{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Being asked by my firm to defend against a very legitimate class action and minimize the payout to victims. I will hate myself for doing this work but don't want to burn bridges by saying no... help?", "post_id": "5dcb6e8709922e001c0bc227", "reply_count": 17, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Being asked by my firm to defend against a very legitimate class action and minimize the payout to victims. I will hate myself for doing this work but don't want to burn bridges by saying no... help?

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Minimizing damages awarded against your client or reaching a settlement that minimizes your client’s exposure is a legitimate defense strategy, especially if a plaintiff’s claim is meritorious. You really don’t have anything to feel bad about in my opinion. This kind of situation is not uncommon.

likesmarthelpful

You should refuse to work on it and only do pro bono work

likefunny

Couldn't agree more with Litigation Associate. Our jobs as attorneys is to represent the best interests of our clients. It's not always pleasant, but this is one of those situations where you've got to step up. The professional obligation is clear.

likesmarthelpful

Yup. You signed up for big law... it’s not a legal aid clinic.

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I’m assuming the client is a corp or LLC or some other orgaized and state-registered entity. Just remember that under the law, your client is a person that is entitled to the same due process rights as everyone else. I don’t know how new of an attorney you are but you learn quick that not every car accident victim deserves an instant $1 million+ payout just because they got hit by a car with a corporate logo on it. Your client deserves the case to be properly investigated and evaluated in a way based on economic reasonableness and not just emotional value.

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Ehhhh. I’d respect someone who stands up for their values. But know that it could cost you professionally.

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Respect and $4 will get you a grande latte at Starbucks.

I know nothing about the case or the facts. We’re lawyers and we know there are two sides to every story. The work can be rationalized if you need it to be in the ways the posters above have suggested. Almost any case can. In the end, though, if it’s going to cause you to hate yourself, it isn’t worth it. Period. If that’s how you really feel, you can find another way to make your career goals.

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Couldn't have said it better myself. Everything the others have said is true, but I do hope our sense of what's right doesn't end with just our ethical obligations.

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If you can’t handle the realistic logistics of the path you chose, it may be time to reconsider a new path. I defend murderers and rapists and child molesters and I never have that feeling because that’s the realistic logistics that come along with the ultimate big picture of representing an individuals constitutional rights. I sleep great at night knowing that I have a hand in the reason that the justice system works. The day I lose one second of sleep over it is the day I quit. I know that’s very black and white and I don’t mean to be harsh but that’s the nature of the beast. You have to balance big picture with personal emotional entanglements and figure out which things outweigh other things and be true to yourself about what truly matters. Good luck.

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Associate 1 is right - there really is only one option here.

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Spiritual (kinda) advice: Your duty is to be true to your profession and do your job without any guilt and without getting influenced by your emotions. Just focus on what you have under your control and give your 100%. Outcome is not your responsibility, just do your best and leave rest to the Universe. Things always work out no matter what.

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Gladiator in suit. Get after it!

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Need to be a zealous advocate for your client. If you can't defend a putative class case, it's time to switch sides and be a plaintiff's class lawyer.

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Your employer is a business not a charity. Ethics are notoriously subjective. The task you have been assigned is not unlawful. As a professional, you must perform your duty amorally. The war is lost the minute a soldier on a battlefield starts appreciating the humanity of the enemy. We are privileged to practice this noble profession. Do your job or someone else will take your place.

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Do your job. It’s what you get paid to do. Follow the law wherever it takes you

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