As we speak, a woman — a potential client I turned down — is pestering the receptionists trying to speak to someone "in authority" in the firm to complain about me. They'll probably send her to the HR person, who is very sensible and worth her weight in gold and will soothe her. (I asked our HR person to say, if the woman asks for the name of my superior, to respond "there's some theological dispute about that," but she's too sensible to do so.)
The woman cold-called looking for someone to sue on her behalf. After a long backstory (only 2% of cold-call clients can explain what they want in a paragraph), I figured out that she wanted to sue a major metropolitan newspaper for a story that they ran in 1991 that described an unnamed person that she believes was based on her and that she believes was unflattering. I declined and warned her that under California's vigorous anti-SLAPP laws she might well wind up paying the other side's attorney fees if she sues, inasmuch as the statute of limitations on defamation is a year, not a generation.
Apparently I was insufficiently solicitous of her feelings in the matter and did not spend enough time expressing my empathy for how the 1991 article about an unnamed person makes her feel. I am reminded by colleagues that I am capable of diplomacy and ought to exercise it.
Sorry. None left today.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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