People often ask me if I ever turn down cases. Although I do turn down personal injury cases on occasion, you might be surprised at the reason.
Most lawyers seem to only want to take the “most severe” cases. In other words, they only take the cases with the largest financial value.
I am the exception to the rule. Very seldom will I turn down a case because of the anticipated dollar value.
Why I Turn Down Personal Injury Cases
However, there are a couple of reasons I will absolutely turn down potential cases:
1. People want revenge.
Occasionally, I meet with a client who talks about “wanting blood” or “getting revenge.” That gives me some insight into their expectations and motivations.
While I don’t judge anyone for their motivations, there are certain cases where I am not the best man for the job. I am extremely zealous, hard working and very aggressive. That being said, my job is to get you the best result possible, not make the other side miserable.
If you simply want to satisfy some thirst for vengeance, I will likely not take your case.
2. We are not a good fit.
Recently, I had a potential client with a very large case call my office. Before ever speaking to me, he told my receptionist how his case would be handled, whom he would talk to and when he would do it.
When the call got transferred to me, I politely advised that I was not interested in his case. He was stunned because a number of lawyers were aggressively seeking his case.
While I would have made a lot of money on the case, neither he nor I would have been happy with the process. As an old mentor once told me, “you never regret the cases you didn’t take.”
I tell every prospective client that I will only accept his or her case if I sincerely believe I’m the best man for the job.
I try to evaluate their case as if the client were my mother, my sister, my brother or my child. If a family member came to me and I thought someone else would do a better job, I would refer them to that attorney. I will treat you the same.
Your case is too important for me to take it if you and I are not a good fit.
How I Determine Which Cases to Take
So, how do I determine which cases to take?
The primary thing I look for in deciding to represent an individual is whether we are a good fit.
When I meet with a potential new client, I spend between 1 to 2 hours in the initial interview. I am not only interviewing the prospective client to decide whether they have a viable case, I am also determining whether this is the person I want to work with on a day-to-day basis for the foreseeable future.
Likewise, I always tell prospective clients that they are interviewing me as much as I am interviewing them. I want them to be certain that they are comfortable with the way I do things. I want to know their expectations and whether we have the same basic approach to the case.
If someone is seeking my assistance, I will do everything in my power to help. I do not believe justice only belongs to the rich. I do not believe somebody is only entitled to zealous representation if they have “serious injuries.”
In terms of illustration, I occasionally have clients who tell me, “I know this is not a big case.”
My response to this is always the same: “It is the biggest case you have and the only case you care about. Therefore, it is the biggest case I have.”
My Promise to My Clients
One of my biggest strengths as an attorney is my passion for my clients. When you select me to represent you, that is an honor. You are entrusting me with the task of getting you through a very tough time in your life.
If I take your case, you can rest assured I will be the hardest working, most passionate and compassionate attorney you will ever have. That’s what makes me quite confident in my ability to get great results for my clients.