Thursday, December 17, 2009

Attempts to hide the truth will be sniffed out and forwarded to counsel’s office

I’m investigating the holder of an easement in connection for potential toxic tort litigation. When I am doing the investigating (on any potential case), I don’t like to let people know (1) why I am asking the questions, (2) that I am a lawyer and (3) I’m looking to sue the person that signs their paychecks. People get tight lipped when the person asking the questions wears pretty suits and talks to judges frequently. Go figure.

But I am my own worst enemy because I have an honesty problem: if they aren’t a client, I tell the truth.

Today’s foray into the investigatory processes found yours truly talking to a public relations representative from a certain multinational billion-dollar corporation. Much to my chagrin, my attempted subterfuge was discovered.

Me: Hi there, my name is Namby and I am looking to find out if you guys control this section of land in Chicago.
Her: Why don’t you give me the address [Which I do] and the reason for the search.
Me: I am just trying to find out who I can contact about this area of land.
Her: Okay… (She begins typing) Can I get your mailing address?
Me: Absolutely. My name is Namby Pamby and my address is 1060 West Addison, Suite 10100, Chicago, 60613
Her: Company name?
Me: [Shit.] Smith, Jones and Doe.
Her: (More typing) Is this a law firm?
Me: [Shit. Shit. Shit.] Yes.
Her: (Still typing) I just want to be sure to get your information to the correct department.
Me: I understand.
Her: Is this about a lawsuit?
Me: Not…um…ahhh…yet?
Her: (Furious typing)
Me: I guess I’ll be hearing from your general counsel’s office then?
Her: Of course not.
Me: Your outside litigation counsel?
Her: (Pauses) I want to thank you for calling and you should be hearing from us within the next two business days.

Stupid direct questions that I can’t spin answers to. Stupid honesty.