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Toxic Client Strategies for Dealing with Difficult People With Garrett Sutton, Esq. And Mark Goodman, Esq.

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Presentation on theme: "Toxic Client Strategies for Dealing with Difficult People With Garrett Sutton, Esq. And Mark Goodman, Esq."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toxic Client Strategies for Dealing with Difficult People With Garrett Sutton, Esq. And Mark Goodman, Esq.

2 Our Working Environment O Stress O Long hours O No vacation O Nonpaying Clients O 80% deal with them

3 Our Working Environment Difficult clients with toxic personalities = Toxic Clients

4 Red Flags What are the red flags for identifying Toxic Clients?

5 Problems with Previous Professional/Provider O Client had some kind of problem with a previous provider and/or has been fired by another provider. O Client has had multiple providers already on this matter. O Client seems to be talking to half of the local bar association about their matter as they simultaneously want to retain us.

6 High Drama O Client has a long complicated story with high drama. O They get highly emotional about the situation.

7 Shopper O The only thing the client seems to care about is price. O Client bargains aggressively on price, rates and payment terms.

8 Nitpicker O Client nitpicks the billing. This person will call repeatedly to go over the details on each invoice before ever paying.

9 Commodity Trader O Client views your services as a commodity not a relationship-based business.

10 Rich and Famous O Client thinks that their case is my opportunity to “make a name for myself” and become rich and famous.

11 Judge is Biased O Client alleges that the Judge is “biased.” Once in a blue moon, a judge actually is biased. The other 999/1000 times the client is just crazy.

12 Non-Empathetic O Client is incapable of seeing the case from the other side’s point of view.

13 Conspiracy Theorist O Client believes there is a conspiracy to destroy him/her. In my experience there is never any evidence of this, but the client is 100% convinced.

14 Mouthpiece O Client wants to run their own case and use our firm as a mere mouthpiece. O Client wants to write the pleadings but just have us get it filed. O Client will not listen to or agree with my advice and analysis but wants to proceed with us anyway.

15 Last Minute Crisis O Client has a horrible last minute crisis situation when they come into our office for the first time. 99% of the time this could have been dealt with earlier.

16 Dog Ate My Homework O Client is highly dilatory with necessary follow-through. O Client does not return communication. O Client does not take legal work, documents, deadlines seriously.

17 Friends/Family Issues O Friend or family member is a provider but not retained on the case. O Family member is paying, but not the client, thus family member wants to run the case.

18 Vague O Client is vague about the details of the case, does not seem to be forthcoming and/or does not remember details that any reasonable person in that situation should know.

19 Fallen From Grace O Client used to have/make lots of money and now is struggling financially. These people can’t handle tight budgets, tend to flake on bills and often get whiny.

20 Only Client O Client acts as if they are our only client.

21 Talker O Client talks and talks but won’t listen to what I have to say.

22 Get a Hobby O Client seems to have no life outside of their case. Client lives and breathes the case 24/7.

23 Amateur Lawyer O Client does their own research and is continually presenting it to us.

24 Too Personal O Relationship becomes too personal. Client almost seems to want to date me.

25 Anal O Client is super anal-retentive. While it’s good to have a client that pays attention to detail, it’s very difficult to work with clients that are ultra-obsessed with every detail.

26 Stubborn O Client is stubborn. Stubbornness is one of the hardest qualities to deal with in the legal profession. Ironically, dumb is manageable.

27 Wannabe Big Shot O Client talks as if they are very rich or successful. O Client discusses big deals or big money from the past, but is shocked at the idea of paying a few thousand dollars for legal representation. O Client talks about grandiose ideas usually involving big money and/or fame, and there seems to be no connection to the client’s current reality.

28 Take it to the Top O Client has written to high ranking government officials, such as the Governor or the President, about their private legal dispute.

29 Success! To Succeed in Business, Know When to Reject a Toxic Client

30 Contact Us O Mark Goodman, Esq. (775) O Corporate Direct, Inc. (800)


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