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Evaluating a Case

NCJ Number
Trial Volume: 33 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1997) Pages: 62-64
R E Cartwright Jr
Date Published
3 pages
This article provides techniques for an attorney's use in conducting an interview and evaluating a case before accepting or declining it.
The author advises attorneys to handle potential clients as follows. Handle the first telephone call yourself, courteously and professionally. Schedule the first interview and tell the client to bring all pertinent documents. At the interview, be prompt and try to put the client at ease; explain the interview process and emphasize confidentiality. As you consider the case, analyze liability, cost, jury appeal, the client's and the defendant's appeal, and collectability of damages. Reduce the facts of the case to a few sentences that convey the wrongful conduct and its results. The case must have a theme. If you decide not to take the case, make the decision quickly and send the client a letter confirming your rejection. Delay is not only a disservice to the client, but can be the basis for a legal malpractice claim against you. Do not take a case unless you fully intend to handle it all the way through trial. If you plan to spend minimum time and money in the hope of obtaining a quick settlement, you are doing your client an extreme disservice.


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