There probably isn’t any one thing. But a lot of other lawyers don’t communicate with their clients to the extent I do, and don’t prepare the way I do.
I volunteer as a mediator for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in lawsuits. This means the court appoints me to preside over a negotiation, and talk to each side of a case individually to see what they really want to settle the case for. To work, as a neutral, to find a compromise.
When I work as a mediator, I go back and forth between the victim and the insurance company, taking offers and counter offers to settle the case.
And some of what I see amazes me:
• Several victims who had never met their own attorneys before they appeared at the courthouse to negotiate a settlement.
• A lawyer hired by an insurance company to recover money it had paid, who had no idea how much the insurance company had paid. .
• Lawyers who had not bothered to go through their own clients’ medical bills, to sort out the ones caused by the accident from the ones they would have incurred anyway.
I have seen victims who were completely surprised and even offended by the initial offer they received from the other side, which was entirely predictable. As a result, they were not emotionally prepared to deal with the other side’s offer, or the concessions that they would have to make to settle the case that day on reasonable terms.
And their lawyer had to spend a lot of time in the mediation telling them what he could have told them before. The drain on energy and time created by this failure to prepare wasted the opportunity to try to settle the case early on realistic terms.
A friend of mine who is a mediator has told me stories about having to mediate between one well known local attorney and the attorney’s own client, so the lawyer and client would be able to agree on the amount of the demand. He told me about another well known lawyer who made a demand in negotiations in front of his clients; the clients were completely surprised, as the lawyer had never discussed the amount of the demand with them.
Nobody is perfect. But part of a lawyer’s job is knowing what his client wants, considering what his client will get from a jury, and coming to an agreement with his client on their goals. It’s tough to do that if he doesn’t talk to the client, or hasn’t figured out what medical bills are related to the accident.
If I represent you, I will talk with you in advance about every negotiation, mediation, or important hearing. I won’t ask for money from the other side without discussing it with you, and talking about where I think the negotiations will begin and where I hope the negotiations will end.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I pride my self on being prepared, and on keeping my clients informed. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to what you can expect in a hearing or negotiation, talk with an experienced Cincinnati injury lawyer> about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.