How to properly thank a lawyer

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Latest post 09-07-2011 1:17 PM by MarkusID. 17 replies.
  • 04-20-2011 2:26 AM

    How to properly thank a lawyer

    I had an attorney whom I paid to represent me in court.

    This attorney was very professional and informative on the phone. This attorney helped me out at the last minute and I am very thankful for her efforts in assisting me with my legal matter.

    I paid her the fee up front. Her fee was much less than 2 other attorneys I called to inquire about assisting me with the same issue.

    This attorney didn't have to help me like that. But she did.

    How can I best thank her and her staff for their prompt and thorough attention AND for obtaining a successful outcome.

    Is it not acceptable to send a gift basket of some sorts? Or would that be okay along with a thank you note.

    P.S. I don't meet that many attorneys who are able to spend that kind of time on the phone like this one did with me. And this one is not a newbie, but someone who has many years in the legal field and explained all the options and possible outcomes. No other attorney that I consulted was as thorough and helpful as this one.

     

  • 04-20-2011 5:23 AM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    It is absolutely acceptable to send a gift basket to the office along with a letter from you expressing your grattitude for her efforts.  In a time when lawyers take a lot of flack about their fees and their job it is refreshing for one who did a great job to hear about it and have their support staff thanked.  It also encouragess them to help the next person who needs it too because the effort was appreciated and they heard about it.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 04-20-2011 6:50 AM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    ditto!  and actually means more than  'the fee'  ( except when bills have to be paid).

  • 04-20-2011 12:16 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    A gift basket would be lovely and I'm sure much appreciated. Referring everyone you know to her is ther very best thank you.

  • 04-20-2011 12:57 PM In reply to

    • LG81
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 01-03-2010
    • Posts 4,338

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    I agree with all of the other folks who responded.  Additionally, a hand-written thank-you card or note (explaining why you are so appreciative) is something that will be heart felt and encourage the attorney to continue going the extra mile.  The card will last long after the goodies are gone.  I might be silly, but I  kept thank-you notes from clients (when I was in public accounting) and in private practice, have long held onto thank-you notes from those I've mentored, bosses whose "bacon I saved", etc.).  Although I go the extra mile, I consider it part of my job, but it is so sweet to receive appreciation.  Even though I keep them for a while, I still remember long after the notes are discarded.

  • 04-20-2011 1:04 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    I think these are all great suggestions, esp -as noted- lawyers rarely get such positive feedback!  Some professions end up getting the brunt of the blame for things not their fault.

    In addition, I would suggest a public declaration; perhaps a good "review" to her local bar association and THIS website, a letter in the local newspaper, etc.  That will make the entire office smile for days!

  • 04-20-2011 3:21 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    You can also write a nice review on her on websites that collect lawyer data. www.avvo.com is one I know fof the top of my head.

  • 04-20-2011 3:54 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    LynnM:
    Referring everyone you know to her is ther very best thank you.

    I agree — a note of thanks and referrals to others are the best form of thanks. A gift basket is a nice thought, too, although not without some risk if you don't know the attorney and her staff well. Unfortunately, some folks are allergic to some foods and plant pollens, making food and plant/flower gifts a potential problem.

  • 04-20-2011 5:16 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    Since I work in a Public Defender's Office, I have a goofy spin on this...

    A gift basket of food of any kind would quite likely go to waste.  Nobody wants to get poisoned by a client.

    If you paid the attorney, she has been compensated.  A thank you card and steering future business to her is a great idea.  Best way to find an attorney is word of mouth, so if you know of a good one, spread the word.

  • 04-20-2011 6:15 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    Ford:

    Since I work in a Public Defender's Office, I have a goofy spin on this...

     

    Not all that goofy.  You do have to be cautious.  When I was a PD, we'd get goodies from clients or their families.  If it was something that was in a sealed package or delivered directly from the distributor like fruit baskets from edible arrangements, it'd be eaten and happily.  

  • 04-20-2011 6:26 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    "A gift basket of food of any kind would quite likely go to waste.  Nobody wants to get poisoned by a client."

    Actually it isn't that goofy at all.  I am in the medical field and have often said if a disgruntled patient wanted to poison a doctor all they would need to do is deliver free food to the clinic or department.  Residents will eat ANYTHING (and I do mean ANYTHING) regardless of where it came from and often ask no questions.

    However, I agree with gemini:  if it is commercially prepared and/or sealed we accept it graciously.  Now the patient that brings us homemade "deer" jerky every Christmas?  We smile, say thanks, and file 13 it as fast as possible after they have left.

    In fact my father and I once thanked a lawyer that handled a case for both of us with a case of wine.  He had no problem accepting that.  Of course that was over two decades ago when the poisoning issue was less prevalent and we were happy with the service.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 04-21-2011 12:26 AM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    Ford:

    Since I work in a Public Defender's Office, I have a goofy spin on this...

    A gift basket of food of any kind would quite likely go to waste.  Nobody wants to get poisoned by a client.

    For government attorneys, the considerations can be quite different. When I worked for the IRS, we once received a food basket from taxpayer grateful for the help we provided in resolving an issue the taxpayer had. We were required, however, by federal law to refuse the gift, as it is illegal for federal employees to accept most gifts for the work done for the government. Some states and localities apply similar rules to their employees, too.

  • 04-21-2011 1:01 AM In reply to

    • LG81
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-03-2010
    • Posts 4,338

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    Taxagent:

    For government attorneys, the considerations can be quite different. When I worked for the IRS, we once received a food basket from taxpayer grateful for the help we provided in resolving an issue the taxpayer had. We were required, however, by federal law to refuse the gift, as it is illegal for federal employees to accept most gifts for the work done for the government. Some states and localities apply similar rules to their employees, too.

    Right on.  I remember going to lunch with a client and its DCAA auditor.  When we paid the check, the auditor insisted that she had to pay for her meal because it was "against the rules" to include her on the bill.  It was a tiny amount (a normal lunch at a Thai restaurant), but she could not allow us to pay.   Government rules certainly differ from private employers, but there are good reasons for that.

     

  • 04-21-2011 8:14 AM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    Oh my- Around here- food is most appreciated and always consumed- especially staff- no one taken ill in all these years.  It can come in any form, sealed, unsealed- razor hanging out of it- eaten- no problem.

  • 04-21-2011 12:09 PM In reply to

    Re: How to properly thank a lawyer

    I've given many gifts to professionals who did a good job, but the one that stands out is one where I wrote a letter to the local newspaper extolling the man and his staff's virtues.

    It was 20 years ago and they still treat me like a queen whenever I go there, a faded, yellowed copy of that letter attached to the file.  The professional took me aside and said that HE (the professional) does get accolades from grateful people, but that I WAS THE ONLY ONE TO INCLUDE THEIR STAFF! 

    He said they were thrilled as they were usually left out, though the office couldn't function without them.  Indeed, he was very proud of the caliber of employees he hired.  Note that unhappy employees often mean it's a bad boss!

    So, if you write anything, I suspect the lawyer would ALSO appreciate a word about her staff, as would the employees.  A good boss would consider it a reflection on herself.

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