Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Free advice can be expensive
I receive a lot of phone calls from people who just have a quick question or are just looking for some advice. I always try to help, and I don't want to be rude, but it can be difficult and dangerous for a lawyer to give advice over the phone. Without taking the time to get all of the information, it can be very hard (and reckless) to give out legal opinion. If you call me, you'll probably hear me tell you to call the police, or some other agency uniquely positioned to handle your issue. Or you may hear me say something like "based on what I'm hearing" or "without more information" followed by general legal rules and principles. Just like general info available on a blog, you cannot take free advice given after a five minute phone call as binding legal precedent. Remember that you get what you pay for - especially when it comes to free advice. Any attorney (or accountant, or doctor) who is giving out professional advice without actually looking into the issue probably isn't worth paying for, anyway.