Blaming the Messenger
Clients facing a legal situation are already nervous and stressed, and they want to hear optimism from their lawyer. As a result, many potential clients will not hire a lawyer who is not overly optimistic about their case from day one. The client wants to hear “Your case is great.” “You can’t lose.” “I’ll fight for you.” Knowing that this is what potential clients want to hear, even when clients have almost no chance of prevailing, many dishonest lawyers will gladly tell clients whatever they want to hear. Why? Because the lawyer won’t get paid unless he or she gets hired, and lawyer won’t get hired unless he or she pumps up the client. This is unfair to the client. If the client believes he or she will absolutely win the case, the client will waste money pursuing unrealistic goals, have no incentive to reach a settlement (even if a settlement is in the client’s best interests) and ultimately be disappointed at the conclusion of the case.
An ethical lawyer is obligated to tell the truth. And the truth is that no legal case is a sure thing, no honest lawyer would ever promise that he or she will absolutely win the case, and litigation is always expensive and often not worth the cost. If a lawyer tells you these things it doesn’t mean that the lawyer doesn’t “believe in your case” or that the lawyer isn’t a fighter. It simply means that the lawyer is doing his her ethical duty and telling you the honest truth. Don’t blame the messenger.