Friday, January 27, 2012

Ithaca Attorney How to Pick the Right Lawyer: Of Catalytic Converters and Sons and Daughters

I am at that point in my life (50), settled (or saddled) with routines and with children in college. We have four kids, 22, 20, 17, and 15, two and two I like to say. One about to graduate in April, and then another set to go off this June.

When I get a phone call unfortunately it not, "hi dad how are you?" More like, "I got a problem," this is what is going on, can you help me NOW! We love our kids, don't always like them but love them yes.

Just last week, right before heading back out to night court I got a call from my son. Issues with his car. Sputtering and running dangerously. He was pretty freaked out.

Take a Deep Breath Fathers and Mothers

First thing always, calm down, you gotta get it checked out. Get the problem diagnosed. He was talking and coming from a place of "desperation." Saying "I Gotta do this" or "I have to do that" language confuses the brain. This is why I don't like any professionals using fear to manipulate people. People are already in fear and uncertainty with their problems, why add to it?

FIRST RULE: Never (EVER) act from a desperate (have to) place. 

Desperate acts are not well thought through. Desperate is acting from fear. Desperate is hopeless.  

SECOND RULE: Follow an organized plan of action:

1. Discover (uncover) the issue or issues (causes). What are you facing? You can't deal with unknowns. 

First problem for me (as the Dad), he was over a thousand miles away. I know mechanics I can trust locally. His car needed to be checked by someone trustworthy in his area. First, he brought the car to a guy his friend knows. Puts me on the phone, the guy tells me it needs a catalytic converter and oxygen sensors ,,, "how much?" $1,250.00.

Does it Feel Right? Does it Sound Right? Intuition plus knowledge = WISDOM

The guy just doesn't sound right on multiple levels. He doesn't break anything down, doesn't explain much, doesn't go over options, and almost seems bothered by me questioning him. Ah, the value of good communication.

2. Go online. Do some research. Investigate. Reviews. Background.

I went online, the catalytic converter for his car cost about $90 to $130 retail. Then I phone a mechanic friend, he tells me these converters don't usually get replaced. Knowing the answers is not as important as knowing what to ask,and who to ask.  Always seek to ask the right questions of the right people.

3. Find a professional. One that can evaluate the problem, explain the problem, and provide a solution (s). 

How do you find a good mechanic in Ft. Myers, Florida or anyplace else for that matter?

I called local parts stores, and asked them for someone reputable. I called two Advanced Auto Parts stores, and they gave me the names of two local mechanics. My son got the car re-checked, bottom line, car gets fixed appropriately for $350.

I would have had no issue if the car needed a transmission, converter, engine, or whatever. I only wanted the issues addressed quickly and properly.

Been there Done that!

I have hired a great many professionals over the years. I didn't always have the resource of the internet because it did not exist. Hell, I graduated college before computers, can you say "DEWEY Decimal." I have been through mechanics who have had me come back over and over. They fixed and replaced just about everything under the hood, and still my car was overheating.


Whether it is a mechanic, a doctor, a lawyer, or anyone else people should be checked out before you hire them. As my son learned this past week not everyone is looking out for you, not everyone is going to give you a fair shake, and not everyone is going to be honest.

see my blog post on the how to here:

Ithaca Lawyer Why You Should Vet Your Next Doctor, Lawyer, CPA, Plumber, etc.

Lawrence Newman, D.C., Esq.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


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