A lot of people that call me want a tough lawyer in their corner. I believe most of them mean that they want someone who will actually fight for them and do the best job possible. They don’t want to feel as if their lawyer cares more about his personal life, golf game, the other attorney or anything else other than making sure that benefits are paid and the law is followed.
While you may want a fighter, you don’t want or need someone who is actually picking fights or making threats. When they do that they are making enemies with the defense firms and insurance companies and it can hurt all of their clients if they do.
That doesn’t mean your lawyer should kiss butt or needs to get along with everyone. That doesn’t have to happen and it certainly doesn’t happen with us or the lawyers in our state wide network. If the insurance company or their lawyer is out of line we call them on it.
What we don’t do is what I heard a Chicago work comp lawyer threatening the other day. He told a defense attorney that he was declaring war on his firm and swore that he would never, ever settle a case with them again. Every case was going to trial he shouted as his face got redder and redder.
Does this sound like the type of lawyer you want? If your case can be settled and you want/need the settlement, should you have to wait for a trial because your attorney got in to a pissing match over something that had nothing to do with your case? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.
I know the defense lawyer involved in this well and he just laughed. He of course makes more money when cases go to trial because he gets paid by the hour and has to do more work on cases that get tried. So essentially this lunatic was threatening him that, “I’m so mad I’m going to make you more money on every case we have together!”
Another attorney told me that this same lawyer once threw trial exhibits in a rage and called the other attorney bush league. It may sound tough, but in the real world it gets you nowhere.
You of course wouldn’t want this attorney to scream at you if they were having a bad day or you just wanted a question answered. You want a fighter, but not an asshole. I assure you that if your attorney can’t get along with you then they likely can’t get along with anyone else. And that is bad for your case which is all that really matters.