Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Like Client, Like Counsel

I always advise potential clients to speak to as many attorneys as they need to, until they find one with whom they are comfortable.  "Shop around," I advise them.

Here's the fundamental reason to talk to several lawyers: there will come at least one time in your case when much is on the line and a decision has to be made.  You will feel like this is an earth shaking decision, with  the right decision leading to your goals being realized and the wrong decision leading to ruin.  In that moment, you need your attorney's best judgment, his most sound advice.  And when he gives that advice, you want to trust that his advice is correct. 

If you have retained the attorney with whom you have the greatest rapport, you will most likely hear and follow his advice.  You will most likely feel comfortable and secure with the decision you make.  This simpatico keeps your legal team together and helps you stay focused.  This "being on the same page" moves you toward accomplishing your goals.

Often, I see this maxim play out in court.  Like client, like counsel.  If the party is brash, harsh and rude, she will likely find an attorney that shares those traits.  If a party can't tell the truth to save their lives, often his counsel is similarly challenged.  Not to get too offensive but it reminds me of those studies about the similar appearance of dogs and their owners. 

I find that most of my clients are honest, sincere people who truly want the best for their families, but they have the wisdom to not want the worst for themselves.  Perhaps that good judgment is why they pick me.  But I would say that, wouldn't I?

Bottom line?  Shop around until you feel secure.

 Georgia Bar Guide on Selecting Counsel

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