PARALEGAL PRACTICE: Is it a Question About Real Legal Problem Help Or Just a Problem Person On the Phone?

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Legal Problem Help or

Just Problem Person?

Hello to all of you non-lawyers searching the Internet for information on solving your legal questions. If you are searching for an attorney or paralegal to provide assistance with legal problem help, please have all of your documentation and facts ready when you call.

If you have an active lawsuit with the California courts, have your case number ready. Be familiar with your LASC case summary. Be prepared to get the most out of your free telephone conversation with your attorney and take notes when he gives you hard facts and free information on legal problem help and analysis.

If a freelance paralegal refers you to an attorney, write that law firm’s information down. When attorneys and paralegals provide legal problem help, please always take notes. If a layperson ever saw the detailed notes that attorneys take for themselves, then the public at large would also take better notes themselves when they talk to law firms during free phone consultations. 

When you are busy dialing your Internet hit list of lawyers and legal document assistants please be aware of all the time you are taking up. Please have some respect for the legal person on the other end of the line trying to decipher your “legal problem help.” The law requires facts and not feelings. Your ethical concerns about an attorney, insurance company, or building contractor may not be a real legal problem suitable for the courts to adjudicate. You may just have a slight problem understanding how things work out in the real world, and not a real legal problem for an attorney or law firm.

Again, always get a consultation with a licensed attorney who specializes in your area law that you need help with. It no longer matters that your attorney’s office be in your same geographical area. What is more important is to find a legal specialist. Family law attorneys do divorce and criminal attorneys to homicide. You will never see an attorney who practices both family and criminal law under the same roof. Get a specialist for your legal problem help filling out court forms and pleadings.

Blocked Phone Number

or Just a Blocked Person?

It seems to me that people with blocked telephone numbers are really just blocked people. If I am really busy and have my work all calendared and scheduled out for a week or more, then I do not answer private or blocked calls on my cell phone. If I need more work I answer blocked calls, however only 10-20% of callers with blocked telephone numbers turn into good paying clients who need help with a serious legal problem. Usually blocked callers are blocked people with imaginary legal problems. If I had my way I would never answer blocked numbers, I would just let them all roll over into my voice mail. However the luxury of being an independent contract litigation paralegal does not afford me the luxury of turning down any request for legal problem help with uncontested divorce. 

Do you have what it takes to provide legal problem help or do you just want a McJob?

If you are a legal assistant student still in paralegal school, you should ask yourself if you have what it really takes to be a real paralegal. Do you have the right stuff? A real paralegal student is self-motivated and extremely productive. A real working paralegal is resourceful in helping to solve a legal problem. A real paralegal does his or her own course work and does not cheat on tests. 

Please do not call and offer to pay me to take your paralegal school tests. I am shaking my head in wonderment at the calls I sometimes receive from paralegal students. I wonder if these kids have what it takes to go out into the real world and help attorneys and law firms to solve even the simplest legal problems in personal injury or complex litigation and discovery. Solving legal questions means opening up the law books and doing your own legal research and writing. If you can’t take your own jurisdiction and venue tests then find a vocation or profession that you are good at. Helping people solve legal problems with QDRO’s and their retirement income is serious business. 

Do you need paralegal assistance with a lawsuit or are your legal problems of your own making?

Always consult with an active member of the State Bar of California if you need legal problem help filing a federal lawsuit. In order to use the Los Angeles Superior Court as a civil remedy for legal problem help, the plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to state a cause of action. Your legal problem must be properly researched and drafted into a pleading format that can stand up to a demurer. If your personal injury complaint fails to state facts sufficient to state a cause of action then your next pleading will probably be an opposition to a demurrer. An opposition to a demurrer is an expensive and complex pleading. Better to pay a good law firm to have a litigation assistant draft a good complaint than try to fix everything with an opposition to a demurrer. The legal word processing alone on complex pleadings such as oppositions to summary judgment motions requires years of education and experience. 

Worse yet an improper complaint could be attacked by an anti-SLAPP motion. Always remember you can’t just sue somebody because you do not approve of what they said. You can’t file a lawsuit against a person for what they said in a deposition or you will be served with an anti-SLAPP motion. An opposition to anti-SLAPP motion is a major legal undertaking so be sure your attorney and his law firm specialize in strategic lawsuits against public participation. 

Your allegations of ethical violations may not be a real legal problem with a real legal remedy

Many times I am approached by non-lawyers who have ethical concerns that they believe are a real legal problem. I have even been paid by consumers to write State Bar complaint packages against attorneys. I always tell the client that a State Bar complaint is not going to get them anywhere with their legal problems.

The California State Bar will just send you a letter that says: “Sue the attorney.”  I mean what did you expect the State Bar is all lawyers, legal secretaries and paralegals. If you file a lawsuit in state or federal court for legal malpractice, you will need a good law firm to research and draft your pleadings. However, an ethical problem is still not a question of legal problem help from a paralegal or legal document assistant. 

By Dean McAdams

Born a poor peckerwood in a Tujunga holler, Dean practiced secrets of the ancient & modern masters to end up liberated in the coastal paradise of West L.A.