Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Attorneys vs Realtors

Years ago our corporate offices mandated that all divisions only use attorneys of their choosing. I contacted one of the select firms to help prepare an eviction notice for a non-paying retail tenant in our factory building. A few days after I requested the service, our real estate broker took the information over the phone, and at no charge, faxed me back a one page document within hours. I didn't even use this eviction notice, but rather spoke with the tenant and asked him to vacate within two weeks. He thanked me for being patient.

I called the attorney and told him to cancel the assignment. We later received an $3,000 invoice for research performed by a junior associate. When I questioned the amount, the partner cut the fee to $1000. I forwarded the invoice to our corporate offices, and told them they could pay it if they chose to do so, but I would not accept a charge at our division. If the law firm had actually prepared the document, their fee may well have exceeded the $5,000 rental value of the store.

The first thing these new lawyers learn is CYA. Prepare for every worst case scenario. Reasonable and practical are not terms in their vast storehouse of professional knowledge.

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