I was covering creditors meetings for a friend and colleague in a part of the district I do not normally practice. I met some of the clients before the meetings but not all of them. I had reviewed the files and needed a couple minutes to introduce myself and cover any questions they had. So, I was hovering between the meeting room and hall looking for "my" clients.
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I decided to make another hallway sweep and then call my friend's office manager to find my missing clients. I exited the meeting room as it was filling up with clients and the senior attorney was still chatting up the trustee. As I entered the hallway, there was a woman standing there who had been there for some time now. I looked at her face and could tell she was starting to panic. She looked to be in her late 50's. I asked her, "can I help you, is your attorney here yet?" (I knew she wasn't my client because I asked her when she arrived earlier)
She kind of blurted out, "I don't know what to do ... my attorney walked right by me ... I think he's in there ... he didn't say anything ... I don't know what to do!" I quickly tried to assure her this is generally a simple process and that I would go in and let her attorney know she was here. I went into the meeting room, tapped the attorney on the shoulder because he was still chatting with the trustee, and let him know he walked by his client without saying anything and she was a little panicky. I thought he would and I know I would have excused myself and gone to the client. He seemed annoyed and looked at me as if I had just interrupted a major negotiation and said, "Ok" and turned away as if to dismiss me and continued his chat.
I stepped out again, let the woman know I had let her attorney know she was present and found my clients coming off the elevator. I took them into the attorney conference room, introduced myself, explained the process of the meeting, flipped through their filing with them, and finally asked if they were comfortable with me representing them; and if not offered to ask the trustee for a new date since their attorney was unavailable. They seemed more than happy with me.
|Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici |
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