I’m hoping that this one is just a joke, but if not, it’s a great example of how some attorneys harm their clients with their bizarre behavior or desire to get in to a pissing match when no argument would be happening otherwise.

A defense attorney friend of mine shared that on one of his cases, the opposing lawyer in Urbana stated that his client would only attend the IME if the attorney would as well.  IME exams are often a joke, but they are part of the process.  And of course nothing requires a lawyer to go to them nor would you want the opposing attorney there.

In the bigger picture, the attorney for the injured worker is simply being a jerk.  I know of this attorney and he has a reputation for playing games and being a jerk.  He may not realize or it more likely just doesn’t care, but his strange behavior hurts his clients, especially, the good, honest ones that don’t deserve to have problems with their case.

We are fighters, but fighters only when we need to be.  If you piss off everyone around you, it’s going to hurt you and your clients in the long run.  There are a lot of biter people in this line of work and if they can’t stand you or your attorney, they’ll gladly make things difficult.

It’s not really possible for you to know what other people think of your attorney, but you have to use common sense as well in your hiring decision.  If you meet with a lawyer and they seem like a jerk or a weirdo or some other red flags are going off, then you shouldn’t hire them.  If they aren’t putting their best foot forward in trying to impress you and get you to hire them then imagine how they are around other people.  That will affect your case.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, think about how you feel when you go to a restaurant and the waiter is snotty or if you have to renew your license and the worker behind the counter isn’t very helpful.  It impacts you and how you deal with them as well as your desire to deal with them in the future.  On the flip side, if you go to the grocery store and the person behind the deli counter offers you an unsolicited free sample and tells you how cute your kid is, it will create great feelings and make you want to come back more.

It’s no different with workers’ compensation or any other area of law.  The biggest failing of most firms is that they don’t recognize that we are in the customer service business.  I always tell callers and clients the blunt truth, even if it’s not what they want to hear, because that is best for their case.  But I don’t do it in a way that belittles them and I try to treat other people I come in contact with the same way.  We all have bad days and I’m not perfect at this, especially when someone is rude to me.  But we all must realize that being a jerk today could cause a huge problem a year from now.