I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into a courtroom and my client is not there. I wait around hoping he shows up, and try to beg time for him or her to get there. Finally, when time has run out and the judge calls my case and asks where my client is, I have to give a blank stare and say “Uh, I don’t know.”
I can’t tell you how many times I hear from said client a few days later when he or she informs me that they had been arrested days, hours, minutes before going to court and couldn’t get ahold of me because they couldn’t remember my phone number.
Golden rule: REMEMBER YOUR LAWYER’S PHONE NUMBER!
In today’s day and age, it isn’t necessary to remember phone numbers. You have them stored in your phone. You have the person’s email in your email account. You can contact the person through facebook. But, I promise you, it will happen that when there’s an emergency, like getting arrested right before another court date, you won’t have access to your phone, email or facebook. You may be with someone and shout to them “CALL MY LAWYER!!….” But, if you can’t follow that up with “…at (760) 237-8295!” then what is the point?
If I don’t hear from a client for several days, I begin to worry. Some lawyer’s like not talking to their clients often and consider it a relief when they don’t have to. I like talking to my clients. I like keeping them updated and informed. I like them keeping me updated and informed. If I don’t hear from someone, I worry. If I put a call or email into them and don’t hear back, I definitely worry. I need to know the minute a person has been arrested so I can a) be ready to get onto that case if they want; b) figure out a new game plan for the case I’m currently working on. If you call me and tell me that you’ve been arrested, it’s much easier for me to pass that info along to the necessary parties. If I know you’ve been arrested in San Bernardino County and are being held at Glen Helen, then I know to notify the court for a transport order for your Indio case. You see where I’m going with this?? If I don’t know where you are, I can’t do that!
I had a client who was arrested on a new case but didn’t tell me. I showed up to court. He didn’t.
“Where is he?” asks the judge.
“I’ve lost contact with him, You Honor,” I replied.
“Bench warrant issued.”
“Thank you Your Honor, ” I reply out loud. “CRAP!” I secretly mutter in my head.
Cut to 8 days later when my client reappears on the face of the planet. He explains to me that he was arrested on a new charge. He had already been taken to court and a public defender was appointed. But he told the court he had an attorney. The court graciously continued for a week until I could get there. He told me I had to go the next day to reaffirm myself as his attorney. Unfortunately, I had another client with another case in another court. Again, see where I’m going? Had he remembered my number he could have told me where he was and I could have fixed everything with the court on a day that I could actually be there.
I know that I’m beginning to sound like an old record on repeat here, but, please. Please. PLEASE! Remember your attorney’s phone number!!
Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, for more lecturing, er, information on why remembering your attorney’s phone number should be the most important thing you ever do!
Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
A Criminal Defense Firm
PO Box 3297
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Office: (760) 237-8295
Cell: (760) 668-8295