Somebody recently asked me what I have learned over the course of my career that I wish I would’ve known back then.
I think one of the biggest things that I’ve learned over the course of my 25 plus years doing personal injury / civil trial work is that even though you want to take a case, and even though it’s the right thing for you to do, if the case is not gonna result in the client’s recovering money, significant money, then perhaps it’s not best suited or in the best interest of the client or the firm.
The reason for that is you don’t want to involve a client in multiple years of litigation, or the firm for that matter, as a business in multiple years of costly litigation. Then the result is just basically paying you back, which doesn’t justify the time spent on the case.
As a young lawyer, you want to take on everybody that walks in the door because you want to help as many people as you can, and usually the people that are walking in our door are victims of someone else’s negligence.
You want to make sure that the person who took advantage of the victim, whether in a car wreck or some other type of injury, pays for that behavior. Sometimes, unfortunately, the law just doesn’t help that victim, and it’s not likely to allow that person to recover substantial money. In those circumstances, I think one of the lessons I’ve learned is that even though your heart may want you to do it and even though it’s the right thing to do, sometimes it’s better for the client not to pursue that case.
So that’s the one big thing that I’ve learned over the course of my career. I’ve learned a lot of little things, like every day, about what to do and not do in my civil trial practice as a plaintiff’s lawyer.
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