Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Here's your sign

I’ve got one case that is like a bottle of wine. A bottle of boxed wine.

And it gets worse every day.

Over the past 12 months, we have been able to resolve the “problem” cases except for this Albatross. This one will not settle and my delay-at-all-cost strategy has just been ended by judicial fiat.

We are heading to trial. Where we will almost certainly lose. In coping with this set back, I broke down the positives and negatives with my partner. The signs are telling us that we need to stop wasting our time on this case:

Signs of Weakness
1. The Client has a malleable relationship with the truth (especially while under oath).
2. The Client has a relevant (and insuppressible) history with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
3. The Client thinks she is smarter than everyone. And will tell you why.
4. The Client’s claim is not supported by the evidence.
5. The Client is not likable. The Defendant is extremely likable.
5a. I like the Defendant. I do not like my client.

Signs of Strength
1. I can have a charming personality.
2. I have better ties than my opposing counsel.
3. I would be much more comfortable if this list had a substantive third strength.

It’s never a good sign when your client will accept nothing less than 200 times the Defendant’s final settlement offer.

It’s a bad sign when your client has more criminal convictions than I have fingers.

And it’s a downright damning sign when your opposing counsel knows all of this...and gleefully tells you the only option you have left is to “roll the dice” with the jury.