No attorney likes to talk about it, that ugly reminder that sometimes we make mistakes, or more often, that we can’t please every client. I’m speaking of bar complaints. Most any seasoned lawyer will tell you that it comes with the territory, and is nearly inevitable.
That wasn’t any comfort when I got my first letter stamped “personal and confidential” from my state bar. Apparently it was my fault that my client’s mother had died, leaving no proof that her relatives had gotten the deceased to cash out insurance policies in her infirmity. I didn’t know I was that powerful – that I could heal the sick. I started polishing my faith healer resume. While I succeeded in protecting the deceased from further attempts by unscrupulous family members, it wasn’t enough. My client decided that I should be the one to pay back the money her relatives had conned out of her mother.
I was enraged and terrified when I read that I had stolen their money, refused to answer phone calls, and had ducked their visits and emails. In a panic I dropped everything and responded to the complaint per instructions. I was inconsolable for weeks until I got a call from the client who told me that she was unaware that her child had filed the complaint behind her back, not her. She apologized profusely and promised to set it right with the bar. Like an idiot I believed her instead of dropping her as a client like a cancer. The bar further led to my rosy naiveté by dismissing the complaint.
Fast forward to last week. I had been trying to form a lawsuit proving that the insurance company knew or should have known something was amiss by the way the deceased was handled by relatives who didn’t have power of attorney. It would be a tough case, but I was still willing to fight for my client. So I sent her a letter stating it would be a tough case, maybe unwinnable, and that we needed to discuss our next steps. No reply. That is until I get my SECOND bar complaint! I almost tore my office apart when I again read how I had cut and run and stolen their money, and how they had been calling night and day with no response. Then the lightbulb went off. They’d been calling Ruby!
I had signed up with Ruby Receptionists almost two months prior during a trying family tragedy, and needed help with my phones. Ruby was, is great. All calls to my office get forwarded to Oregon where a cheery female waits to answer. They’re professionalism is only surpassed by their servant spirit and big hearts. They even sent flowers when my mother died! But this isn’t a review of Ruby. It’s about how they helped save my ass.
Ruby keeps call logs of every call received, or the LACK thereof. After I entered Earth’s orbit I called them and asked for my phone records. Cheerful as always they agreed to email them right over, as well as show me how to view them online. They even emailed later to tell me they’d be happy to run a filter for the disgruntled client’s numbers. Imagine my surprise when there was no record of any calls from my biggest fan during the entire period Ruby was in charge of my phones! How could this be?! If you aren’t wiping the sarcasm off your screen with a Sham Wow you’re dismissed. I printed the call log and wrote upon it every number I had for my client so that the ethics committee knew what to look for, and attached it to my response letter, along with all the correspondence I had sent to said client that had gone unanswered.
Today was a banner day at the law office of Clark V. Stewart. The super thin envelope marked “personal and confidential” told the tale. My complaint had been dismissed AGAIN, and that no further action would be taken. I’m convinced that it was a short inquiry that was concluded after reviewing my phone records and finding nary a peep from my favorite customer, despite her claims to the contrary. If you were thinking of using a virtual receptionist to screen your calls, I hope you’ll call Ruby as the slogan goes. If not for their great service, then for their inadvertent ability to CYA!