There are many attorneys who practice what I call “threshold law” – which means that they will accept any and all clients that come to see them. I am not one of those attorneys. I have seen these attorneys practice law – they miss deadlines and court appearances, are often unprepared for meetings, fail to return phone calls, and seem to have the bar on their tail quite a bit. Not only that, but they open themselves up to potential malpractice claims.
Throughout the years, I have intentionally limited the number of clients I will accept at any given time. By doing this, I am able to control my workload, give all of my clients the attention they deserve, and keep my malpractice carriers happy.
Here are some of the types of clients that I will not accept:
The following are examples of cases that I will not accept:
- Clients who are uncooperative. In order to achieve the best possible results for all my clients, I must have clients that are willing to cooperate with me and to provide me with the information I need to best represent them. Anyone who is unwilling to do this, or who I believe is lying to me about the facts of their case, I will not take on as a client.
- High Level of Spousal Animosity. Some people hate their spouse so much that they are unable or unwilling to negotiate in good faith towards resolving their divorce, or they really want to “stick it” to their spouse. These people are not good clients for my firm.
- Client’s who are abusive to their children or their spouse. I don’t represent anyone who doesn’t have the best needs of their children at heart. Also, I don’t represent anyone who is abusive to their spouse.
- Will avoid paying support if possible. In many cases, child support or spousal support (alimony) will be an issue. I will not accept clients who refuse to pay support that they are legally obligated to pay.
- Clients who have had more than two or three attorneys. I understand there are cases where an attorney doesn’t return phone calls, has taken no action on a case, or just really isn’t that good. If you have had another attorney, I will review your case and let you know if your concerns are well founded. However, if you have already had two or three attorneys work on your case, I will not accept your case.
- Not willing to follow legal advice. I went to law school, have passed two bar exams, know how the family court operates, and deal with divorce cases every day. I understand the rules regarding child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, equitable distribution, etc. I fraternize with other family law attorneys and we discuss different cases. I have a reasonably good idea of what my client’s can expect if they go to court. I cannot assist clients who are unwilling to follow my advice.
- Not open to settlement. Clients who want to try their case before even sitting down to attempt settlement negotiations are not a good fit for my firm. I insist that all of my clients are open to the possibility of settlement.
If you do not meet my criteria for acceptance as a new client, or if I am just too busy when you call to take on any new cases, I maintain relationships with many other attorneys who handle divorces, and will be happy to refer you to attorneys that do accept these types of case.