Friday, February 18, 2011

Lawyers Returning Calls: The Art of Being a Mensch!

I guess I have some pet peeves, I hate when I don't get my calls returned. I just think it is common courtesy to return/respond to a call. Even from people I don't know or don't like. I have prosecutors that I call over and over, I have companies I call over and over, who raised these people? A return call takes a couple of minutes.

It all comes down to just basic human respect. My dad, still rings in my head, may he rest in peace (it's been 33 years), always said he wanted just ONE thing from me, "respect." Not great grades, not stellar athletic performance, not monumental worldly success just respect for myself and others, because he saw that as the basic foundation to everything else. How can you be principled and maintain a sense of values, common decency to humanity without this quality? Those that respect others and their property and their values were in my father's eyes Mensches (in Yiddish this means being a "human being of integrity and honor.") He raised me or more groomed me to be that man. From the way he gave of his time to people in need to the way he tipped a server. My father gave people dignity.

So I have had dealings with fellow lawyers over the years, and many do not return my calls. To me it shows a self worth issue, they are more important, or their time is more important than mine, and that is probably the thing people dislike most about lawyers. They (clients) want to be able to communicate about their case, their situation, and having a true counselor available brings peace of mind. I pride myself on returning calls and being available. Does that make me better? Well yes and no, better for my clients, not always for me because my clients come to expect me to be there for them any time. btw I am better early in the day, old habits die hard, I get up very early, and go to sleep by 9 or 930 generally, so don't call after that if you want someone who is coherent.

If you ever compare me to someone else know that I am unique in this regard. I am in a word: Available!

And as I strive to serve I keep in the back of my mind my father's wish to have a mensch for a son.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850