Sunday, April 15, 2012

Courtroom Drama

My telephone system and cell phone drive my practice as a criminal defense attorney. I tell my clients they may call me any time of the day or night, and they depend on my being available or calling right back. Of course, when I am in the courtroom all day or when I need peace and quiet for preparing documents and briefs, the phone messages back-up. The list of missed calls gets pretty large, and the voicemails back-up, too. Usually, the clients say simply, "George here, call me at…" I depend on the reverse telephone look-up service to make sense of all those missed calls, and I have used the information from the service to help me computerize all of my case files. With just a telephone number, I not only can identify a client but also pull-up data about his case, its status, his or her fee schedule and all the rest. With new clients, I can greet them by name when I return their calls, and I usually can develop a few personal questions to gain their trust, because I can infer a little about each person from their zip codes and e-mail addresses. With clients who have "disappeared"—the ones who have missed appointments or whose trials are rapidly approaching—I can find alternative phone numbers, and I send post cards to their addresses. And when "George" calls, using the reverse phone look-up service, I can figure which "George" and why. My practice depends on the phone, and I depend on the reverse phone look-up to make my phone even more powerful.

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An American Democrat