I have to admit these last several weeks I have been thinking a lot about such issues as client budgets, how to end up with a client base full of perfect clients, how to fire a client, and whether or not a lawyer has a duty to represent a client who has clear rights, but, the lawyer just simply does not want to represent. I have also been thinking a lot about what a large percentage of society simply can't afford legal services let alone litigation.
As I review my client lists and my payable report, I tried to think a little bit about which of these clients really can't afford the legal services that they say they want. Despite efforts to talk about client budgets, and to insure that clients fully understand what the total cost can be in a piece of litigation, I still find myself on occasion dealing with a client who, despite full disclosure, can't seem to make that third legal bill get paid. I addressed one such client the other day who basically pled change of circumstance. This is the same client who I spent more time with than I ever have in the history of all of my clients making sure they understood and could afford the fairly limited litigation action they were requesting.
Did the client simply forget prior discussions? Do they simply take advantage of the situation? Does an alternative billing policy imply that some clients will be making payments over time?
These are the questions I have today. I will try to weigh in on the answers in my coming posts.