Good For The Lawyer, Bad For The Client

That which passes for the "usual" injury lawyer advertising these days really irks me. The cheesy, money grubbing feel of much of this advertising is downright demeaning and insulting, not only to other lawyers but to the clients as well. If I see one more television ad that features flashing sirens and the sounds of breaking glass and squealing tires, I think my head will explode.

The latest fad among personal injury lawyer ads is to promise to settle the client's case "without ever going to court", or "to settle the case quickly". I don't know how any lawyer who says they represent folks injured by the wrongs of others can even think like that, let alone trumpet it on the airwaves. And here's what's wrong with it- by settling the case quickly and without pressing it in court, the client is usually cheated out of a great deal of money. Why? Because the insurance company for the responsible party is not going to pay up the full, true value of the client's case unless and until they are forced to do it. And the only way to force them to do it is to take them to court and take the time and effort necessary to twist their arm hard enough until they pay- either through a jury verdict or a fair settlement after the case has been worked up for trial.

Why would any lawyer promise to do this for a client? Simple. The lawyer wants to put in the minimum time and effort on the case to maximize his/her profit, without giving a hoot that it is not in the client's best interest. Think the lawyers who make those promises explain to the client that it is not a good idea to resolve their case quickly? Of course not. After all, it's good for the lawyer and bad for the client.