analytical Q May-Aug 2000Sept-Dec 2000ContactDiscussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

15 October 2000 Sunday


Why are lawyers entitled to charge by the minute? Why are they allowed to determine which parts of the air space qualify?

Without doing any work for me, one lawyer determined that I would only get one sixth of what I paid already, should I choose not to proceed. Had I paid the full amount, the refund would be about 12%.

Another lawyer had me checking the second hand of my watch as I spoke on the telephone. She charged me per 10 minutes. In the end, I lost complete confidence in the contradictory advice she gave. But I had to pay for it anyway.

Is it better to do it myself or use a lawyer? How do you choose a lawyer? The same question goes to personal financial decisions. Is it better to do my own planning or use an independent financial advisor? What about doctors? I have done my own research - and saved time, money, potential risk - and not followed a doctor's advice. Who can I trust these days?

Why should I pay for bad advice? Why should I pay for poor service? Why shouldn't I get a full refund if no work was done on my behalf?