">When a doctor has his hands in my intestines, I don't want him to have to look stuff up... "

1) I'm sorry, but the computer is down right now....can you come back with your emergency in a hour??????

or

2) Your query resulted in 121,000 results to the search for 'small intestine bleeding'.....

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48434 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 7:33 PM
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"The financial professions are different, I think, because once you learn the mechanics of the market you run up against the biggest barrier of all: no one can predict what the market will do, in the next second or the next year. That's like a surgeon not knowing beforehand what organs the patient will have, or how they are arranged. "

I dunno...

You pay a financial professional (if you need one) to perform a job....whether it be to set up IRA/401K, other retirement plan, provide sound investment strategy..

It's not only the stock market.... it's bonds, CDs, annuities, and hundreds of other things (trusts, SEPPS, accounting rules, IRS rules, IRS decisions, IRS statements, junk bonds, TIPS, and on and on).....and sound financial planning practices..... risk factors...risk tolerance....investment strategies....

tens of thousands work in accounting, financing, etc...and know what they are doing. And do it well.....


A good financial professional, as you noted, will learn the mechanics of the market, and will attempt to get people to help them earn profits, which is what they are interested in....

Some will earn their profits regardless of what your profits/losses may be (spec investments, churning portfolios, high commission products)....some will earn their profits by helping their clients profit as well.

When you go to the doc, he usually can't tell from looking at you what is 'wrong' and 'how to fix it'. He analyzes the situation, makes tests, evaluates the evidence based upon many factors, decides upon treatment options, recommends treatment options, and between the two of you (and the insurance company) comes up with treatment plan(s) for your particular ailment/problem.

There are bad docs...quacks......quasi medical people.....herbalists.....

If I had a financial planner, I would expect him to be as knowledgeable and as able as my doctor.......

No one knows the market, but a good planner(in my book) will give you the best diversified, minimized risk vs reward strategy........for your situation.....





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Author: tmeri Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48438 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 9:04 PM
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I fear some of you are overlooking the gestalt nature of medicine and the law.

Someone once told me that my job as a programmer was easy, because, "All you have to do is push buttons all day, right?" True. But it's knowing quickly which button to push next. I suggest you cannot look that up on the Internet.

I believe medicine and the law are similar. It's not just a collection of facts one must know, it is knowing how to discriminate on which facts are important to the case at hand, and how to assemble the relevant facts so that a useful conclusion about what to do can be reached.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48442 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/17/2001 10:42 PM
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<<I'm not suggesting that everyone attempt this, but for the kind of people that you'd find using TMF, doing their own investing, and especially if you've been in small claims court, then handling some of your own legal situations is not a big stretch. Of course, it helps to be retired and have some time.
>>


Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company where the facts and liability aren't at issue is something I would do, and have done.

Trying a civil case in Superior Court where depositions and complex legal proceedings are to be expected is not something I would try.


I think it's a matter of good judgement.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: TheBreeze Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48450 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/18/2001 2:37 AM
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I think part of [medicine and law] will cease to be commercially viable because you can just get it for free from the Internet

Great. Medical advice from the same forum that brings us the $250 cookie recipe and $6000 per month work-from-home schemes. Legal advice from someone who can't sell his expertise for money.

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Author: Savagegrace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48472 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/18/2001 5:11 PM
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the Internet gives everyone equal access to information, thereby undermining the status previously held by professionals such as doctors and lawyers who traditionally have had privileged access.

There appears to be a number of misunderstandings as well as projections of future trends. Also, a number of you have vested interests in this and feel the need to justify what you believe it means. Some, going to great lenghts to put a negitive spin on it.

So tell me something, what do you think this message board is about?

Is it a quick fix board? A Finanical Planner put down board? Is it just Intercosts playground and the only reason we're here is to keep him amused in his retirement?....(On occasion, I do try)....;-)

Or is it a beacon of light that exposes the ignorance we had about our beliefs about retirement and finanical planning? And the many, many facets that involves!

So what's your problem?

Do you really believe every PROfessional has your best interests at heart. And even if they do, are they up on the latest data?

So you are betting your life on it? Yes you are.

So what about the bad data you can get on the web? It's there that's for sure.

We need to verify our sources and of those we will need to verify what works and what doesn't. And there will be exceptions as there always are.

As this board grows and expands into other boards, we will become a clearing house for related information. Health conditions, vacation areas, a network of who has what skill that might want to work part time, house-sitting lists, seasonal free living in parks, RV'in, naming just a few.

We will cause a cultural change, a good one. We will affect the insurance and medical community. We will bring change to the way people and medical benefits are handled.

What you see today is the tip of an iceberg. Within 15 years the FDA, AMA and other organizations will be whipped into the benifical role they were meant to play. Not a tool for the companies that are selling a useless product, or power platform for politicians.

RE's can be a prime learning tool of what works. What if we took 20 RE's. Developed a baseline of health including bone density and Ph. Paid for by the RE Foundation.

Then set up an experiment:

Twice a day, no more than 2 minutes each time on physical therapy.

1. Two takes Vit D and calcium suppliments.
2. Two take placebos.
3. Two do light weight (same) training of the forearms.
4. Two do progressive weight training of the forearms.
5. Two use an ultrasonic device (min setting) on the forearms.
6. Two use an ultrasonic device (high setting) on the forearms.

Duplicate 3 through 6 but add Vit D and calciun. Test at 6 month intervals. Adjust tests every 6 months if a clear indicator comes up. Define further.

In just 5 years the amount of worthwhile information we could generate would be staggering. In ten? We would know, without a doubt, what works for a variety of health concerns. Better yet, we would be better informed on the exceptions of the norm and work towards something that would work for them as well.

But hey, if you have an ole Doc that doesn't know that ulcers can be cured by antibiotics why worry about it? He's a Pro and you should always believe what the Pro's say.

Oh, by the way, he did replace your flora after that extended treatment of antibiotics for that....er....indiscretion, didn't he? He didn't? Too bad, those reoccurring yeast infections must be a bummer.

Your Humble Servant,
Gracefully Savage







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Author: janicedowden One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48938 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/26/2001 3:47 AM
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Has ANYONE ever worked with a COMPETENT attorney? I have never met one. It appears to me that the only thing an attorney does is sign the letters and forms his/her secretary or legal aide prepare, and delay things enough until the litigants give up and reach an agreement on their own. Then, they take 30% - 40% of whatever was "won".

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Author: BeanieMike One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48955 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/26/2001 6:48 PM
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Has ANYONE ever worked with a COMPETENT attorney? I have never met one. It appears to me that the only thing an attorney does is sign the letters and forms his/her secretary or legal aide prepare, and delay things enough until the litigants give up and reach an agreement on their own. Then, they take 30% - 40% of whatever was "won".

Although I tend to share your general opinion about attorneys, the biggest problem people probably have is trying to find a good one when you need one. As with other professionals and service providers, we usually won't find out how good they are 'til the job's finished. Hopefully, most of us can get through life without the need for a great attorney, or at least we can survive dealing with the average ones.

I spent more than a couple years working for a “law firm” that had about 1,000 attorneys. Although my experience is with those doing criminal work, I've dealt with a lot in civil practice as well. I know quite a few excellent ones and ones I would turn to for legal help. As in other fields where there are specialists, it all depends on your needs. Negotiate a settlement? handle a wrongful termination? try a personal injury case? depend you against a felony charge? There'll be a different “competent” attorney that could best handle each of these matters

As in dealing with doctors, I found the best, but not foolproof, way has been to get a referral from that one really good doctor you've already found.

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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 49343 of 748853
Subject: Re: OT - Consumer Reports on Doctors and Lawyers Date: 8/31/2001 6:10 PM
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Has ANYONE ever worked with a COMPETENT attorney? I have never met one.

I think most people have this opinion and I guess I like to kick attorneys around with the jokes as much as the next guy.

I think one of the most frustrating things about dealing with attorneys is you (and they) spend countless periods of time discussing provisions for scenarios that seem incredibly unlikely. Since they seem unlikely at the time of discussion, the dealings with the attorneys seems like an enormous waste of time.

However, more than once for me, the situation developed into just that incredibly, unlikely scenario that I thought impossible, and in those cases, I was glad that I had a good attorney pre-situation.

Golfwaymore

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