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In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Category Archives: Client Communications

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The Problem of Not Knowing

Posted in Client Communications

I am sitting here pondering a project I asked someone else to do.  I don’t know whether it is done.  It should have been done by now, but I don’t know because I haven’t heard from the person I tasked with the assignment.  I don’t want to have to keep this task in the front… Continue Reading

Watercoolers and clients

Posted in Client Communications

They (and have you ever, like me, wondered who they are?) say that nature abhors a vacuum.  I was reminded about the wisdom of this gem during a recent deposition.  My witness was testifying about the sale of a company and management’s why management was releasing information to the employees.  As she said, " you… Continue Reading

On The Importance Of Writing Well

Posted in Client Communications, Commentary

More litigation results from bad drafting that one can possibly imagine. Excellent writing is a critical component of excellent client service. My friends at What About Clients have two terrific posts on good writing.  The first reminds us that writing well is hard work.    The second discusses client-centered writing and advances the argument that over-reliance… Continue Reading

Bad News? Don’t Ignore the Gorilla.

Posted in Client Communications

You can’t.  But it’s amazing how people keep trying to ignore that old gorilla. As I’ve mentioned, I was listening to a panel of General Counsel share some stories last week.  This story was told by one of them.  The took a case to trial.  And got hammered.  Way beyond what trial counsel had predicted… Continue Reading

An Email Pet Peeve: Auto-reply

Posted in Client Communications

"I will be out of the office until Tuesday, August 19.  If your matter is urgent, please contact my assistant, Robin Hood, at 222-555-7777, or reach me on my cell phone at 222-555-9999.  Thank you." You have a Blackberry–everybody does.  Use it.  This is the 21st Century.  We have technology that allows people to communicate… Continue Reading

Voicemail Greetings and TMI

Posted in Client Communications

We’ve all experienced this.  You call someone.  The message starts.  "Hi, I’m away from my desk…."  And it goes on and on.  And on some more.  Ever hear this kind of message: " I’m visiting a really important client in a really exotic city and won’t be back in the office for several days.  However,… Continue Reading

The Unique Relationship Between Clients and Lawyers: The Lawyer’s View

Posted in Client Communications, Client Surveys and Audits

Trust me, for a moment at least, that all of the following points eventually will come together. Every time I have the opportunity, I ask in-house counsel about whether their lawyers conduct formal or informal satisfaction meetings.  Almost invariably, the answer is no.  I always follow up by asking whether the client would find such… Continue Reading

Remember This Before Complaining

Posted in Client Communications

How frequently do we complain?  We all do so a lot.  Sometimes we complain about things in the presence of our clients because they also are our friends.  And because we are lawyers, are complaints are spiced-up and witty.  Next time, maybe not so fast. I received an email today from my brother-in-law, a retired… Continue Reading

Our Forms Of Communication

Posted in Client Communications

With thanks to Matt Homann (the [non]billable hour) for the link, think about this information from William Glasser: How We Learn 10% of what we READ 20% of what we HEAR 30% of what we SEE 50% of what we SEE and HEAR 70% of what is DISCUSSED with OTHERS 80% of what is EXPERIENCED… Continue Reading

Good Writing

Posted in Client Communications

Not too long ago, I ran across a post on the the number of words in various writings generally regarded as among humankind’s best.  The Pythagorean Theorem–24 words; The Lord’s Prayer–66 words; The Ten Commandments–179;  The Gettysburg Address–186;  The United States Constitution–1300 words.  I am told that the U.S. Government’s regulations on the sale of… Continue Reading

The Case Of 1 + 1 = 5

Posted in Client Communications, Client Service, Selection of counsel

Interesting post in Rees Morrison’s Law Department Management blog. Thoughts on Why Law Departments Retain Outside Counsel discusses several theories.  First,  brains vs brawn.  This theory postulates that inside counsel handle the routine stuff but turn to outside counsel for more challenging work.  Second, the overflow theory.  Here, outside counsel are retained whenever there is too much work… Continue Reading