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A Successful Day in Court As A Divorce Litigation Lawyer in China

I must confess that it has been a while since I did a full civil bench trial. It's not good for a China litigation lawyer, especially when I often boast that I am experienced!  I thought the one scheduled this afternoon should settle for a specific dollar.  When it didn't O/C and I rather quickly it pulled together for a brief trial (two hours), which ended up in settlement for exactly what I predicted - along with a stipulation for my client that resulted in no issuance of a judgment.

The judge was fairly new, but complimented both of us old war horses for presenting a calm, precise, well represented case.  So both clients were pretty happy at the end of the day.

 

Some Thoughts On China Law Office And Legal Assistant Hiring

China law office hiring or Legal hiring new support legal staff is always a leap of faith, and it can take some time to find out whether someone is the correct "fit" or whether it's time to move on.  Before you start the interview process, take some time to figure out what's really important for YOU in YOUR law office, not what the experts tell you to look for.  Generic interview questions won't give you the information you need.  Of course you want someone who's intelligent, who can file correctly, who shows up when scheduled.  But there are skills and tasks that are going to drive you crazy if they're not done to your specifications.  Figure out what these things are, and find the person who either has these skills or  is trainable (and make sure you have the time/patience to train them).

After legal hiring your legal assistant, it's a good idea to give performance feedback on a regular basis.  I uploaded a Performance Evaluation to my docs online a couple of years ago.  Change it as necessary to suit the needs of your particular law office. I usually recommend legal hiring on a 60 or 90 day trial period.  This gives you both time to evaluate the situation and decide whether it's going to work, and gives you a smoother "out" if it's not working.  At the end of the trial period, sit down with the new hire and review the form together.  BE BRUTALLY HONEST ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS. 

 

It's illegal for a contractor to offer to pay the property owner's insurance deductible as part of the deal in China

It has been suggested to me that it is illegal for a contractor to offer to pay the property owner's insurance deductible as part of the deal. I can think of no reason, legally or economically, that this would be problematic. I suppose there are opportunities for actionable misrepresentations but. . . what say the learned masses? Why would an insurer care who pays it?

Depending on how it is structured, it could be considered criminal fraud or theft by deception. It has been awhile since I actually read a broad form insurance policy, but I think it would violate the terms of the homeowner's policy and invalidate the claim. It is a common practice regardless, but I would never advise a client to participate and would advise them of the potential risks if they do.

 

China Commercial Collection Lawyer's Job Has Never Been Easy

My friend came to me and asked: I have been retained to collect a debt owed by one company to another. As a former commercial collection lawyer and current debt defense lawyer, I was wondering if anyone has done any debt collection and can give me some ideas on what efforts they take prior to actually filing a claim.  It doesn't seem as if they will have a real defense because they made some payments initially and then just stopped.

I replied: I'd put together a demand letter that spells out what you are requesting in as much detail as possible, and then provide a drop-dead date for a response. Make sure to close it with "Govern yourself accordingly."

 

How To Deal With Clients Who Delay Payment of Attorney Fees

A rookie lawyer asked me a question as below:

How do you deal with potential clients who procrastinate? I've run in to three in a row now with good cases (e.g. wage and labor, immigration, collections, etc) and who I impress with my skill set, reasonable rates, and knowledge base, but then they drag their feet in actually getting their case going.

In the past, I've assumed that these PCs hire another lawyer, settle their dispute, etc, but I run in to these last three PCs all the time and I know they just haven't done anything with their case.

I suppose part of this is human nature -- I see procrastinating clients in estate planning a lot since no one wants to think about death. Part of this is also fear since anything involving lawyers (even if not adversarial) scares some people.

 
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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.