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What Are The Dumbest Things You’ve Seen Lawyers Do?

There’s no end to these. But here are some that come to mind.

Email battles.
If the other lawyer is acting like a child, you probably are too. Get on the phone, where it’s tougher to hold a grudge and you can usually get something done.

Telling you that he’s taping your phone calls to him.
Another attorney – actually a very smart guy in a bad moment – told me this while we were fighting over something. We’re now friends.

Insulting anyone.
At least half the time, it makes it impossible to have a meaningful conversation with the other person. That’s a luxury a lawyer can’t afford.

Insisting in negotiations that the other side give something they can’t reasonably give.
Like what? Maybe a hold harmless pledge against claims by other persons. Maybe a warranty of someone else’s work. All this will do is make people mad at each other.

Trying to use the power of the court as a bludgeon
That is, asking the court to give your client something or seeking an advantage purely for the punitive effect it will have on the other side. There can be situations where it makes sense to take punitive action – for instance, asking for attorney fees against an abusive spouse to keep them from filing repetitive motions, or asking for punitive damages – which you will collect – against the other side. But if your only motive is punishment, you’ll hurt yourself more than anyone else. The court can’t order an eye for an eye.

Ignoring any document you receive from the other side.
I once got a call from another lawyer accusing me of failing to disclose the existence of an earlier will in a will contest. I told him: “I didn’t know about the will – or the lawyer who wrote it – until I reviewed the documents I got from the lawyer who wrote the will you’re trying to defend. You got those documents at the same time I did.” Basically, he hadn’t done his homework. The bottom line – you’ll be sorry whenever you take something for granted.

Paper battles.
This would be any prolonged fight over something that you can’t get or keep, or that doesn’t matter. It applies to most discovery battles in any case worth less than $100,000.00. Why? Because most judges tend to allow each side to see the “skeletons” in the other side’s closets unless it’s a gross invasion of privacy.

Going to trial if it’s stupid.
When is it stupid? Any time that a settlement will make your client just as happy, and will probably net them almost as much money.

Filing motions you’re not going to win. Judges see through this; they think they are there to give substantive justice to both sides. And if you do this too often, you’ll lose the judge’s respect.

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. Most “pure fights” are dumb, because you can usually talk someone into something you – and he – can live with. If you’ve been injured in an accident, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Injury Attorney 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.

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