For several years, in many cases, we’ve noted that we are the client’s second, third, or even fourth attorney. Sometimes the originating attorney refers their client to us, and other times the client finds us through their own research or a referral from another professional advisor. Recently, the percentage of our cases where we are not the originating attorney has grown. We audited those cases to determine the most frequent circumstances where a client engages us after already having legal counsel. We found that there are primarily three things that bring them to us:
Several factors qualify us to take on complex matters. We handle high-conflict family law, criminal defense, and civil disputes and take those cases to trial. We have a strong appellate practice that rivals the departments of much larger law firms. Importantly, we prepare for challenging matters through immersive, ongoing education and professional development. Our mix of cross-training at the world’s foremost advocacy programs, such as the National Family Law Trial Institute, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and others, is unrivaled by any of our peers. The legal community knows our work and particularly complicated cases are directed to us as a result. Clients sometimes sense mid-litigation that their case is beyond their counsel’s depth, so they seek our services to conclude the matter.
Unfortunately, we are sometimes asked to take over client matters because they did not feel adequately informed and prepared by their original counsel. Almost every attorney boasts about client communication, but few have created an infrastructure centered around client updates. We implemented a comprehensive system built on Salesforce to ensure regular client communication in various formats. Our clients receive updates about developments by both text and email. In 2022, we added a component to supplement our updates and inform each client when their matter progressed from one stage to the next. We offer our clients private insight into litigation procedures and trial preparation that most lawyers cannot share.
Contentiousness of Counsel
Some personalities in the legal profession have a reputation for difficulty and even hostility. Their outrageous behavior can be distracting and stressful. Some attorneys are so abrasive that others will not take cases against them. Those matters get referred to us. Our experience and skill help us focus on the outcome for the client, and we prosecute our cases with a view toward resolution, disregarding the antics or rhetoric of opposing counsel.
Although we are not the first attorney for many of our clients, we do not poach clients from other attorneys. Most of the time, when we are asked to provide a second opinion, we can endorse the advice and action plan of the current lawyer. When asked to step in, we communicate with counsel about the identified issues and the request. As a result, many attorneys ask us to work with them as co-counsel, because they know we will promote their relationship with the client.