Off The Record: Episode 2
Timothy: Why is it important to shoot your client straight? On this episode of Off the Record.
Noel: A lot of times, people come into our office and they just wanna hear that it’s gonna be okay. But what happens is we need to be honest with them about the reality of their case. Tim, I know you face this problem every day in your practice.
Timothy: Well, because the reality is sometimes it’s not gonna be okay. I mean, that’s just the reality of it. We are here to fight 100% for our clients, but I can’t sugarcoat things with my clients, either. I need to tell them the reality. I need to be honest with them, same as they are being honest with me. The information I provide my clients lets them have risk tolerance. I put the risk to them.
We always need to explain what are the pros and cons of taking a case to trial. Is there a time to plead guilty? I rarely plead my clients guilty, but there is a time and a place to do that. Not very often, but there is. And it all comes down to being honest about how to advocate for your clients and making sure they understand, because it’s all about, again, I talk about risk tolerance all the time with different clients. And they need to know how risky or how risky the situation may be for them. Let’s say we take a case into a trial, and they’ve been completely honest with me. We do the research. We do all of the investigations. We do the strategy, but the chance of success may be fairly low.
A lot of clients still wanna take that chance and take the case to trial, because it beats the alternative of waving a white flag of surrender. But a client needs to know. You need to know what the odds are going in, and that’s something I’m never going to sugarcoat because the consequences can be too dire.
Noel: Well, the number one reason for me is because the client has to have my trust. They have to trust the advice that I’m giving them. They have to trust the strategy I’m giving them. They have to trust the process that I’m telling them that we’re gonna go through. And if they don’t trust that, then they’re going to be very apprehensive about the information they give us.
They’re gonna be apprehensive about the way that things are gonna go forward. And they’re not gonna be honest with me. So, having integrity with them and being honest and upfront with them and telling them the truth and not sugarcoating things is important for me and my clients, and important for our firm because it builds that significant trust in our client. So, they know that they’re gonna put a significant problem in our hands.
They know that we’re gonna solve that problem. And without that trust, we lose all of that momentum, all that stuff on our side to win the case. Because they need to be in a good position for success.