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Chronicles of Change: Turning Legal Narratives
Episode 1423rd August 2023 • The Miller Law Chronicles • Attorney James Miller
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In today's episode of Miller Law Chronicles, we were treated to the devoted efforts of Tim Pierce, an unsung hero in legal Service/Intake Manager. Tim emanates patience, understanding, and empathy, painting an inviting and comforting first impression for clients—an element that plays a significant role in easing the intimidating aura of the legal process. His dedication to addressing client needs, sometimes even transcending the legal domain, resonates with many, with clients maintaining contact years after their legal proceedings. Tune in this week for more inspiring stories from the crossroads of law and care.


Atty. Jamie Miller: [:

And he's going to talk about how he has so much empathy and understanding. how he listens to clients, how he's able to decipher the problems that they have and get them pointed in the right direction. And he does it with lots of love and caring. He'll talk about a story about someone that he helped get their medication after their car was repossessed and help them get their car back on a early Saturday morning.

ries with you about the, the [:

about what filing bankruptcy might look like and how it might help them. Here at the Miller and Law Chronicles we really welcome anybody who's willing to listen where we simplify the legal maze by giving clients clarity and confidence as they navigate their way through the legal process.

We're here to help answer questions and I appreciate you listening in. I think you'll really love. This podcast with Tim Pierce. This one was a special one.

. I can't believe time is [:

Before the podcast today, I asked him what his title was, and his titles changed so much over the years, I think, were... We're both confused by it but generally he is the customer service manager, client service team lead Tim is generally the first face and first voice that our clients hear when they first reach out to Miller and Miller and Tim, I'm really excited to welcome you.

Thank you for joining me.

Tim Pierce: Hi, Jamie. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Atty. Jamie Miller: It's been so nice to work with you for eight years. I want to ask you the questions like what, what keeps you here so long? I'm so grateful to you.

Pierce: Well, you know, I'm [:

And I love. Being able to do that here, and I also enjoy people that actually work here. We're, you know, we all get along very well and we're like one big happy family.

Atty. Jamie Miller: Right. And just come a little bit closer to the mic. We'll be able to

Tim Pierce: Oh, sure.

Atty. Jamie Miller: That's great. And it's a you know, when someone's been at one employer for almost eight years, it's a it's a real testament to you for sticking with us. And I hope it says a lot about what we do here.

pportunity to say, you know, [:

It'd be great to have some background.

Tim Pierce: Sure. Well, I grew up here in Milwaukee, a Wisconsin native, and I lived here all my life on the east side, mostly, and then I took a detour and went out to Hollywood for about 10 years and lived there, and I worked in the tourism industry which was very interesting and after that wound up, I came back here.

What I like to do I like to go walking and like, you know, hang out with friends and I love being back in Milwaukee. It's been actually 10 years now that I've been back in Milwaukee and I'm here to stay.

Atty. Jamie Miller: So what'd you do in the tour industry in L. A.? What was your response role there?

Tim Pierce: So I managed a [:

Atty. Jamie Miller: Are you one that likes celebrities and seeing celebrities and that type of thing?

Tim Pierce: I sure did at the time. And, you know, but you know, it, then it kind of got old after a while and it was interesting. No, it was very interesting. Got to meet a lot of interesting people. Got to meet some celebrities to actually get to walk a red carpet with some. Big name celebrities for the ABC 50th anniversary special got to be in the audience.

Well, I actually walked the red carpet with the stars from all the ABC shows, so that was really exciting.

spectrum. What was your role [:

Tim Pierce: There I was a retention representative, so my job was to, when people were very unhappy with their cable service and, or their internet or their landline phone service, to Talk to them about options and resolve their issues so that they, you know, would be happy with the service and keep the service.

And there was a lot of cord cutting too. And my job was to Show them the value of keeping cable

Atty. Jamie Miller: I, that had to be very challenging. You probably dealt with a lot of frustrated people and you know, really had to deal with some anger and that type of thing. And how long did you do that for?

Tim Pierce: for about two years.

Atty. Jamie Miller: Okay. I want to talk to you a little bit about your role here. Tell us a little bit about what you do specifically, what you're working on now.

ost of the people that reach [:

Now, oftentimes that's, that is by filing a bankruptcy and having them talk to an attorney who can go over bankruptcy and see if that's going to work for them.

Other times, you know, their situation, bankruptcy might not be appropriate and there might be another option for them. We have a whole network of people that I can refer people to then, and all of our partners care very much about our clients. So if somebody needs a disability lawyer we have an excellent firm that we refer people to.

If [:

And to get them connected to the person that can help them.

Atty. Jamie Miller: You kind of sound like a social worker almost because you're there listening to people's problems and someone called, let's say they're calling about a, you know, a bankruptcy or a bankruptcy law firm. And we advertise out to the community through different means, whether it's radio or the internet.

ous and they want to talk to [:

Tim Pierce: Well, yes. And you know, quite often they're just very emotional. And what I've found over the years is that no two. People that call are like, I mean, there may be similar solutions to certain people for, you know, for certain people, but every person's story is different. Everything that brought them and make their call here is different.

And I like to listen to see what's really important to them. What's really causing them some problems, what's causing them some stress. And sometimes it can be It can be financial. I mean, most of the quite often it is some form of financial, but there's a reason underneath that underneath, you know, just, well, yeah, I want to file bankruptcy or I'm having financial trouble.

afford to get my medication [:

Atty. Jamie Miller: right. And there's a real, there's a real art to that. And being able to be empathetic and have compassion and the willingness to listen and understand. And tell me how are you able to maintain that? I mean, you handle. all day. How are you able to handle that empathy and maintain that compassion?

y have problems that need to [:

What they have to say, you know, we're not just trying to set up something for them, one size fits all. We really, and I think the whole firm does this, that people really care about the individual and their specific situation.

Atty. Jamie Miller: Right. And you had said that they're nervous, but how, you know, someone, you know, oftentimes people that we deal with that have financial issues really haven't talked to a lawyer before, haven't called a law office. They're nervous, maybe embarrassed. How do you help them overcome? that anxiety that they invariably will have when they're reaching out to you.

g to do about their problem. [:

And just finding out and really. Listening and caring just like everybody else at the firm does, you know, through every step of the process, we want to help them and listen to them. I think it's listening. That's the most important thing because somebody who has no interest in getting a car, you know, is not interested in what are our steps to get a car.

You know, we're not going to talk about that. We're going to talk about what's important to them.

r if I end up referring them [:

Atty. Jamie Miller: Right and how often? You mentioned a little bit earlier You know, often when people call, they may be calling about a financial issue, but they may have other things going on as well. If you find that to be the case, it could be, you know, maybe they were injured in an accident. Because, and that caused the financial, or maybe they're going through a divorce. Are you seeing that a lot when people call?

the ground and there was no. [:

You know, I can't blame him. I mean, I can't even imagine what he's going through. But there, there's always something. There's always a situation going on beyond just money.

Atty. Jamie Miller: And it it takes a keen mind to really sense and to want to ask those questions. Because, you know, you can. You know, you could rush them through and just say, I just want to, you know, I want to get an appointment scheduled for you. It's more than that. It's building that relationship. And you know, we get a lot of great reviews, Google reviews or Yelp or Facebook.

es your name is mentioned in [:

And what is it, you know, I don't want to put you on the spot, but what's there to. like I don't want to file bankruptcy because what, I mean, what are you hearing? Those objections are

even right away having this [:

So that's a concern that we can put to rest pretty easily. Another concern that people have about filing is they want to pay their bills. People want to take responsibility. They spent the money. They were brought up and that shows where they were brought up.

This is, you know, the debt, this is my debt and I'm going to pay it. But sometimes it's not feasible for them to do it. And sometimes, you know, they need to understand that. Bankruptcy is a consumer protection law to help people when they get in over their head and it's not something you can do every day, but it's something that is allowed to help people.

ccessful and got and started [:

Atty. Jamie Miller: right. And I talked to a lot of clients that need to file bankruptcy and I, I never liked to oversell it. Right. You know, you talked earlier about, you know, getting a seven 20 credit score and you know, being able to get that car, get a house or something like that. But it's so important to be honest with people.

And I know that's one of the things that that's very important to you because I think you and I are both aligned in that we want people to, we want to be able to give them enough information that they're able to make the decision on the file or do what's best for them and their families.

of bringing the client along?[:

Tim Pierce: Yeah, absolutely. Bankruptcy is not for everyone. And when I don't have any preconceived notions, when I start talking to somebody on the phone as to what's going to happen and I don't, you know, I'm not a salesperson, you know, that might, I'm really here to listen so that we can either get you to somebody in our network or get you to the attorney here in our office or somebody here who can help or see what kind of help is available.

There's times when I've referred people, you know, it just, you know, gone through their situation and said, Hey, you know, your best bet is really to just make a payment arrangement with the predator. It's not in your interest to hire an attorney right now because there's not enough debt. Is one reason, or if there's not you know, if there's a situation I recall, you know, speaking to someone who was 78 years old and he He really didn't have much debt at all but the creditor kept calling him and calling him.

't have been a good solution [:

t you think allows you to be [:

I can't tell you the number of times, Hey, Joe Smith called me and a case was discharged three years ago. And they're having a hard time with their, you know, their renter's insurance, right? You're, you still get those calls, which I think is such a testament to you, but what's going on that's happening?

Tim Pierce: Well, thank you, but it's actually more of a testament to the relationship that's built, you know, because, because when I talked to people, I mean, we can, we'll have kind of actual real conversations and we'll kind of go, I'll walk, I'll kind of walk people through the process the best I can and, you know, from beginning to the end, and they're always welcome to call me.

alk to them again, you know, [:

And I know who does what very well. And I can get people to the right person.

Atty. Jamie Miller: Right. And do you have any, you know, specific stories about a time when you've really helped someone that's stuck with you?

your car has been stolen or [:

So, it was a Saturday morning and a gentleman called me and he thought, at first he thought his car was stolen, then it turned out to be repossessed. He couldn't get ahold of the lender because the lender was working on Saturday and his wife's cancer medication was in the car and he couldn't get in the car because it was Saturday morning.

She absolutely had to have this medication. So. I contacted our, the consumer protection attorney that we work with, attorney Nathan DeLaurenti. I called him on his cell phone on a Saturday morning at 8. 30. And he took my call and I told him the situation. And the person didn't know, the client didn't know where the car was.

he did, all he knew is that [:

And then, we talked about bankruptcy, and then, because bankruptcy was a good solution for the debt that he had, but before we could do that, we had to get his wife's medication out of the back of the car, and he did.

Atty. Jamie Miller: That's a great, that's a great story. And it's those, you know, I'm sure you felt a lot of gratitude from them. I'm sure they said, thank you. And that meant a lot to them. And I thank you for creating stories like that. You know, we operate here on a series of, and a set of core values and always trying to find a way to help our clients.

I really appreciate that. And[:

But. Any ending words, anything you'd like to close this wonderful discussion with?

Tim Pierce: Well, thanks for having me. And I'll tell you, the process just starts with me, but it goes through, you know, if you end up filing a bankruptcy or working with us, there's a lot of people along the way and, and everyone that I've seen takes a strong interest in people and, and, and, and their situation.

So, you know, we're not, you [:

Very enjoyable for me to have those relationships and to have people call me years later.

Atty. Jamie Miller: Well, I appreciate you joining me today on the Miller Law Chronicle podcast. It was a very, very valuable, great, insightful information to help our listeners. And I will be talking to you soon, my friend, and thank you so much. I appreciate all of your great insight and input.

Tim Pierce: Thank you, Jamie. Appreciate it.​