How can you tell when a lawyer is lying?
Their lips are moving.
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a liar?
Since I am a lawyer, jokes like these always sting a bit.
But they beg the bigger question — are lawyers trustworthy?
If you’re just listening to the punchlines of those jokes, the answer is no. People do not trust lawyers. In the past, parents wanted their kids to grow up to be lawyers and doctors. Not any more. Lawyers have dropped out of that discussion. I am not even sure I want my kids to follow in my footsteps.
Let’s take a deeper look and see why this is the case, and how to make sure the lawyer you’re working with is one of the good ones.
SOME LAWYERS REALLY ARE UNTRUSTWORTHY
Why are we untrustworthy? No doubt it is self-induced.
I think there are two arenas in which lawyers prove themselves untrustworthy.
- First, big advertisers portray to the general public a certain type of undesirable reputation. (I don’t mind saying that I know a couple.)
- Second, on a personal level, certain lawyers indeed lie, cheat, and mislead.
And these bad apples have ruined the bunch, tainting the whole profession.
But that isn’t all of us.
THERE ARE PLENTY OF TRUSTWORTHY LAWYERS IN LOUISIANA AND THROUGHOUT THE U.S.
I profess with all candor that most lawyers are honest, professional, and respectable. I truly believe that.
But the bad apples can be really bad, and they stand out from the field.
The first arena I mentioned is the public forum with the lawyers that everyone sees in general advertising. If you drive down any interstate highway from Louisiana to Florida, one in every three billboards (if not more) are lawyers. If you watch commercials on TV, every break in programming has a lawyer’s face.
I agree with you, it can be obnoxious.
Freedom of speech is important. Lawyers, just like everyone else, have a right to advertise for business.
Louisiana, and I am sure other states as well, debated long and hard about limiting a lawyer’s right to free speech to try and protect our reputation via advertising. There was a balance struck, and there are restrictions in place. But the restrictions have not protected our reputations. I do not foresee that changing any time soon.
The second arena I mentioned is the private forum, where lawyers earn a reputation from one-on-one interactions with clients or from behavior in the courtroom.
This is where I have more to say and do.
I will admit there are lawyers that lie and cheat in the courtroom. I have experienced it. Obviously, those lawyers do not deserve trust. In central Louisiana, there is only a handful of lawyers that have earned this type of reputation. We all know who they are, and we all take precautions when dealing with them. For the client, if your lawyer will lie to a judge, wouldn’t he or she also lie to you?
Trust is undoubtedly the foundation of any relationship. This is true for a husband and wife, for parent and child, and for attorney and client.
You must trust your lawyer.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A TRUSTWORTHY LAWYER
For me, I do not take this responsibility lightly.
Neither do I expect your trust from the beginning. I fully recognize the only way you will trust me is if I earn it. So, I will. I conduct my personal life, my business, and my practice with certain foundational principals so that, at the end of the day, trust is earned.
- Trust requires truth. My faith and morality are hugely important to me. I attend church faithfully. I am an extraordinary minister of the Body and Blood of Christ. I am currently teaching a confirmation class for high school students. What does this mean for you? My faith instills sincere honesty. I will always be honest with you. You deserve the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear.
- Trust requires availability. When you call my office, a person answers; not a mobile receptionist at some call center. When you have problems, doubts, or questions, you can reach me; not an associate, not a paralegal. When you need me, I am here.
- Trust requires personability. When you and I meet, it will not be across some big obtrusive desk, it will be on comfortable chairs, talking knee to knee. As our attorney-client relationship progresses, I will obviously know your case, but I will also get to know you. Yes, at some level, what I do is my job. But at your level, it is the most important issue at this moment of your life. I must treat it as such. I have to treat you and your case with the respect it deserves.
- Lastly, trust is about production. When your case concludes, you should be satisfied that I gave 100%. I must be organized, detailed, and prepared. I have to succinctly and competently present your case.
If you’re going through bad times and you need a lawyer, the best advice I can give is that you shop around for one that is trustworthy.
Let me offer what I believe to be the most helpful tip: check their online reviews.
People are not shy about commenting on social media. You should use that feedback to decide if you can trust your potential lawyer.
Many lawyers are, indeed, trustworthy. I believe that I am.
If you need me, and you decide to hire me, I know that you’ll come to the same conclusion.
CONTACT THE JONES LAW FIRM FOR A TRUSTWORTHY EXPERIENCE WITH A LOUISIANA ATTORNEY
I could go on and on with these promises, but promises do not gain trust. There is only one way to earn your trust: action. Let me be your lawyer. I promise at the end of the day, I will have done everything in my power to earn your trust. I encourage you to read online reviews about me and other lawyers. Message us or give us a call at (318) 442-1515. I look forward to meeting you.