Before I worked in law, I had an idea of how lawsuits ought to work. I think most of us do. Then there is the entertainment world skewing the expectations of how the legal system works. I've fallen for it myself, and I know better. So it's no surprise that when a case doesn't turn out the way the client thinks it should, they start throwing out terms and reasons that don't apply - but dammit, they believe they do - if only someone would listen.
Today, though, I was privy to a conversation that - how do I say - was a whole new level of "Do you hear what you are saying? No, really, CAN YOU HEAR YOURSELF?"
There is a Korean lady who contacted our office. She isn't our client, she is someone else's client. We will call her Joan. And this is the conversation that was had:
Joan: "I need to find an attorney, and I know you know some good ones."
Law Person: "What kind of case is it that you need help with?"
Joan: "It's an accounting matter. That one attorney you worked with, uh....her name is _______, is she Jewish? Because I need a Jewish attorney."
Law Person: "... uh ... well. I think she is, but what does that have to do with anything?"
Joan: "See, this is an accounting matter. And the attorney I hired before is Korean. And he went to law school with the defense attorney - AND HE'S KOREAN TOO. That is bad, because two Koreans, you see in my culture, you MUST respect your elders. And the defense attorney is older than my other attorney. So I don't think he got us the best result for us. Because he couldn't. You must not disrespect your superiors in my culture."
Law Person, trying to get out of this as clean as possible: "I think this might be a matter for a plaintiff's firm. We do mostly defense type work here. I'm sorry, but I don't think we can help you with this."
Joan: "But the attorney you worked with, is she Jewish? I NEED A GOOD JEWISH ATTORNEY!"