Have you ever spoken to somebody who feels entitled to everything?
You know that person.
The type of person who demands things and people around them give in.
The type of person who thinks they're superior to you.
As if they're above you.
A class above you.
They look down upon you.
Even if you're a professional.
Even if you provide a valued service.
Even if you have something they need.
They do everything they can to make you feel small and make themselves feel big.
They're exasperating to talk to.
They're exasperating to work with.
I have had clients like these before.
Every lawyer has had a client like this before.
It's a hard life lesson.
One you NEVER forget.
Once you make the mistake of taking on a client like this, you make sure you NEVER, EVER, take on another client like that again.
It's not worth it.
It's not worth the aggravation.
It's not worth the emotional suffering.
It's not worth the emotional trauma.
It's not worth the drama.
It doesn't matter how much money her case is worth.
It doesn't matter what they think their case is worth.
It doesn't matter what I think their case is worth.
I will never, ever, take on a case where the client is nasty, obnoxious or demanding.
I learned my lesson long ago.
I will eagerly refer to that potential client out to another attorney or law firm without any regret whatsoever.
I pity the attorney who takes on her case.
I pity the attorney who must deal with this unrealistic and difficult client.
I pity the attorney who must give his best advice and the client refuses to accept it.
Let me tell you about a telephone call from a potential new client today.
It's exactly on point with today's message.
The message was that she wanted to switch lawyers.
She wanted to know if I would be interested in taking over her case.
My receptionist said that she was extremely anxious, verbally nasty and antagonistic.
That's an automatic 'No' when I return the call.
The caller didn't know it yet, but there is no way I would ever consider taking her on as a client.
I didn't know what the facts were.
I didn't know if there was liability.
I didn't know if there was a link between her doctor's carelessness and her injury.
I didn't know what type of injury she had.
I didn't know what the extent of her injury was.
It didn't matter.
If you are disrespectful to my staff, there is no way I will EVER take you on as a client.
There's no discussion.
I don't care what type of case you have or how profitable your case may be, there's no place in my office for nasty, disrespectful clients.
You can go make someone else miserable.
It won't be me.
I called her back.
It turns out she didn't want to switch attorneys.
Her current attorney asked the court to withdraw from representing her.
The judge gave her attorney permission to withdraw from the case.
There are very few reasons why an experienced medical malpractice attorney would ever withdraw from representing an injured patient.
The first and most significant is that he could not find a qualified medical expert to confirm (1) that there was wrongdoing by the doctor, (2) the wrongdoing caused injury and (3) the injury is significant and/or permanent.
The other significant reason why an attorney would withdraw from representing an injured patient is if the client was nasty or obnoxious and had a closed mind.
In that instance, that type of difficult client would rarely listen to the attorney's advice and try and run legal strategy contrary to everything the attorney would recommend.
In essence, the client would tie the attorneys hands and demand that he do things during the lawsuit regardless of what the attorney recommended.
After asking her two questions, I immediately told her my policy that I do not take over cases started by another attorney.
She was unhappy with my statement.
She immediately question and demanded “WHY?”
She wanted to know why I had such a policy.
I told her very simply that I choose not to take on cases started by another attorney.
She then went on to argue with me claiming that her attorney did very little legal work and has only appeared for a question and answer session by the defense lawyer as part of her pretrial testimony.
I told her it doesn't matter what the attorney did or did not do, as long as the lawsuit was started, my policy is simple.
She again demanded to know why I would not take over her case.
I recommended that she try and find another attorney immediately.
She angrily questioned why she had to find an attorney immediately.
She started screaming asking why there was a time limit.
I knew, before I picked up the phone to reply to her call that I would never take her as a client.
My brief call with her simply confirmed that I would never handle her case.