The other day a Chicago nurse called me hoping that I or someone I know could take over her workers’ compensation case. I asked her who her attorney was and had never heard of anyone in Chicago who handles work injury cases by the same name. I told her that I had heard of a lawyer by a similar name in Springfield, but since she lives and works in Chicago I assumed it wasn’t him.

She then let me know that she did hire that Springfield attorney.  I asked her why she did that and she told me that her union told her that she had to.

That makes no sense of course.  First off, your union shouldn’t care who you hire.  They only recommend lawyers, in my experience, when they are getting entertained by them or receiving gifts.

But in this case they were insisting that she use an attorney who is three hours from her house.  That of course makes it hard for him to go to court here and is a sign that he probably doesn’t do much work up in Chicago anyway.

I’ve been asked to handle downstate cases and I always tell them that my partners down there are much better choices than me. I say this because it’s true.

So why would a union insist you have to work with a certain lawyer, especially when the attorney is no where near where you live?  I haven’t verified that this is true or that she just felt pressured to hire them, but I’ve also heard similar stories.

Whatever the reason, they don’t seem to be acting in the best interests of their members.  I’m a union proponent and love union clients.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is that just like their are good law firms and bad ones, the same is true for unions just as it’s true for politicians or any other profession or organization.

You typically know if your union does anything for you or not. If they don’t come through with you on normal day to day stuff, they won’t come through when you are in a time of need either.