Am I the right attorney for you? Take a look at the 10 reasons you should NOT hire me, then decide for yourself.
1. If you do not want an aggressive lawyer, you should not hire me. I am by nature very aggressive. I believe that the best defense is a good offense. I also believe that preparation is the mother (and father) of success. If you prefer a more laid-back approach, you will not be comfortable working with me. If this is the case, I will be happy to recommend other attorneys for you to talk to.
2. If you do not want to work with me as part of a team, you should not hire me. If you are not willing to help yourself, if you are unwilling to produce or review documents or gather information, if you know better than your attorney what documents are important, if you have problems keeping appointments with your attorney(s), if you do not return calls or read and respond to emails, if you fail to tell the attorney everything or mislead the attorney, three things will surely happen: the case will suffer (and perhaps be lost); the cost will skyrocket; and you will not be happy.
3. If you “know” the law and are looking for a “creative” lawyer to see it your way, you should not hire me. I pride myself on giving my clients an honest, independent, objective view of the law.
4. If you believe that you have agreed on everything and now you just need me to write it up, you should not hire me. My job is not to be a naysayer or block the deal but to make sure you know the risks you are assuming and what you can do to reduce those risks. If you don’t want to hear this, you will need to hire me later, when something goes wrong.
5. If you say that “I don’t care what it costs, it is the principle of the thing.” you should not hire me. Or are you willing to put it in writing?
6. If “(insert name of friend or relative here) had a case just like this,” you should not hire me. Unless, of course, your case is not just like her case, and there is some wrinkle in it that makes it different. If the facts are different, the application of the law to those facts will be different.
7. If you want me to see things from your side only, you should not hire me. I won’t waste your time with false optimism.
8. If you sign things without reading them (or claim that’s what you did in this case), you should not hire me. Will you read and understand my retainer letter before you sign it? Will you read each and every email and letter and document I send you? If not, review reason number eight for not hiring me.
9. If you believe that “I know for a fact that X couldn’t do (fill in the blank) to me, it’s not legal,” you should not hire me. There are exceptions to every rule and part of my job is to find them and protect you from them.
10. If you think that you can prove your case merely by saying (fill in the blank), do not hire me. To win your case we will have to prove (fill in the blank), even when the other side is trying to prove you wrong.
11. If you believe that “I know they’ll settle as soon as a complaint is filed,” or “Just write a letter and they’ll pay,” you should not hire me. You would not give up your rights and property merely because someone wrote you a letter (in fact you might see the letter as a threat and resolve to fight harder). If you are not willing to fight to enforce your rights, you are playing poker—and while a bluff is acceptable in poker, it frequently gets called. If you are not prepared for your bluff to be called, you should not hire me.