Musings: Who’s side are you on?
Quick question. What is my duty as a lawyer? Is it to tell you what you want to hear or to provide you with the objective advice you need to make the most informed decision? No doubt your answer would be the latter. However, you would be shocked how many believe it is the former. I believe that this is due to the failure of the legal representative and his or her failure to establish the basic foundation of the solicitor and client relationship.
As a lawyer, my duty and obligation is to my client first and foremost. I would not be meeting my obligation if I did not provide my client with the objective advice he or she needs to make an informed decision. However, as with everything in life, there is always strength and weakness to a claim. A client who is not apprised of what could adversely impact their claim often are set up for disappointment.
In my experience, the best course of action when meeting a prospective client is to review the facts of the case and to provide the client with objective opinion. This includes comment on the strength and weakness of the claim. By doing this at the beginning, I find this goes a long way to helping a client understand what my role is in the litigation process and how the relationship works. The client must be aware that their case will have pitfalls along the way and that they must be prepared to accept that these pitfalls could have an adverse impact on their claim.
In my practice, I have had a number of injured people come to me to discuss their claim as they are not happy with their former legal representative. In many of those cases, the clients have said that in the short time we discussed the matter with me they have received more information than from their former representative.
At the end of the day, my clients are always appreciative of my candor and the fact that I provide them with a no-nonsense approach to their claim. If you wish to consult me to discuss your matter, please fell free to call me at your earliest convenience.