LPM Tip

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Becoming successor counsel

If a potential client comes to you for a second opinion or because they are dissatisfied with their current lawyer, it's always a good idea to find out:

  1. How many prior attorneys have worked on the case and who they are? It's OK to be the second counsel. But you have to be concerned if the client has been through two or more lawyers before you ... either they are difficult to get along with or have unreasonable expectations about the outcome.
  2. What were the reasons for changing counsel in the past? Did the lawyer fire the client for nonpayment or failing to cooperate? Do the client's complaints about prior counsel seem legitimate or made up?
  3. Have prior counsel been paid? If not, why do you think you'll be treated differently?

Tip courtesy of MBA Law Practice Management Section Council Member Pat Fernandez, who practices family law in North Andover, Mass. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School.

Published February 23, 2012

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To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members, contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice Chair Stephen Seckler.
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