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Good for Sweary Clients and "Come and paddle in my Think tank" management speak

View profile for Richard Carter
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One of the trickiest issues as a lawyer is when there appears to be an issue about a client’s mental capacity. Are they capable of understanding what you’re doing for them and its legal effect?

The client may have said or done something that has led to a doubt. I delicately ask the client to attend the office so I can form a view before perhaps asking for a medical opinion. As someone who regularly forgets my own keys, can rarely remember what I’ve gone upstairs for or the name of the new trainee I’m not certain I’m the best person to judge this. A couple of weeks back a client came in for this chat and was dressed that when you met her she has so much leopard print on you are not certain if she is actually human or has escaped from the Big Cat Sanctuary down the road. I’m not sure if she’ll answer my questions with words. just start purring or leap on me and go for the jugular. I am relieved when I hear her jewellery jangle as I know that leopards don’t shop at Pandora (other jewellers are available) as it’s a bit of a hindrance when out on the prowl for wildebeest. She’s as sharp as a pin as it turns out. Not only does she know everything about her sale, the current monarch and prime minister names without flinching ( not a bad effort given recent multiple changes) but she also gives me her frank opinion on the Australian cricket team which accords exactly with my own including, uncannily, the very same swear words I would use. “Cheating Australian Bast*%$ !”. Quite. As sane as sane can be. Like me. 

I’m going to ban management speak guff at meetings in here in our smart new Gillingham office.

Management rant no 2. After the previous edition’s rant about sales calls this week it is about sales staff talking management guff. At a presentation I ask a question about the need for their product, and the response is“ Yes Richard we have been doing a lot of critical work in this space” Outer space? Inner space? On your Space Hopper? I may have seen the excellent film Oppenheimer this week but quantum physics is still a mystery to me. He expands further.” I have a digital product with AI features you can use in the space of risk management for conveyancing work.” Why oh why use 20 words when 5 will do?? “Our product reduces conveyancing risk” is all that is needed. Because the guys selling the product like to think it somehow sounds grander and more scientific if they use the word “space “. Inevitably the phrase AI is tossed in there. No-one feels they can sell a product without saying AI now. The trouble with this is having to suppress my schoolboy sniggering as whilst they mean artificial intelligence all I can think of is artificial insemination. I’ve been watching too much Clarkson’s Farm.