Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

A Fool for a Client...

I had a long conversation recently with a good friend of min adamb04/12/17
If he understands that he would advice someone in his positi superttthero04/12/17
Well - his "risk" reasoning also was uncharacteristic. Somet adamb04/12/17
He's been warned and he upstands your warnings so you've don isthisit04/12/17
I know - it's just frustrating when it is so easily avoidabl adamb04/12/17
It sucks when you see the train coming down the tracks. Bes sjlawyer04/12/17
Nothing you don't already know. Representing friends, family jorgedeclaro04/12/17
adamb (Apr 12, 2017 - 3:00 pm)

I had a long conversation recently with a good friend of mine, a gay solo who makes low six-figures at age 40ish, still decent looking. So, he should not be acting desperate. We've been friends due to our similar personal experiences and our law practice issues.

He is smart, under normal circumstances. But I had a long conversation with him warning him to withdraw from representing a married gay guy, my friend's new squeeze, against his volitile ex and the ex's father -- both of whom have disposable income to pursue their vendettas.

The facts are ridiculously complicated, but the bottom line that my friend had a hard time processing is that regardless of whether he technically is operating ethically, the situation is so easy to twist against him in court or in a bar complaint. He is emotionally invested, pursuing his own vendettas just like in every DV or hostile FC case. If he were advising a client in the same circumstances, he would tell them what I told him during our reality check conversation.

And the guy he is risking all of this loss for is really not worth the trouble. He is manipulative, and he and his ex deserved each other.

But you can't tell people. He understood what I was saying, even appreciated my detailed concerns, but it changed nothing, so far.

This will end badly.

I'd like to think that I would not be dumb enough to represent myself or family in a case that I was deeply emotionally invested in. Just so many red flags.

Any suggestions on how to get through to him? (As this irrationality is out of character.)

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superttthero (Apr 12, 2017 - 3:23 pm)

If he understands that he would advice someone in his position the way you are advising him, and he is still going forward with it, it means he understands and is willing to take the risks for his own reasons.

If that's the case, move on to other topics with your friend. Wish him the best.

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adamb (Apr 12, 2017 - 3:36 pm)

Well - his "risk" reasoning also was uncharacteristic. Something to the effect of "there is risk in everything we do in law, a pissed off defendant in a lawsuit could shoot me, so whatever." I pointed out that he is amplifying risk due to his new squeeze pulling him into the orbit of his BS and using him as a free (and now emotionally invested) attack dog.

Unfortunately, there may be deeper issues happening, sort of a gay midlife crisis.

I just wondered if anyone had good advice from similar experiences. I feel that I would be a bad friend to say nothing, so I said my bit. I will follow up after some time has passed.

We are very direct when it comes to these kinds of things, he is not offended by my concerns, but he has convinced himself, it seems, that "I am right, so I will go to the ends of the earth for vindication because I like this new guy and hate the ex/father duo."

I reminded him of how often clients try to push us into dumb time wasting fights that have zero benefit and great risk to the client or case. Our job is to evaluate coldly and strategically. One cannot do this when motivated by anger, passion, or stubbornness. He is not yet seeing what a cliche he is (in this particular situation). And I believe his law license could be in danger.

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isthisit (Apr 12, 2017 - 3:34 pm)

He's been warned and he upstands your warnings so you've done your duty as a pal.

Don't concern yourself with someone else's problems.

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adamb (Apr 12, 2017 - 3:39 pm)

I know - it's just frustrating when it is so easily avoidable - and he is not yet past the point of no return. But depending on how a few things soon play out the window for averting disaster may be rapidly closing.

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sjlawyer (Apr 12, 2017 - 6:17 pm)

It sucks when you see the train coming down the tracks. Best you can do now is help out picking up the pieces and not saying "I told you so" later.

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jorgedeclaro (Apr 12, 2017 - 6:43 pm)

Nothing you don't already know. Representing friends, family members and lovers in family law is a giant mistake. Prevents the lawyer from being objective and adds additional tension and feelings in an already emotional field. Not much you can do except point out him being involved will hurt his boyfriend in the case.

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