D. Dealing with Difficult Clients

The following are issues that the mentor and mentee might consider discussing regarding how to deal with “difficult” clients.

  1. Discuss why lawyers should be concerned about difficult clients.
  2. Share with the new lawyer an example of a difficult client.
  3. Identify characteristics of difficult clients of which the new lawyer should be aware at the earliest contacts with the potential client, as well as how to factor that into accepting the potential representation.
  4. Identify client behaviors that occur during representation which indicate your client is angry or dissatisfied. Provide suggestions of the best and most professional ways to address the client and handle their anger.
  5. Discuss the importance of talking to a client as early as possible about realistic expectations of the representation, the scope of the representation, and the fee arrangement. Explain how discussing these (and other) issues can help to prevent misunderstandings and disagreement in your attorney-client relationship.

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