I was taught from early on, “cover your ass”. If a client is going against your advice, give him your advice in writing. When the bad thing that you said could happen happens, he won’t be able to say, “You should have told me.” We lawyers are always here to sue on a client’s behalf, so it is no wonder that we are naturally inclined to try to avoid getting sued ourselves. But sometimes, our C.Y.A. tactics can be confusing.
If you have contacted ten personal injury lawyers regarding your “huge” case and have heard, “That’s not my area, and I don’t know anyone who practices in that area. Here is the state bar’s referral number.”, that could mean exactly that. It could also mean: “You have no case”, “Your case is not worth anything”, “I can’t make enough money on your case to justify taking it”, “You sound like a nut job, so stop wasting my time”, etc., etc.
If you thought you heard a lawyer give you advice, but then you heard, “I cannot give you any advice on this matter. You should contact another lawyer as soon as possible.”, maybe that means you heard wrong or you did not understand what the lawyer was saying. It could also mean: “This is what you should do, but it’s very risky so don’t blame me if shit goes wrong”, “I am not sure what you should do, but here is my best guess because it would cost more than it’s worth for me to figure out exactly what you need to do”, “You’re screwed no matter what you do, and I am not going to be there when the shit hits the fan”, etc., etc.
If you have fired your previous lawyer and, while trying to hire a new one, keep hearing, “I have a conflict”, “I’m not taking on new cases”, “That’s not my area, but here is the state bar’s referral number.”, what is being left unsaid could be: “I think you are going to be a pain in the ass”, “I think you are not going to pay your bill”, “I think you will be impossible to please”, etc., etc.
But you ask, “You’re a lawyer and you were taught to cover your ass. So how come you are writing this blog?” That’s because I only say what I mean. You must not have understood me. I’d help you understand, but I have a conflict and this is a little outside my area. I’ll get you the state bar’s referral number.
That’s My Argument.
© December 2014 Brandon J. Evans