Welcome to Dealing With Lawyers 101. I am your instructor, Dr. Montgomery Vickers.

My Dad, Earl M. Vickers, was a lawyer. Since Dad was a lawyer, I can talk about lawyers. He was, I have heard, the only honest lawyer in history. Of course, I heard this from other lawyers, so they must have been lying, right?

Anyhow, once I began to practice optometry, I started seeing lawyers a little differently. It didnt take me long to determine that (a) lawyers want whatever is the cheapest and (b) lawyers want the cheaper things they buy to function as well as the most expensive things they should have bought in the first place.

This convinced me to develop The Vickers Postulate: All lawyers should see ophthalmologists; and its corollary: All lawyers should have LASIK.

The second part was easy because all lawyers feel they have an inalienable right to have LASIK, even if they are PLANO at distance. They also feel that, after LASIK, their refractive error should be better than plano perhaps PLANO PLUS? They want X-ray vision.

Bad Pennies and Lawyers
However, there is a problem. Even though all lawyers should be referred for X-ray LASIK, you must know this by now: Lawyers are the kind of patients who will never, ever leave you.

They will be back, and when you least expect it. After all, if they dont come back, they cant ask you for free samplesof everything. It doesnt matter glaucoma meds your socks they want samples. And, if they dont come back, they cant demand a refund for the glasses they bought from you three years before they had LASIK because they never did wear them.

Of course, this does present the opportunity to ask them to pay for their glasses, which they never did in the first place.

Unfortunately, should you bring this up, they will use their training to convince you that first you should pay them back and then they will pay youeven Steven!

Lawyers will, no matter what, be very loyal to you, to a point. They will also support you, for a while. But, finally and inevitably, lawyers will, to save a nickel per contact lens or because of some perceived slight, such as asking for payment, leave your office.

They wont be gone long. They will return, with new, creative demands. Can I have a copy of the prescription I will need ten years from now? Or, Do you have any samples of 10 dollar bills? You know, lawyer stuff.

Sometimes they will reappear representing one of your patientshopefully, not to sue you. Usually, it will be to get workmans comp or disability or something. They will want to depose you. Dr. Vickers, tell us what you know about my clients eyesight that might enable me to make enough money from somebody to afford Christmas? Or, Dr. Vickers, under oath, do you have any samples?

Lawyers know how to get you excited. Once I was subpoenaed to be a witness in a case where a neurologist had misdiagnosed a malady that led to damage of a patients visual field.

I was there in court, in front of the jury, drawing sketches of the optic chiasm. Suddenly, in the middle of a sentence, the judges voice boomed, Dr. Vickers, please come here.

I was scared to death. I must have said something that screwed up the whole case.

The judge leaned down, signaling the court stenographer to cease her duties. I was trembling as the judge asked, You Earl Vickerss boy? I went to school with him! Lawyers.

Vol. No: 141:11Issue: 11/15/04