Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Well I'll Be . . .

I have been surprised.

Back story:  Last month I attended the FEWA Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Dinner Meeting at the Tower Club in Dallas.  Real estate expert Dr. Jack Friedman was presenting "Advertising and Promotion of Expert Services." And while the topic was of interest to me, in all honesty I was looking forward to hanging out with a couple of our clients I knew would be attending. 

Well lo and behold if I didn't hear something that made me sit up straight and pay attention. Jack was discussing the elements and format of an engagement letter.  He cautioned against sending as a Word document (or using "Compare Documents" feature if you did) because it could be altered without your knowledge.  I thought to myself, "Surely not,"  but as I began shaking my head, the stories came out from the experts attending.  Sure enough, attorneys have changed one or two provisions in the contract without notifying the expert and then sent it back signed without saying a word!  It never would have occurred to me to check line-by-line like that, but at least three experts confirmed that this happens.

So two lessons to take from this:  There is always something you can learn and check your engagement documents carefully!