Detachment – A Per Diem Attorney’s Virtue

When a client is looking for an attorney, they are not looking for detachment. They are probably looking for a zealous advocate. Your ability to advocate for your clients is your virtue. It is also your headache, as it may keep you up at night and have a deleterious effect on your stomach lining.

One of the hidden virtues of a per diem attorney is detachment. Your client is not my client – you are. You can be a zealous advocate for your client; my job is to give you the material you need to do that. I do the research and legal analysis without the client, the adversary, or the court breathing down my neck. I review your file and the relevant law and give you my honest judgment of the best way for you to proceed. It’s your case, and you get the final say, but sometimes my perspective opens things up.

In one hotly contested motion I worked on recently, the vituperative language in opposing counsel’s brief put me in mind of a quote from a popular comedian. Pointing it out to the attorney of record (my client) enabled her to get a little perspective on counsel’s blow-hard tactics, and we wrote our reply brief with lightened minds, able to point out just how ridiculous he was being.

It can be hard to keep an eye on the bigger picture in the midst of aggressive motion practice. In another recent case where motions upon motions have been flying thick and fast, I was able to point out to my attorney-client the reasons that one particular motion needed no opposition from him, saving him and his client some time and money.

When you bring me in you get the value of my legal experience and expertise, but you also get the perspective of someone a step removed from the fray.

– Megan Oltman

Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 8:22 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Both comments and pings are currently closed.