Sunday, August 8, 2010

Aggressive Lawyering Versus Obnoxious Lawyering: Which Is Best?

In this blog about divorce, I also try to give you some perspective about what it is like to be a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia. Today, I want to give you my opinion about the effectiveness of what I call "obnoxious lawyering!"
I suspect that, in every community of divorce lawyers, there are at least two or three lawyers who equate being aggressive with being obnoxious. In other words, these "obnoxious attorneys" apparently believe that zealous advocacy means being disagreeable about every issue in the divorce, including everything from child custody to who gets the worthless plastic Star Wars cups in the kitchen.
Now, I have several theories about why some of these "obnoxious attorneys" act this way. Can I be honest!? First of all, I believe that a few of these lawyers want to simply drag out the divorce, so that they can bill their clients for a lot more money! In other words, by infecting the divorce case with their own disagreeable personalities, and their own unreasonable demands, they poison the well for everybody and make a quick, fair settlement less likely.
In addition, some of these divorce lawyers appear to lack sufficient life experiences to understand the difference between the important issues and the unimportant ones in a divorce. Also, perhaps some people over-compensate for a lack of self-confidence.
Finally, in my opinion, a few divorce attorneys simply have obnoxious personalities which spill over into their divorce law practices, along with every other aspect of their Scrooge-like existences! Believe me, when their nasty mop water buckets spill, they tend to get everybody around them dirty! And frankly, I believe that obnoxious divorce lawyers more often fail, rather than succeed, for their divorce clients.
So, in my opinion, when you select a divorce lawyer to represent you, it is imperative that you try to size up their personalities, too. In other words, you must decide whether you want an aggressive divorce attorney, who will cleanly fight for the important issues, or someone who will indiscriminately be disagreeable about everything and drag out your divorce with "Sluggo" into the next century!
Doesn't every profession have these obnoxious types? Is that the type you would want for your divorce attorney? What do you think?


  1. Richard,
    This is perhaps one of the most candid, honest and fair representations of attorneys and their attitudes that I have ever read. My sister is a Legal Secretary in Washington, DC and has been for most of her adult life. She told me once that attorneys really dislike being referred to as lawyers. This really is a good post!

  2. Thank you, Theresa, for the visit and the kind comment! Now, I recommend that everyone should go straight to your awesome blog for some great writing and some fine dessert (and other recipe) ideas!