Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What Lawyers Fear

In his article, Escaping From Lawyers’ Prison of Fear, Professor John Lande lists fears that haunt lawyers and offers suggestions for overcoming them. Here are the fears: 

 feeling that their offices or cases are out of control;

 changing familiar procedures;

 looking foolish by asking certain questions;

 candidly expressing their thoughts and feelings;

 giving “bad news” to clients;

 being intimidated by superiors in their firm;

 asking for favors from their counterparts in a case or being asked for favors by their counterparts;

 seeming “too nice;”

 being blamed by oneself or others;

 speaking in public;

 lacking skill and confidence due to limited trial experience;

 having their clients give false testimony;

 failing to locate critical “smoking gun” information hidden by the other

 taking actions harming their clients’ interests, such as disclosing unfavorable information, making trial objections that focus attention on unfairly prejudicial aspects of the case, or failing to argue critical issues on appeal;

 being attacked or “outsmarted” by counterparts;

 being judged unfairly by actual or potential jurors;

 being intimidated by judges;

 suffering reprisal in response to judicial disqualification motions or reporting judicial misconduct;

 “antagonizing prominent citizens or the local legal community” by representing some clients “too well;”

 suffering the “pain, humiliation, and shame of defeat;”

 losing the “tournament” of associates to become partners in big firms that use an “up or out” system;

 loss of business if they do not act like “hired guns,” even if it requires violating lawyers’ personal ethics;

 being rejected in an effort to bring new clients to their law firm or losing existing clients to other law firms;

 rejecting what turn out to be lucrative cases, i.e., letting the “big ones” get away; and

 adverse professional consequences such as reprimands by superiors, demotion, negative publicity, lack of professional advancement, loss of work, professional discipline, or malpractice liability.

Wow! You can read more here.


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