A CRANKY NOTE FROM A PLAINTIFFS' LAWYER (NOT ME) . . . I received the following note from a plaintiffs' lawyer. He invited me to "turn this subject into a blog post if you'd like." It's the top 5 reasons he turns down potential cases--
No. 1 -- If you tell me God told you that my firm is supposed to take your case, then I will turn you down. I hear this rationale given to try and guilt trip me into taking a case at least once a week. It drives me insane. And please don't ask me if I'm a Christian.
No. 2 -- If you call with a potential case and then drone on for twenty plus minutes straight without seemingly taking a breath, or allowing me a moment to ask a question, then I will probably turn you down. First, however, about five minutes into the call I will put you on speaker so others in my office can hear your advanced stage of logorrhea. My timer on my phone will also let me know if you beat the record for straight talking by a potential client without stopping. It's 28 minutes.
No. 3 -- If you call me with a wrongful death case and then tell me the wrongful death was for your death -- and that you died but then miraculously came back to life -- I will turn your case down.
No. 4 -- If you call with case and then start criticizing my questions, explaining to me that I don't know the law and that my questions are improper, I will not take your case.
No. 5 -- If you tell me you were committed and you want to sue the people who committed you b/c they're out to get you, I will turn down your case.
Although I didn't write these, I definitely recognize some of them. Early in the life of this weblog, I wrote about difficult clients, including clients in jail. Difficult clients often begin by violating one of the five listed rules, and so perhaps should not have been clients in the first place.
For a different perspective on turning down cases, see the guest post by John Day, "A Plaintiffs' Lawyer Explains the Economics of Turning Down Cases."