I was recently called in to evaluate a case with another lawyer who spent a good portion of our meeting explaining to me why his clients were “creeps”, morally bankrupt, and undeserving of any financial recovery in a substantial personal injury case. I sensed a bit of insecurity from the lawyer and anger towards the client, and can only wonder to myself whether or not this individual was the proper attorney to be handling this case. I thought to myself that I would never want this lawyer representing myself or any members of my family.
I am not a psychologist, but obviously this lawyer had anger issues and his own deep sense of insecurities. When I left the meeting, I was angered. I’ll admit that after 33 years of practicing law, there are certainly some clients that give me more headaches than others. However, there is one thing that I am certain of, my clients legal cases will only be successful if my clients are properly and passionately represented. Obviously no case or client is perfect, and one of the secrets to being a successful lawyer and in life in general is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.
When I handle a catastrophic accident legal case that involves the death of an individual or the inability to earn a living, many times the outpouring of grief and emotions is almost impossible to accurately describe and communicate.
I often receive frantic calls from clients at all hours, and my job is to keep them calmly informed about their case, recognizing the stresses unfamiliar to them in the litigation process. Most individuals would rather not have a legal case and deserve the right to choose a lawyer who is invested and fully believes in their lost hopes and dreams.
Many times this is not easily quantifiable and depends on the individual’s circumstances in each case. Of course, an economist or vocational expert can easily calculate the loss of earnings and earning capacity. However, what is the value of one’s lost hopes and dreams? Certainly, if a lawyer does not believe in his client or the case and expresses anger towards that client, one must ask themselves how can this individual be an outstanding advocate for their client. Many times, lawyers tell me the worst part about their practice are their clients. However, one thing is for certain, without the clients, they would have no practice and if they really feel that way, they should not be practicing law.