All too often, a client comes to us with a problem, but without a goal. We see it all the time – whether it relates to an estate plan or a business dispute, there’s always a problem, but often there is no goal. At Jacobs & King, we pride ourselves on our ability to create solutions to your legal problems. However, we can’t do so unless you can articulate your goal.
Two very common examples come to mind:
1. We had a member of Georgia’s Independent Automobile Dealer Association contact us because he received an invoice for services completed at a repair shop that he had not authorized. The customer brought the vehicle in for repairs (without notifying our client) and left the vehicle at the shop, skipping town and refusing to pay to retrieve the car. The shop sent our client the bill for repairs, which totaled over $5,000.00. He came into the office frustrated that he was sent the invoice and upset that his customer skipped town without paying for the repairs. When we asked him what his goal was, he gave us a blank stare and took some time to think it over. Eventually, he explained that he wanted to ensure the shop was paid for its work, but was paid by the customer, who was responsible in this case (contact our office or see O.C.G.A. § 40-11-1 et. seq., Georgia’s Abandoned Motor Vehicle statutes for more information). We then knew the goal, and were able to effectuate a means to get to that goal. At the end of the case, the client was able to retrieve his vehicle and the repair shop sought the fees from the customer.
2. We represented a spouse involved in a divorce. The spouse came to us with many examples of abuse from the other spouse. Over time, the family had grown combative with one-another and made it difficult for the client to see past day-to-day events and instead to focus on the big picture. At some point during our first meeting with the client, we asked the client, what is your goal? Our plan of action would necessarily be different if the client wanted to obtain more alimony, a better custody arrangement, or even wanted to reconcile with the other family member. The client took a few days to really determine her goal, but eventually did realize a goal, and we were able to successfully meet her goal.
Perhaps the hardest part in a legal struggle is answering the simple question – “What is your goal?” It is so easy to get caught up in the trees without ever seeing the forest, and we see it in almost every case. When you are able to view your case from high above, you are more likely to be able to articulate not only why you are seeking a lawyer, but what you want your lawyer to accomplish. Once you are able to determine what your goal is, we will help you find the means to achieve it.