Beware Of Lawyers Who Guarantee Results

By Philip R. Brown

Lawyers Cannot Guarantee Results. I don't care how good your lawyer claims to be, he or she cannot guarantee the outcome of your case. It just cannot be done. I frequently hear potential clients claim that another lawyer said, in the initial interview, that their case is a "slam dunk".

Indeed, personal injury victims have even informed me of apparently psychic attorneys that can place a value on their injuries before the attorney has even reviewed medical records.

Prospective clients should be very wary of lawyers who promise too much in the first interview.

Lawyers cannot predict the future. If a lawyer has the telepathic ability to guarantee your outcome, and you are absolutely certain that she is not lying to you, then hire that lawyer. In fact, if she has psychic power, you should also ask her to select your next investment.

In reality, a lawyer meeting you for the first time, cannot accurately predict the outcome of your case. There are literally hundreds of variables that will effect your case, many of which cannot possibly be determined in the initial meeting. For example, what kind of witness will you be?

You may be perfectly charming in the initial interview, yet fall apart under the pressure of prolonged litigation. How strong a witness will your opponent be? Has the attorney reviewed all of the material documents in your case? In my twenty one years of legal practice, I have had very few cases in which the potential client brought all material documents to the initial interview. Yet, without reviewing all of the material documents, it is virtually impossible to predict the outcome of a commercial case. If it is a personal injury matter, what do the medical reports say about the victim's injuries? It is virtually impossible to accurately value a personal injury claim without reviewing the extent of the physical injuries, as reflected in those reports.

If your potential attorney makes elaborate promises about the outcome of your case in your initial interview, you should not be happy, you should be concerned. An experienced, honest attorney will admit that there is no guarantee in our imperfect legal system. A lawyer that is upfront with you, and who knows what she is doing, will never value a case before examining all of the evidence.

When selecting an attorney, see who gives you straight advice. Often the best lawyer for you is the one who is honest enough to tell you the weaknesses as well as the strengths in your case. You wouldn't trust a doctor who told you that smoking was good for your lungs. Don't shop for the lawyer who is most willing to tell you what you want to hear.

Hawaii trial attorney Philip R. Brown has over twenty years experience in civil litigation. Mr. Brown has the highest legal ability/ethical rating in Martindale-Hubbell and may be found in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers under the subject matters Civil Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, and Personal Injury. His website is

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