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"Ugh, I hate lawyers..."

Posted by Scott M. Peterson | Sep 24, 2018

When I meet someone for the first time, and they ask what I do, as you might imagine I'm met with a number of responses. 
There's the borderline offensive: “Ugh, I hate all lawyers” (yes, this happened at an event last week).
There's the immediate glossing over of the eyes, followed by: “Do you know where the drinks are?”
There's the genuine interest.

And there's the “is that really a problem?” response.  This last one may be the most interesting.
It's not uncommon that when I tell someone that we handle serious accident cases and cases of sexual harassment and employment discrimination, they respond with something along the lines of “Ok, I see this stuff on tv, but does that really still happen in the real world?”
The answer, of course, is yes.  It happens all the time, and it happens in ways that you would not think possible. 
Example: one of the most highly visited pages on our website is an article entitled, “Yes, expecting sex in exchange for employment is illegal.”  People come to this page because they are dealing with this at work.
I could go on with many more examples, but I think you get the point. 
We humans tend to not recognize problems until we experience them.  It's the reason why when many potential clients come to us, the first thing they say is, “I'm not the type of person to sue.”  Of course they're not!  But that was then, and now they've been through a terrible experience, and they need to protect themselves and their families.  And now they recognize the benefit of the civil legal system.  We understand that.
I've been interested to watch the coverage of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and the recent allegations from a California Professor stemming from an incident that occurred many years ago.  Leaving aside the political reactions, the judgment passed by outsiders on the situation has been interesting.  Almost immediately, some folks on the internet began attacking the accuser for waiting all of these years to come forward with her story. 
Social media and the internet have done a lot to benefit society, but they've also given rise to an ability for the masses to rush to judgment, publicly, in a way that we've never seen.  This is dangerous, because we know from years of experience, and having worked with hundreds of clients, that most people who are thrust into the spotlight, or the legal system, would have much rather gone about their lives quietly, peacefully, thinking that these sort of problems are for "other people." 

Most of them certainly did not wish for, and did not expect, to have to hire a lawyer to help protect their family after an accident, have their names splashed about the internet and scrutinized on social media, or to have to research online to see if it's illegal for their boss to ask for sex in exchange for employment. 

It's helpful to remember that.

About the Author

Scott M. Peterson

Scott M. Peterson is the founding partner of D'Orazio Peterson, having left a partnership at a large regional law firm to limit his practice and focus on helping people protect their families.

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