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So You Think You Want a Shark as Your Lawyer?

When you call for an appointment with one of the attorneys in our firm, you will first speak with a staff member who will screen your case for conflicts (to determine if we have advised your spouse or someone close to your case in the past and cannot represent you) and the jurisdiction (can we deliver the service you are requesting in the geographic location where the case will be filed).  We don’t want to waste your time by having you meet with an attorney who either does not practice in the area of law where your conflict lies or in the geographic area where the case will be brought or if your spouse has already conferred with one of our attorneys.  We prefer to refer you to another firm which can handle your matter.

Our staff members who handle these calls report that potential clients often want reassurance that our lawyers are sharks.  Though one of our attorneys has the surname of Sharkey, we do not see ourselves as sharks.

Let’s begin with a definition of “sharks.”  These are predatory fish that eat or bite everything smaller than them.  Sometimes, they bite creatures who are larger than them.  In either case, they seem to prey on others without regard for the consequence.

What we believe the potential clients are really asking is whether our attorneys will support them at this difficult time.  Will they explain the clients’ options?  Will they be familiar with the law?  Will they help the client build the courage needed to stand up to their spouse during this difficult and scary time?  Will they be strategic in the advice they provide?  Will the attorney provide a good value for the money that this divorce case is costing them?

We believe that the answers to all these questions is, “yes!”  Does this make us sharks?  We don’t think so.

We understand that potential clients are frightened.  They are also angry and would (in an ideal world) like some revenge against their spouse.  It is understandable that the image of a shark protecting them is appealing.  So, when I hear the comment from my staff that a potential client with whom I am about to meet has heard that I am a shark, I am not offended.  I understand that they want someone who will educate them in the law and the practical issues of their case and help them protect themselves and their children, if they have them.  They want someone who will help them achieve a good, long-term outcome.  The attorneys in our firm all approach every case with these goals in mind.

We also approach every case with the goal of helping our clients achieve realistic expectations.  The questions that are running through the clients’ minds are:

Will I receive everything that I want?  Answer:  Probably not. Why?  Your spouse has his/her own expectations of outcome and we have to balance both your wants.  However, the likelihood that you will receive what is really important to you is high.

Will I receive what I need to move forward in a productive and healthy way?  Answer:  Probably yes, if you are realistic about your needs.

Can I obtain everything I need to have a healthy and productive life after this divorce without having to change?  Answer:  Probably not.  You will have to make adjustments in your lifestyle in the future.  Many of our clients report that once they adjust, they are much happier than they were before their marriage ended.

Will I get revenge?  Answer:  Probably not.  However consider that revenge comes with a price.  It’s the on-going acrimony between your spouse and you.  Sustaining on-going anger is exhausting.  It’s hard on you and very difficult for your children.  It comes with a very high price tag.  So, be careful what you wish for.  You will not like the cost.  Our attorneys will discourage getting revenge.  Instead we encourage you to focus on your own success.

We approach every case by LISTENING to you and HEARING your concerns and objectives.  Then we do our best to help you achieve those objectives, without hurting yourself and your children.  We do this without biting the other side of your case.  However, we will do our best to protect you.

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