I’M NOT A FAN of the legal system.
I avoid TV shows about lawyers, trials, and court TV.
It’s because I don’t have a good feeling about how the law operates.
It seems to run a bit like an Old Western. The bad guys hire a gunslinger. The good guys hire a gunslinger, if they can afford it. Fastest gun wins.
We’ve seen it in national cases, most famously in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial.
Many of us have seen it in local cases, involving family and friends.
I led a Bible study a couple of weeks ago called “It’s time for a little justice.” The discussion drew from the prophecies of Amos. One line in particular:
“You…deprive the poor of justice in the courts” (Amos 5:12).
There’s nothing just about a poor person injured on the job having to face the onslaught of corporate lawyers who use motions to change venue, motions to dismiss, and ongoing discovery of new information…all designed to drag out a case for years—sometimes a decade or more. Their greatest hope is that the soul bringing the case against them dies, runs out of money for their lawyer, or gives up.
I’m not a fan.
Which is why I was shocked by a lawyer recently.
I was using the services of a Christian law firm to help me make sure I was following the legal protocol for a project. A bill came in for more than the fee I had been given as an estimate. I was partly to blame for that, for not setting a limit.
I wrote a short, polite email to the owner of the firm, asking that they revisit the invoice.
Let me tell you what I expected.
I expected another invoice for even more fees, with the explanation that the invoice they sent had covered services up to only a certain date.
You would think I would have expected more of a Christian company, but I didn’t. The stories I could tell you about Christian companies I’ve dealt with would explain why. In business, “Christian” is just a word. That has been my experience way too often.
The lawyer wanted to talk the same day I sent the email. He cut his fee so much that I sat there with my mouth open. Beyond that, he offered to help me finish the job pro bono…that means at no charge.
He asked if that would be okay or if I had another suggestion.
I said, “I can’t believe a lawyer is giving back money.”
I think I heard muffled laughter.
“I’m shocked,” I said. “And I’m sorry that I’m shocked.”
He reminded me that they are a Christian company and they want their clients to feel good about the way they are treated.
Sometimes “Christian” is more than just a word.
I thanked him for his grace. And I told him he shocked me twice.
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Ryan Whisnant
- Kevin Pinson
I give away free books every week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.