Archive for the ‘Lawsuit’ Category

Service of “You Choose”

Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Image by martynaszulist from Pixabay 

A friend was a talented interior designer. She would come to our home with a stack of fabric samples all of which were great choices. “Big deal,” you think. When it came to home décor, my husband and I had very different likes: He leaned to the formal and elaborate. I prefer the opposite. Yet she’d surmount that hurdle with ease and arrive with perfect color and pattern pitches for the pieces that needed upholstering. And we’d happily choose the finalists and the winner.

But you don’t expect that approach at a doctor’s office. Seems it’s a popular tactic these days. A few years ago my doctor, knowing I was going to visit a surgeon next, said, “I hope to goodness he doesn’t give you choices.” Sounded strange to me: I either needed a procedure or I didn’t.

Here are two examples in which the patient was asked to decide. In one, it involved which operation of several needed should take place first. The surgeon told the patient to choose. In the other, the same words were uttered about two powerful drugs. Neither patient is a physician. Without the background, how in the Sam Hill can a patient make the most judicious choice?

Had we made a bad selection of fabric the only damage would have been to our wallet. But a patient choosing door number one when it should have been door number three could be seriously up the creek.

There are exceptions. My dentist has warned me that a conservative approach and tricky fix for a dental crisis might not work and I’ve chosen to give it a whirl. Dr. Alan Jaslove is a spectacularly talented dentist and if anyone can carry out a challenging procedure, he can. I’m braced to tolerate the more costly alternative if he can’t pull off the difficult, less expensive one—he makes clear the risks.

And obviously there are countless examples of patients who refuse to take medicine the side effects of which are worse than the disease or who stop physical therapy or decline to follow suggested diets. But sometimes we need guidance from an expert.

I’m guessing that passing the buck to the patient approach is influenced by insurance companies in a litigious society. Can’t you hear it: Doctor to the judge: “Well Jeanne opted to do thus and such. I gave her the choice. I had nothing to do with her decision.”

Has a doctor—or anyone else, such as a builder–given you a choice you weren’t prepared or educated to make? Are the medicine and operation examples I described one-offs? Why do you think some doctors leave crucial decisions up to the patient without recommendation?

Image by Max from Pixabay

Service of Paying for the Company You Keep: Are Your Clients Worth It?

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Life is expensive and most student debt sinfully high so it’s important to select a career that if not lucrative, will pay the bills. That said, setting yourself up for a miserable existence because of the client company you keep seems an awfully high price to pay.

“If I was mentoring a young lawyer, I’d direct him to the trust and estate litigation practice.” Reporter Paul Sullivan was quoting Jeffrey P. Geida in his New York Times article “The Wealthy Family Squabble.” Geida heads the tax and estate planning department at LA law firm Weinstock Mansion.

Sullivan’s article describes law suits between multi millionaire relatives slamming one another over money. In one example, Belinda Neumann-Donnelly blamed her father for causing a picture to sell at auction for only $30.7 million when she thought it should have brought much more. She sued dad.

Can you imagine spending your life around these people and having to feign sympathy for their complaints?

I knew a family in which a son sued his once well-to-do father–who had lost all his money and could barely pay the rent–because he felt his father owed him the tuition for graduate school. What happened to the son trying to help his father?

Do you think who your customers and clients are will impact the quality of your work life? Are there industries you would avoid for that reason? Is any amount of compensation worth dealing with people you consider, in general, unsavory?

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