Since I was trained to practice law in New York City, clients often consult with me because they want their attorney to be aggressive. Admittedly, when it is necessary to protect my clients interest, I can be very aggressive. However, an experienced litigator, who is actually concerned with protecting his client, must not allow zealousness to overrule common sense.
When a client contacts my office, it is usually because they are embroiled in a dispute with an individual or company. As with any legal dispute, emotions are magnified and it is important that I remain calm and view the dispute in an objective manner. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when the potential client has done absolutely nothing wrong and their opponent is clearly taking advantage of them.
Often, during my initial consultation, the potential client is understandably very angry. It is at this critical moment that a good litigation attorney must counsel his clients to try to remain calm. And this may be especially difficult since, in the initial interview, the attorney may not have the relationship necessary to make the client feel at ease.
I have had potential clients arrive at my office with a detailed plan of action for me to undertake. However, it is important for the client to understand that each action will result in attorney’s fees and costs that must be paid. Therefore, like any good attorney, I explain to the client, not only the potential ramifications of the desired action, but the attorney’s fees and costs associated with the action.
Although it would be a far more profitable for me to simply follow my clients instructions regardless of the cost, it is my absolute ethical duty to counsel my client about the cost of their desired agressive strategy and, if possible, offer less costly alternatives. I am confident that I am not the only lawyer that follows this procedure. If your attorney doesn’t counsel you on the cost of litigation, and offer you less expensive altervatives, you may wish to consider new representation.