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Any lawyers here? (or anyone else who wants to give their opinions!)
not asking for legal advice


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28 replies to this topic

#1 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:56 PM

Just interested in opinions here, if there are any lawyers who could tell me what they think that would be appreciated.

We are currently in the midst of a dispute with a business. Last week the situation got a little out of hand and the police were called. We did this against our lawyers 'advice',.although I would call it more an opinion than advice and I was given no legal reason for either option that was available to us at the time.

In the last message conveyed through my lawyer to the other party, my lawyer stated to them that I was acting against his advice,

Now, by knowing I was acting against my lawyers 'advice the other party took that as an indication they were right in their actions.

Should my lawyer have told them that? Or should he simply have passed on the message I instructed him to? (which was that the police would be called if the other party did as they were intending to do)

#2 *cough*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

Hmmm. How was it expressed?

Ie 'I am instructed'? Or did he say 'against my advice'?

Clients that don't listen to advice make me cranky. Lawyers don't say things for no reason.

#3 rocket surgeon

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:05 PM

Not much information to go on, however you hire a lawyer to represent your interests and to act on your instructions, provided it is not illegal or unethical. If he has gone against your instructions, I'd say you should consult another lawyer.

#4 rocket surgeon

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:13 PM

QUOTE (*cough* @ 26/02/2013, 12:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmmm. How was it expressed?

Ie 'I am instructed'? Or did he say 'against my advice'?

Clients that don't listen to advice make me cranky. Lawyers don't say things for no reason.

But trust is everything, and whether a client has taken the lawyer's advice or not, it is not the lawyer's place to badmouth a client. His duty is to the client.

#5 Illiterati

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:17 PM

What did the police do?



#6 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:23 PM

QUOTE (*cough* @ 26/02/2013, 12:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmmm. How was it expressed?

Ie 'I am instructed'? Or did he say 'against my advice'?

Clients that don't listen to advice make me cranky. Lawyers don't say things for no reason.


it was expressed as 'x is acting against my advice and will be doing blah blah blah'

If was advice as in 'legally, this is where you stand....' then I probably would have done as he advised.

But it was really just an opinion. 'Maybe it would be better if you just did this and then blah blah blah'

No one, including my lawyer, the police, consumer affairs, accc etc could give me a clear legal answer as to who ultimately had what right

#7 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

QUOTE (SlowEmotionReplay @ 26/02/2013, 12:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What did the police do?


the police escorted the company employees from my property and told them not to come back without consent or a court order

#8 *LucyE*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:27 PM

QUOTE
whether a client has taken the lawyer's advice or not, it is not the lawyer's place to badmouth a client. His duty is to the client.

No, the lawyer's duty is to the court.

The lawyer may not have 'badmouthed' a client just by informing the other party that the client is acting against advice.  Maybe the client's instructions are so silly that the lawyer's reputation and ability would otherwise be in question.

#9 *cough*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

QUOTE (Fredi @ 25/02/2013, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
His duty is to the client.


I disagree and so would many others.

A lawyers duty is ultimately to the court.

Without knowing all the facts, we cannot presume that he is in the wrong or has not done what he did for a reason.

If no one knew the answer then I would seriously consider the lawyers opinion depending on his experience. Lawyers (in my opinion) tend to have a good feel for things when they have enough experience.

I'm reserving my judgment on this - I really need more facts.


#10 LambChop

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

I would say your lawyer is finding you difficult to get along with, and is trying to distance themselves.

Do you have an agreed end game in mind that your lawyer agrees with ?  Is your lawyer perhaps not the best fit for your needs ?

#11 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:32 PM

I understand what you are saying there Lucy but honestly, my instructions weren't silly. It was simply ' please tell the other party that if they attend my property they will not be allowed in and of they come in anyway I will call the police'

The police agreed with my course of action, so has everyone else I have spoken to. The only person who disagreed was my lawyer, and not for any actual legal reason, just because he thought it was the easiest option (yes he said that)

#12 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:34 PM

QUOTE (LambChop @ 26/02/2013, 12:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would say your lawyer is finding you difficult to get along with, and is trying to distance themselves.

Do you have an agreed end game in mind that your lawyer agrees with ?  Is your lawyer perhaps not the best fit for your needs ?


I have done every other thing my lawyer has advised. This is the one and only time I disagreed.


#13 *cough*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:34 PM

What was the company doing on your property?


#14 rocket surgeon

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:39 PM

I need to qualify what I said before, yes the first duty is to the court but in the context where the lawyer is representing someone there is a fiduciary relationship between lawyer and client.

#15 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:39 PM

QUOTE (*cough* @ 26/02/2013, 12:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I disagree and so would many others.

A lawyers duty is ultimately to the court.

Without knowing all the facts, we cannot presume that he is in the wrong or has not done what he did for a reason.

If no one knew the answer then I would seriously consider the lawyers opinion depending on his experience. Lawyers (in my opinion) tend to have a good feel for things when they have enough experience.

I'm reserving my judgment on this - I really need more facts.


I got the feeling that the dispute escalated to a point that was a bit out of his depth. He couldn't really answer a lot of my questions.

I have since spoken to a family member who is a lawyer who agreed with what I did so I really do think the 'right' thing at the time was just a matter of opinion. and I don't have an issue with that being his opinion. I'm just not sure it was his place to tell the other party my course of action was against his advice, when there was no solid legal reason for the advice. If what I chose to do was clearly going against some law that gave them the right to do what they were doing then it wouldn't bother me.

As it was, this company broke into my property and damged things.

#16 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

QUOTE (*cough* @ 26/02/2013, 12:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What was the company doing on your property?


attempting to 'repossess' something they claimed they owned that I haven't paid for. they have completely lied about the money I have paid them and I currently have an application in vcat waiting for a hearing date.



#17 *LucyE*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:43 PM

There's not enough information to go off (and I understand not wanting to divulge too much on the www) but, maybe the lawyer's advice is part of a longer term strategy and not just the immediate solution?

Is there dispute over ownership?  

The 'easiest option' isn't necessarily the least amount of work for the lawyer.

Edit - you answered while I was posting.  Ownership can sometimes be a grey area even if you have paid.  You need to either trust your lawyer or get someone else.  No point second guessing them if you don't have the same objectives or agreement regarding strategy.

Edited by *LucyE*, 25 February 2013 - 11:49 PM.


#18 *cough*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:43 PM

Ok that clarifies a bit.

You could report him to the legal practice board but it's really horrible for a lawyer to go through that type of thing.

Perhaps send him an email and let him know that you didn't like what he did and see what he says? Perhaps he will apologise and all will be ok?

What would you like to get out of this?

#19 hyperion

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:45 PM

Your lawyer was covering his a*se so he doesn't get sued, or reported .

#20 *cough*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:46 PM

QUOTE (SleezyFrickentush @ 25/02/2013, 09:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
attempting to 'repossess' something they claimed they owned that I haven't paid for. they have completely lied about the money I have paid them and I currently have an application in vcat waiting for a hearing date.


I thought it might be something like this. Do they have a retention of title clause over the goods?

I thought your previous post clarified but now this confuses things again.

QUOTE (hyperion @ 25/02/2013, 09:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your lawyer was covering his a*se so he doesn't get sued, or reported .


I think this.

Lawyers can have cost orders made against them.

#21 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:52 PM

I would just like an apology and acknowledgement that maybe saying that wasn't the best thing to say. He also charged me 30% more than he said he was going to so I guess that made me even more unhappy about it. I just wasn't sure if it was wrong for him to say it or if I was just being a bit sensitive. The whole thing has been/is still quite an ordeal.

He also then had a dig at me for not following his advice.

#22 rocket surgeon

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:55 PM

Have you asked him why he did what he did? He may have a good reason for it, although he should have discussed it with you first. But really if the trust is gone, there is little point in continuing with him as things will only get messier.

#23 solongsuckers

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:57 PM

QUOTE (*cough* @ 26/02/2013, 12:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought it might be something like this. Do they have a retention of title clause over the goods?

I thought your previous post clarified but now this confuses things again.



I think this.

Lawyers can have cost orders made against them.


It states on the invoice that goods remain theirs until fully paid. It is not stated in their terms and conditions on the purchase agreement (I have no idea if that makes any difference). The matter is complicated as the products are faulty and there was already a dispute raised from my end. All sorts of dodgy things going on from the company and they do nothing as they are supposed to. They just randomly told me they were coming to repossess, quoting a clause that doesn't even exist in my contract with them.

my view was all should stay as it is until VCAT and let them decide.

#24 *cough*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:58 PM

QUOTE (Fredi @ 25/02/2013, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you asked him why he did what he did? He may have a good reason for it, although he should have discussed it with you first. But really if the trust is gone, there is little point in continuing with him as things will only get messier.


I'd rather my client come to me first.

Like we've said - maybe he was protecting his own a*se.

Usually cost estimates are exactly that, estimates. Costs do go over. I can understand its frustrating but it happens.

Be honest and open with him.

#25 solongsuckers

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:03 AM

QUOTE (Fredi @ 26/02/2013, 12:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you asked him why he did what he did? He may have a good reason for it, although he should have discussed it with you first. But really if the trust is gone, there is little point in continuing with him as things will only get messier.


I have not asked yet, I was going to this week. I didn't even know he had said it until the other party read out the email to me.





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