Should You Trust Your Lawyer In Your Kingston, New York Lawsuit? (The Answer Isn’t What You Expect)Blog
Here’s the story: Yesterday, I met for the first time with Mr. and Mrs Jones about a potential case arising from a delay in diagnosing cancer. After spending a couple of hours discussing the potential case with them, I was about to leave when I told Mr. and Mrs. Jones that I would do my best for them. Mr. Jones’s responded by saying, “I know you will, John.”
As I was driving away from this meeting, it occurred to me that Mr. Jones entrusted me with trust and faith in a matter that could determine the fate of his family, yet he barely knows who I am. Maybe Mr. Jones gave little thought to his words or perhaps this was just an exchange of pleasantries that meant little to him. But when Mr. Jones shook my hand and entrusted me with his family’s case, I thought to myself, “Why would he trust me?”
Why you should not trust your lawyer…at least at first
Trust does not develop overnight. You can’t buy trust or negotiate to get trust. New clients should not trust their lawyer. Trust develops over the course of the attorney-client relationship when the client realizes that the lawyer keeps his word and does what he says he is going to do. Trust develops when the client realizes that the lawyer is honest and does not exaggerate or lie. Trust is worth far more than a commodity that can be bought and sold.
Do I deserve the trust of Mr. and Mrs. Jones after our first meeting? Of course not! And that is exactly what I tell them. I thank Mr. Jones for his kind words and then I tell him that he should not trust me. I ask Mr. and Mrs. Jones to hold me accountable for every word out of my mouth. I tell Mr. and Mrs. Jones that, while I cannot guarantee a favorable outcome (nor have I ever done that), I will do my best to get answers for them from the nation’s top physicians and I explain the procedures involved in getting the answers.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones probably recall little about the details of our conversation, but it doesn’t really matter. My intention was to give Mr. and Mrs. Jones advice as to how they can hold their lawyer accountable. My advice to them was the same for all clients: “Do not trust me! Make me earn your trust.”
I feel confident leaving this meeting that with time I will truly earn the trust of Mr. and Mrs. Jones over the course of this new case. But at this stage of a new case, Mr. and Mrs. Jones should not trust me at all. My advice to you is simple: Do not trust your lawyer! Make your lawyer earn your trust and confidence.
If you have any questions or just want to chat, I welcome your phone call. If you have questions about your case, consult a dedicated attorney right away. You can always request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.