How To Manage Your Side of the Attorney-Client Relationship

Today I started thinking hard it would be if the lawyer actually didn’t really like many of his clients. If he (or she) just found them irritating. My point is this. Such feelings are normal in relationships of all types, so irritation is likely to be part of the picture in some attorney-client relationships. But here they are paying you for results. This makes it different. How do you manage the relationship?

If You Didn’t Document It, It Wasn’t Said or It Didn’t Happen.

Lawyers as a group are terrible when it comes to properly and thoroughly documenting their files! Of course, not you, but all the other lawyers out there sure are. You wouldn’t believe how bad it can get. I say this because with almost every claim handled we’re having to deal with the lack of documentation of something. This can be a serious problem because now we’re often forced to live with the reality that a word-against-word dispute between a lawyer and his or her client is in play and that rarely ends well for the lawyer. Here’s just one story that highlights the problem.

The Great “Business vs Profession” Debate

Over the years I have witnessed a few vigorous debates where the point of contention was over whether the practice of law is a business or a profession. I am sometimes taken aback by the positions some lawyers take.

There are those who really do find the notion of equating the practice of law in any way, shape, or form with the running of a business as an extremely offensive position. In the opposite corner stands the attorney who is in it solely for the money and views the very existence of our rules of professional conduct as a personal affront. Thus, the great debate.

Do You Know Who Your Client Is? Here’s a Strange (But Common) Situation.

From time to time I get involved in conversations with lawyers who have called in with a question or concern and as we talk through the situation it becomes clear that part of the problem is the lawyer doesn’t know who his client is. These are the times I find myself asking “How in the world does this happen?” It happens more often than you think!

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