Lawyering During a Pandemic, And Finding the right lawyer in 2020-21

Lessening the stress
Burt, Cinca, and Chloe: reducing stress during the Covid 19 Crisis.
This is a very tough time to be an attorney or judge in W.V.
I have been in the crucible for so long. I think I sometimes forget about the unremitting stress of being one’s own office manager, boss, marketer, and tech developer, while also being a counselor, an advocate, and a friend. It is always there. 
Yes, we lawyers and their staffs are privileged to have a skill that people are willing to pay for, something that provides a valuable service, and comfort to many. As “an essential service”, most lawyers have been able to keep working during the pandemic crisis.
Am I getting a bit tired of it? Yes. Ready to give up? Nope.
But I am sorry to see good friends and respected, and not so respected, colleagues burdened and crushed by it.
It may surprise you to know that lawyers perennially rank at, or near, the top, in depression, substance abuse, and suicides among the professions.
Trial lawyers take on the conflicts and controversies of others in what is properly named “an adversary system.”
It is “a given” that each new case adds stress and conflict to the lawyer and her/his staff, especially because the typical client has financial stressors of their own. Translation? Most don’t have many dollars in reserve! But we have to help them!
With courts overwhelmed, hearing matters remotely, court closures,  and palpable health risks, the stress is great.
A person seeking help from a lawyer needs to dig down into the lawyer’s online reviews and to ask friends and family or former clients about the lawyer’s reputation for honesty and effectiveness.
If the lawyer is functioning well, his reviews should reassure you (Don’t be put off by the occasional one-star review!),  his staff or he should return your call or e-mail inquiry promptly, and the lawyer should not hesitate, without giving legal advice, and to answer your reasonable questions.
And he shouldn’t hesitate to give you some ideas on a tentative game plan, and the cost to you, the time it will take, and your prospects for a good resolution. Expect to get that before you even come to his office.
You probably should “pass” on lawyers who don’t call you back promptly, or whose answers seem evasive, or who promise you “the moon”.
For now, my staff and I are holding our own. Our experienced staff is intact and ready to serve you. And our redundant technology tools allow us to manage remotely, and to function effectively even if we were to get quarantined.
My spirit is strong, and I must hold it together, so I will. With our help, you will too. 
So, give us a call if you think we might help. We will give you prompt and straight answers and competent service.

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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