Using Legal Services to Prevent Blisters…Not to Cure Them

Posted on September 29, 2010

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Before taking a few long runs along South Florida’s coastline a few weeks ago, I went shopping for products that would enhance my running experiences.  I considered purchasing energy gels, new shoes, and mp3s for my iPod.

While shopping at a running store, I found Bodyglide, a product that helps protect runners from blisters.  As I considered whether Bodyglide was worth the few dollars I would have to pay for it, I glanced at the package of Bodyglide.  I noticed on the package the reminder to the potential purchaser that “Prevention Is Better Than A Cure.”

Upon reading this reminder, I decided to purchase the Bodyglide.  After all, the applications of a few Band-Aids and ointments after each of my upcoming runs and even a possible visit to a dermatologist (and fighting with the insurance company, which may refuse to pay for treatment for such a minor injury), would cost in dollars, four-letter words, and moments on the couch instead of the boardwalk, many times more than the price of a package of Bodyglide.  As I ran, without blisters, I recalled the many times I am reminded in my law practice that “Prevention is Better Than A Cure.”

I am usually reminded in my law practice that “Prevention is Better Than A Cure” when I discuss attorney’s fees with potential clients.  For example, a potential client’s father chose the cheapest possible will from the cheapest possible attorney he could find.  As a result, typos and ambiguities in the will resulted in the potential for thousands of dollars of attorney’s fees that the potential client would pay in litigation to ascertain the intent of his father.

Another time, I spoke with a potential client undergoing a bankruptcy.  The potential client was frustrated that his attorney would not return his telephone calls or emails.  During our discussion, the potential client admitted that a better, yet more expensive, attorney would have communicated with him and provided him with a better repayment plan. The potential client then conceded that a better, yet more expensive, attorney in the long run would have saved him money, aggravation, and time.

In my discussions with potential clients, I stress that higher attorney’s fees that enable an attorney to produce high-quality legal documents that prevent legal blisters—litigating the drafter’s intent, unreasonable delays, and unreturned phone calls—may cost the potential clients far less money, aggravation, and time than curing the blisters that inferior legal work causes.

Neil I. Rumbak is a wills, tax, trusts & estates, probate, corporate, and real estate attorney with Rumbak Law, P.A., in Pompano Beach, Florida.  Visit Rumbak Law’s website at www.rumbaklaw.com.

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