Wednesday, June 22, 2005

With Lawyers Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

I feel like I should fire my attorney. I have to talk to a few people and see what they think just to make sure I’m not overreacting. I won’t go into the details, but we had a discussion the other day about some things going on with the divorce. We were disagreeing on a couple of points, and she was getting a little angry. Now I’m more than a little bit angry at her.

What made me angry? My attorney’s advice to me. It wasn’t so much advice as “orders”. She (my attorney) has been getting frustrated with dealing with the other side in all of this and has been putting pressure on me to make things happen. Every so often she gives me advice that I would rather not hear or deal with, but I do, because I’m an adult. I don’t get angry, it’s just something that you have to do. She was getting phone calls from the STBX’s attorney that she was tired of dealing with, so she told me I had to do some things. Her attitude was “I don’t care if you like it, just get it done”, and it was definitely more a set of orders than advice.

This time was different, however. This time, if I’d followed her “advice” I would right now be in a jail cell, facing felony charges. I am not exaggerating. What do you do when your attorney tells you to do things that could send you to prison?

I am a pretty level-headed person (at least I think so) and when she issued me this list of things I had to get done over the next few days it just didn’t sound right. So instead of just doing them, thinking “my attorney told me to do it, so it must be ok”, I started making some phone calls.

I found out, unequivocally, that if I’d done what my attorney advised, I would be in a world of trouble. Prison-time trouble. One of the people I talked to (in a state agency) asked me “what the hell are you thinking? Are you stupid?” When I told them that I was calling because my attorney told me to do these things and I didn’t think it was right, the woman was incredulous. She told me, in no uncertain terms, NOT to do any of the things I’d been told. I don’t think she believed that an attorney would tell me this stuff.

So today I’m going to make some phone calls. I’m going to find out what the consequences would have been, then I’m calling my attorney. She’s not going to like what I have to say.