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Legal Hotline Hints

By: Kacy Clouser, Esq. on in

The PAR Legal Hotline recently hit over 13,000 calls and we are approaching our two year anniversary of being in-house, so we figured it was time for a refresher course on how to make the most of your hotline experience. Most of these should merely be reminders.

Leave your full name and number.
Yes, every time. Yes, please spell your name. Please make sure you are leaving the name that your license and membership record is under. If you and another licensee in your family have the same name, please clarify with a license number or an email. “Hey, it’s Chris again!” is not sufficient (and yes, we get those).

If we cannot verify your membership record, there will be a delay in your call back. Also, please leave your number, including area code. If you do not leave a number, we cannot guarantee a call back.

We should not be your first call.
A fair number of calls can be taken care of with a conversation between an agent and their broker/manager. In fact, many of our answers are some version of “Here are some options, but you need to talk to your broker/manager.” The ideal call on the hotline is when you have already discussed the issue with your broker and you are calling to clarify the remaining “hard stuff” that couldn’t be taken care of in that discussion.

Also, if you do happen to find an answer to your question before we call, feel free to get back to us and leave a voicemail with your name stating that you found the answer. Or answer when we call back and let us know then. Just don’t send us to voicemail over and over if you don’t still need our help so we’re not wasting our time and bothering you with return calls that are unnecessary.

I am not your sweetie.
While I appreciate that we may be considered a close friend or acquaintance, please remember this is a legal hotline and we are professionals. I am guessing you wouldn’t call your doctor or private attorney “honey,” so let’s please keep the pet names to a minimum here as well. (And yes, we get those too – sometimes multiple times in a day.)

We will not draft your contract or special clause.
This one is two sides of the same coin. The hotline cannot draft special clauses for you. We can sometimes give you an idea of the sorts of things that could be considered, but we will always tell you to discuss with your broker and brokerage counsel and not draft the clause on your own. At the same time, we cannot interpret clauses that you or your attorney drafted. If we did not draft it, we cannot interpret it. Or to put it another way, if your question is “Can I read this to you so you can tell me what it’s supposed to mean?” Then our answer is going to be “I’m sorry, but no.”

Put the legal hotline number in your phone.
We will call you back from the number you dialed. A great way to make sure you do not miss our return call because you thought it was spam is to save the hotline number in your phone. Some members have even gone as extreme as “HOTLINE – PICK UP.” While that isn’t necessary, it is helpful to know when we are calling.

If you do not have the PAR Legal Hotline phone number, contact the PAR Solutions Center at (800) 555-3390, and the team can assist after verifying your PAR membership.

Please, be understanding.
This market is unlike anything you have ever seen. However, it is also a market unlike anything we have ever seen. Higher call volume means it may take a bit longer for us to get back to you. And frankly, sometimes we may give you an answer you don’t like, or we may just have to say “You’re doing this wrong.” Most members are appreciative and understanding, but every once in a while the stress can get to you while we’re on the call. We can guarantee that our responses are not targeting anyone personally, but we need to give the most straightforward answers we can.

On the hotline, we really appreciate everyone working to keep it moving efficiently. Not only is the market insanely busy for all of our members, it makes the hotline that much more busy. We hope that these reminders will make it much more effective for all parties involved. We thank you for your support as we get through these crazy times.

Read. The. Forms.

Each year the PAR Legal Hotline fields a fair number of calls with questions can be answered simply by taking the time to carefully read some of the most common transactional forms every so often.

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Comments (1)

Comments

  • Ken Murawski   June 4, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Please keep doing what you’re doing. The service is invaluable. As a broker, there’s nothing quite like having someone as a sanity check.
    I, like most brokers always think I’m right regarding the legal aspects of the business. Having the hotline as a resource has kept me out of trouble more than once.

    Reply to Ken Murawski

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