I genuinely thought I was part of some long-term punking. I get so many calls from people wanting to hire me who use the same lines to try to get me to take the case. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, “I have a slam-dunk case that is going to make some attorney wealthy, but I need an attorney who can understand this case and won't be intimidated by the other side.”
There's one guy out there — I have no idea how I ended up on his distribution list — who sends me weekly flyers like you might get from a real estate agent trying to sell you a business, but they are all for HIS own personal cases. They are on impressive pre-printed forms, and the client just fills in the blanks. They look something like this:
TYPE OF CASE: FRAUD, NEGLIGENCE, BATTERY
DATE OF OCCURRENCE: March 9, 2014
FACTS: I was eating at Denny's, and I ordered a veggie-burger, but the waitress brought me a regular hamburger.
DAMAGES: $4,700,000 (see below).
NOTES: I have been a vegetarian for more than ten years, and am suffering severe emotional distress, knowing that I have now eaten meat. We can also claim it violated a religious belief. Denny's will settle quickly to avoid the bad publicity. I have my receipt and I kept the hamburger as evidence.
ATTORNEY'S PERCENTAGE: 10% ($470,000). Easy money for aggressive attorney.
Now comes L. Maxwell Taylor, who created Red Flag Intake Sheet BINGO, listing all the lines used and behaviors exhibited by potential clients that should raise red flags. Mr. Taylor has brought me a new level of comfort, because I now know it's not something I'm doing that attracts these clients. Apparently we all get our fair share.
Some are so detailed and specific: “Addresses you by jaunty-sounding truncated version of your name before introducing self.” I get that all the time, with the variation that they seek to create a bond with something they found in my bio. “Aaron-Aaron-Bo-Baron. I see you used to live in Tucson. I drove through Tucson once. Maybe we were there at the same time.”
“Voicemail box not set up/full” is another biggie, and it always involves someone who has no patience.
“I called you an hour ago and I did not receive a callback.”
“Actually, I did try to call, but I got a message saying your mailbox is full.”
“Oh, yeah, I screen all my calls.”
Check out the entire list at the link above. Thanks to Mr. Taylor for writing it, and thanks to Carolyn Elefant for posting it.