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Choose Your Attorney Well – Or You May Regret It

By: P. Roe

It is important to choose an attorney who will support you. If you make a wrong choice, you might have problems.

Attorneys are supposed to represent the client – right? Not according to some – they feel a need to control the client – watch out for that type of attorney. Not all those lawyer jokes are so funny, but also true, I have found out.

When you are searching for an attorney – get references. Ask your acquaintances whom they have used and whether they are happy with the service. Don't just pick one out of the phone book – you may live to regret it.

I have been dealing with people who have chosen an attorney in haste for a lawsuit. What they often have found is that the attorney has decided to control their financial decisions. The client has been ignored, with no return calls on messages left. The attorney has put himself down for 40%-70% of the winning settlement, and now feels he will work the case only when needed, to protect his own interest. One attorney mapped out a "financial plan" for his client in which he diverted the upcoming settlement funds into trust accounts that the client cannot touch – and NOT for a good reason (other than the attorney's sidekick will be administering the accounts and both will gain to make money from the deal).

Clients have tried to get advance funding on their settlements, but the attorney has refused them the chance – and some clients lost their homes and livelihood. The attorney does not want to take time to do paperwork for the client (after all, the attorney makes no extra money by doing this – it does not fit into their realm of responsibility in that particular case). Another excuse we hear is that the funding is "too expensive" (how is $1250 in fees for $10,000 funded considered "expensive when the settlement will be $125,000 and the attorney is getting $62,500?). Obviously, the client is of little concern to the attorney, other than to make sure the case will win and settle. One poor client tried to argue with the attorney to let him have funding, but the attorney flatly told him he would not hear of it, and would not let anyone else get money from it.

Before you choose your attorney, find out if he has the client's best interests in mind. If not, look for another one. There are plenty of good attorneys with good hearts who could use your business.

About the Author

P. Roe is a funding agent who dabbles in other areas of saving money. She is a proud mom and offers parenting skills. She holds a patent and has an engineering degree, and repairs computers, builds websites and optimizes performance on the side.


Ms. Venzon graduated from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1982 and was admitted to the New York State Bar on February 15, 1983, and admitted to the Federal District Court for the Western District of New York in 1985 and the District of Columbia in 1986. She has participated as a guest speaker at a recent Appellate Division Training Seminar. In addition, Ms. Venzon has appeared on public radio to discuss child support collection and other related issues. Ms. Venzon established the law firm in 1984.

She can be contacted by phone at (716) 854-7888 or email her at

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