{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have a new client who, I think, got bad legal advice from someone else she consulted with. From the information I have, there is no way she gets to the numbers I do. I work in a pretty small legal community. How do I address this delicately? My client is hung up on “but that’s not that X said” even though I’ve explained it multiple times and way. Any help would be greatly appreciated!", "post_id": "60249584ffe9ed0021e9ca37", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I have a new client who, I think, got bad legal advice from someone else she consulted with. From the information I have, there is no way she gets to the numbers I do. I work in a pretty small legal community. How do I address this delicately? My client is hung up on “but that’s not that X said” even though I’ve explained it multiple times and way. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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I'd avoid throwing the other lawyers under the bus, which it sounds like you're doing, and just keep reiterating what you told them. For one thing, you don't really know what the other lawyer told them. You know what they're telling you he told them. Clients hear what they want to hear. Who knows what they'll be telling lawyer #3 about what you supposedly said!

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I always try to give others the benefit of the doubt, so maybe just trying to explain that the other person didn’t have all the information when they guessed at numbers and now you’re working with more concrete info. This sucks though, I’ve been there - at worst, tell the client to talk to other attorneys and hire them if they want. Honestly I find this tactic helpful with tough clients even if you might lose a few here and there.

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Exactly! Just because the client says it doesn’t mean that’s what the other attorney really said.

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If it starts getting in the way of your ability to represent her (if she consistently rejects your advice on the grounds that X would disagree), a gentle but firm reminder that X is not her attorney and you are could be in order. That said, there is only so much you can do. I once lost a pro bono client who was on the verge of getting a really good outcome based on our negotiations with lenders. Instead of taking the deal we lined up, which basically involved his lenders unwinding contracts and restoring the monthly settlement payments they had purchased from him at predatory price points, he fired us and went to a plaintiff’s lawyer who I assume told him his suit was worth millions. It wasn’t, but the lawyer will take a sizable chunk of the money that otherwise would have been restored solely to our ex-client.

As a Plaintiffs attorney, I deal with this often. Occasionally it’s prior counsel, but more often it’s “advice” from random friend or family member who may or may not be an actual practicing lawyer.

I don’t think it’s “throwing the other attorney under the bus” to be firm and say “if that is what X told you, my opinion is that I largely disagree and here’s why.” I use the word “miscommunication” sometimes to soften me calling the other attorney a moron. “Maybe there was a miscommunication regarding XYZ facts, because in your circumstance I do not feel that conclusion is correct.”

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