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September 18, 2009


Peter Shafran

I had a similar situation when I first started practicing. I was an associate at a small firm and doing a closing on a refinance for a client of the firm, covering for one of the partners who was out of the office. The couple came to the closing and signed all the papers. Just before I got to the end of the stack, I remembered to ask for their driver's licenses and walked out of the room to make copies. When I looked at the license for the "wife", I noticed that she had a different first name than in the papers. My initial thought was that the secretary or the bank had made a mistake in the docs. When I asked the "wife", the husband said that his wife was not feeling well so he brought his sister instead. He said that he didn't want to reschedule because the rate was about to expire. Realizing that his cover was blown, he told me "It's OK, your boss will go along with it. Just throw it in the file and keep your mouth shut." I did as he said - I kept my mouth shut as I proceeded to tear up each sheet while he looked on in horror and then threatened to have me fired! I just kept my mouth and continued tearing up the docs. Then I walked out of the room and called the partner. Luckily, the partner stood by me.

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Lawyer,Poet, author, educator. Practices real property, corporation, wills, trusts and estates law in Pinellas County, Florida. Writes the FutureLawyer column. Gives seminars on technology and the law. Author of "Life is Simple, Really", Poems about Life, Loving, Family and Fun, and "Poems For Lovers".
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