We hear constantly about the reasons and rationales as to why a client would reject a lawyer. The world of attorneys is simply an open market should you have the resources to hire one in a court of law. Yet what about the reverse scenario – when is it acceptable and appropriate for an attorney to reject a client?
The short answer to this equation is quite simple – whenever they so please. No lawyer is obliged to take on a client without their consent and there are instances where it is actually against the law for an attorney to represent an individual in certain circumstances. This includes a previous personal relationship between both parties or if a lawyer happened to represent an individual that was adverse to that potential client.
The right of free will happens to extend beyond citizens and towards attorneys as well. So what red flags should lawyers be on the lookout for to justify rejecting a client? Surely a case win or lose is still a paycheck to cash in?
Here are some instances where a rejection is justified.
Continuing Criminal Activities
Those that are found to have been guilty of engaging in criminal activities will often source an attorney to keep the law at arm’s length from their enterprise. Attorneys that are aware of this fact are in their rights to walk away before they are further compromised and asked to perpetuate any illegal schemes that are taking place.
Lack of Committal
Attorneys do require a degree of commitment when it comes to dedication themselves to a case. If a client has a past history and reputation for moving from one firm to the next in order to test the waters, then a lawyer can pull the plug due to a lack of trust.
Individuals who place unwanted pressures on their attorney to make sudden and illegitimate demands on their representative are out of order. Whether it is a request or demand to drop other cases in order to focus on their priorities or threaten to walk away without justification, then the lawyer can take a proactive step to end the agreement.
The Lawyer Skeptics
Attorneys are already viewed through a cynical lens, but that task is all the more difficult if their client continually diminishes and talks down your efforts to get the job done. Should they have no trust in the process and hold disdain for you and your practice, then walk away.