Thursday, May 29, 2008

would you like fries with that separation agreement?

i received an A4 envelope in the mail about a week ago. A4 envelopes are NEVER good. best case scenario, NRMA Open Road Magazine, straight in the bin, no stress. this was not the latest edition. this was from my lawyer. it was my first A4 correspondence from them, my second in total, and it scared me.

turns out, scared was a good emotion to assume. inside was a fat document outlining fees and charges. turns out the $215-an-hour quoted when i made my initial call was a one-off. a new-client special if you will.

there were many, many scary words and statements in this document but there were three particular areas which made me vomit a little in my mouth.

one, for the service of agreeing to represent me, Crane, Poole and Schmidt (i wish) charge $2000. they call it a retainer. i call it bullshit.

two, Crane, Poole and Schmidt estimated the cost of drawing up my separation agreement at between $2500 and $3300 - plus GST. Vom.

three, my lawyer, god bless him, happens to be a partner and therefore charges the friendly hourly rate of $380 - not $215 as first quoted. Vom some more.

unfortunately i opened this delightful letter at night and was therefore forced to sweat over it for the next 12 hours. my dreams that night included an orangutan weeing on my lawyer's desk and then throwing poo in his face. i mean, obviously that's not true, but it would have been cool. orangutans are very funny. look...

poo-slinging, just $250 an hour. bargain

moving on. first thing in the morning i rang said lawyer. i told him in no uncertain terms this could not happen. i told him his secretary had said nothing of such costs when I asked her to outline probable charges. he said i was putting him between a rock and a hard place. ha. let's compare rocks and hard places. You. between a diamond ring and a marble kitchen. Me. between rocking myself to sleep at night (geddit, rock?) and living with my mum after recent break-up. i win.

"I'm not giving you an ultimatum," i replied, "I'm just telling you, I can't afford it. I will pay you for your time to date but that's it."

He offered me a deal. He would charge me only for his time and he would charge at the original rate quoted. Generous.
I just got a bill. That five-minute phone call cost me $40.

Dear lawyers of the world,
This is why we hate you.
the human race.


Rick M said...

What's the difference between a dead dog on the road and a dead lawyer on the road?

There are skidmarks in front of the dog.

Seriously, what a tossjacket (I coined a new insult especially for you). Or as another one of my friends put it: lawyers are pub sluts.

Tahnee said...

You are too funny, I'm loving reading how your head works!!

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