While some lawyers are careful with the kind of cases they accept, others will quickly file a legal action as long as the money is good.
One of the qualities of successful lawyers is knowing when to refuse to take legal action or represent a client in court.
A lawyer should interview the client and decide whether to accept or refuse a case.
Many lawyers have gotten into trouble by filing a legal action without proper evaluation.
Some legal matters can end up becoming toxic and contaminating your life and practice.
Identifying and avoiding bad briefs is one of the ways of having a successful legal practice.
Below are types of cases and legal action that lawyers should learn to avoid.
Legal action is not cheap. Prosecuting a matter in court requires a lot of time, energy, and resources.
Before taking legal action, lawyers should ensure that the benefits of the case outweigh the cost of prosecution.
There are many costs to consider before filing a legal action in court. They include the lawyer’s professional fees, filing fees, pre-trial fees, appearance fees, witness fees, etc.
Many lawyers accept a case only to realize that the client has little or no funds to pursue the matter.
Some lawyers have been forced to either abandon a legal action or fund it because their clients cannot pay.
Except for pro bono cases, lawyers should avoid expensive matters where the client has no money to fund it.
Weak and Bad Cases.
There is a popular saying that ‘a bad case is a bad case’. A bad case is where the odds of succeeding in the matter are very slim or non-existent.
As long as there is a chance, some lawyers will take the case. However, taking chances in some cases is like gambling, and legal action is not gambling.
A weak case with no evidence makes the counsel who brings it to court look like an unserious lawyer.
Statute Barred Cases.
Some cases are just dead on arrival. Examples of such cases are those that are caught by the statute of limitation.
A statute of limitation prescribes the time within which a litigant must bring a legal action for alleged wrongdoing.
Some lawyers get carried away by the potentials and credibility of a case. They forget to do the needful by checking if the case is caught by the statute of limitation.
A lawyer may incur sanctions for bringing a legal action that is statute-barred to court.
Specialized and Technical Cases.
Law practice is a wide field with many branches. Some lawyers have chosen to specialize in some particular areas of law.
There is always a temptation for lawyers to accept all cases and try their luck so long as the pay is good. But this will only ruin your reputation.
The best thing to do when clients bring cases that require specialized knowledge is to refer them to specialists.
Cases with Little or no Facts.
To win a case in court, a lawyer must present facts and evidence that prove the truth of the matter.
Sometimes when some clients enter your law office, you discover they have no evidence to prove the alleged facts.
It, therefore, makes no sense filing a legal action where it is difficult to prove the facts.
Conflict of Interest Cases.
Experienced lawyers have learned to avoid cases where there is likely to be some conflict of interest.
A conflict of interest can arise in many ways ranging from religious, personal, moral, ethical, social, and traditional grounds.
Some lawyers for example do not handle divorce cases, no matter the amount of money the client is willing to pay.
Other lawyers will never defend a person accused of committing a particular type of crime.
A lawyer who is not comfortable handling a case, should decline or refer the matter to another lawyer.
Frivolous and Baseless Cases.
Sometimes an injured client wants to sue to get some relief for the injury suffered.
But unfortunately, it is not every injury that can be tried in court. At times the law bars people from bringing certain types of cases to court. These cases are said to be non-justiciable.
So regardless of how wronged your client may feel, if the case is non-justiciable, then he or she has no case.
Many cases in our courts are filed out of malice. Lawyers usually come across clients who insist on going to court no matter the cost.
Lawyers should be wary of cases where the only motive is to seek revenge or embarrass the other party.
A lawyer who takes legal action out of malice will get caught up in the dust that will be raised by such an action.
Anger is a negative emotion. A lawyer should be careful of embarking on such a legal journey out of anger.
Litigation is a serious business. In deciding to take a case to court, money should not be the only consideration.
Lawyers should, therefore, be careful about the kind of matter they accept. Any wrong decision can leave a big scar on their reputation.
Accepting any matter that comes your way without considering the consequences shows legal immaturity.