I had the pleasure recently of talking to a really nice guy who appreciated my direct and blunt approach. Not everybody does.

He was a smart guy who investigated a little bit after his attorney told him something that didn’t make sense.  The average weekly wage they were using to calculate his benefits was too low and as a result the settlement offer was shorting him by several thousands of dollars for his very serious injury.

He told me that he asked his lawyer to take the case to trial and the attorney told him something that made my jaw drop.  He said, “We can’t go to trial because if we do the Judge will be mad at me.”

Uhm, what???

The job of Arbitrators is to resolve disputes.  Sometimes that’s by a trial. It’s literally their job.  They don’t want to try cases that can and should be settled, but they do and certainly don’t get mad at lawyers who make them do their jobs.

It’s one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard and a blatant lie.

What I think happened here is this injured worker hired an attorney close to his hometown, but far from where the accident took place.  My educated guess is that the attorney doesn’t want to drive on this one case and is essentially blowing off his responsibility to the client.

And even if it was somehow true that the Arbitrator would be “mad” at the lawyer, that would be an issue for his future clients. His job is to advocate for this client to the best of his abilities.  The attorney is clearly not doing that.

I suggested that the client ask the attorney to have the Judge to a pre-trial which Arbitrators love.  It’s essentially a 10-15 minute conference where each side says what they think the evidence would show if the case went to trial and then the Arbitrator says how they would rule if that’s what the evidence shows.  In cases like this, where the issue isn’t the credibility of a worker, pre-trials are usually really accurate at predicting what will happen.  Judges love them because it allows them to move cases and that is one way in which they are evaluated.

Allegedly this worker asked about a pre-trial and the attorney threw out the mad card again which proves how much of a lie all of this is. If an Arbitrator isn’t trying cases or pre-trying cases, they are essentially doing nothing.

I can’t imagine your attorney will ever say anything like this, but if they do you’ve got a bad one and should run as fast as you can from them.