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6 Reasons Why an Attorney May Decline Your Case


If you have ever faced a legal need, you probably gained an understanding of the benefits behind interviewing multiple attorneys. But have you considered that the attorney was doing the same?


Think about it, they took time to analyze your case and you, as a client. They asked probing questions and built rapport. And during that meeting they were weighing risks and rewards of the case. Keep in mind, client-attorney relationships are business transactions and should be mutually beneficial. If an attorney declines your case, it's important to understand it’s not personal. Here are the top reasons an attorney may decline a case.



1. Financial Risks

Attorneys charge for time spent on a case. This could be by-the-hour, contingency, flat fees, or retainers. Every case has a cost associated with it. From court fees, depositions, and time spent with the client, the attorney weighs the risks against the rewards involved with each case. If damages are unattainable or less than the overall case cost, they may decline.


For example, if an attorney offers a contingency fee agreement, like the Bertling Law Group, they are taking on a large financial risk. In these contracts, the attorney assumes all billable hours and costs. Only upon case resolution and obtaining monetary compensation does the client pay for legal services. If the result was unfavorable, the client pays nothing.


2. Conflict of Interest

Every attorney takes a code of ethics when practicing law. If an attorney works a case where a conflict of interest exists, they risk losing their license. For example, if you propose a case and the attorney represented the defendant in the past, a conflict of interest arises. All attorneys must remain unbiased in order to make sound judgements towards the pursuit of law.


For example, Peter Bertling of Bertling Law Group has defended health care providers in medical malpractice actions for more that 30 years. He now represents injured parties in medical malpractice actions against health care providers, and instead of defending them, he sues them. It would be a conflict of interest for Bertling Law Group to sue a health care provider they have previously represented.


3. Expertise

As you meet with different attorneys, you will find some lack the experience needed for a favorable outcome. For example, you would not hire a patent attorney for a worker’s comp case. When an attorney examines your needs, they are matching their own experiences and knowledge. If the two do not align, most likely they will decline the case.


4. Allotted Time

Whether you choose to work with a small, mid-size, or large firm, all attorneys have existing caseloads. If your case is estimated to take up more time than they have allotted, they may decline. This is not personal, rather noble. They want to ensure quality service and build a good rapport with each client.


Bertling Law Group never wants to represent itself as a mill, because we’re not! We only handle a limited number of cases because we want to devote our full attention to the clients we have and dedicate our resources to their cases.


5. Client Reputation

When researching attorneys, did you take the time to learn about them? If yes, then you understand that goes both ways. Taking on a high risk client, one who may be a serial litigator or caused issues with other attorneys, they may decline your case. Attorney networks run deep, especially within their jurisdiction. They may not hesitate to ask fellow colleagues about your background based on past court records. This helps them determine if you are a right fit for their firm.


6. Strengths and Weakness In Your Case

All cases are different even if they appear similar and straight forward. One role the attorney plays when consulting with a potential client, is understanding the ins and outs of their specific needs. For example they may ask:

  • What evidence would help the case have success?

  • Are there credible witnesses to attest to what occurred?

  • What weaknesses are present?

  • Will a jury find reasonable doubt in the defendant's case?


Just because you are the potential client, doesn’t mean the attorney will refrain from weighing the risks of a case. All court cases should be strong even when not airtight. It is the job of the attorney to convince the jury and/or judge that you be awarded damages based on tangible evidence.


All in all, if an attorney turns you away it is not without good reason. Again, this is not personal but professional. In the long run, this type of honesty will build respect and rapport between you and them for potential future needs.


Are you ready to tell your story?

Peter Bertling and Bertling Law Group’s goal is to provide a high level of uncompromising, compassionate representation to people going through the worst experiences of their life.


If you’re ready to make the first steps towards moving forward, please contact us. We want to hear your story. Your first consultation with us is free and our firm takes all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning you owe nothing unless we collect compensation on your case. Working together, we can find answers to what went wrong, get you maximum compensation for your injuries, and prevent future harm from happening to others. Call Peter Bertling and Bertling Law Group today at 844-295-7558 or send us an email.

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