Hey Debt Collection Goons: Courtesy Is Great, But Try Giving a Little Courtesy Half As Often As You Ask For It.

My associate mentioned to me earlier this week that Law Firm X is late responding to our discovery requests and he was just about to send them a courtesy reminder (attorneys call them “meet and confer” letters).  This is our usual practice.  In this case, I told him not to send the letter.  I instructed him to file a motion to compel the responses immediately.  Why am I being such a hard nose with these guys?  Simply put, because they deserve it.  This firm often asks for extensions to respond to discovery, and we gave them an extension in this case, but courtesy from them?  Nope.  That’s the problem with debt collection lawyers, they spend all their time beating up on lay people and they never learn how to act like real lawyers.

Despite what you see on television, the Law is an honorable profession.  But honor is not taught to young lawyers in debt collection firms.  For instance, look at all the “wins” we have listed under Success Stories.  Do you know how we usually find out about an opponent dismissing a case against our client?  Most of the time we have to monitor the court website or call a court clerk, or even put on our suits and go to court for a hearing only to be told the hearing has been taken off calendar and the case is dismissed.  We are happy for the success, but how about a courtesy call or fax folks!  How about a heads up saying: “Hey, slow down, have some coffee and drive your kids to school.  We are dropping the case and you don’t have to fight traffic and find parking today.”  There are some collection lawyers (they tend to be the older ones) who are still courteous and practice with their hearts as well as their heads, but about two-thirds of the time we have to stumble across the information instead of being told straight up by our “colleagues”.

So, Law Firm X, our motion to compel is on the way.  Have a nice day.