Greedy Tip of the Week: Due Diligence Matters More Than Money
While it is always exciting when a new, potentially big money client asks to sit down with you, attorneys need to be aware of potential red flags. As over a dozen lawyers learned, two of the biggest red flags include big financial figures from anonymous sources and hidden cameras.
However, as the ABA Journal's report explains, due diligence matters big time. Of the 16 attorneys put to the test in the 2016 investigation, only 1 was savvy enough to see the red flags and turn down the client at the first meeting.
Due Diligence Keeps You Free
As Bloomberg Law warns, if you don't want to get arrested, lose your license, and spend time behind bars, then do your due diligence, every time for every client, and be even more diligent when there are red flags.
While there are rules as to what an attorney needs to do before accepting representation of any client, as prominent attorney Doug Richmond explained, "you can't regulate against desperation, naivete [and] vulnerability." Lawyers suffering through the famine portion of the feast and famine cycle need to bear in mind that a short term financial boon isn't worth it if there are serious long-term risks.
Due Diligence Boosts Reputation
If it becomes known that you do not take on clients that do not meet your rigorous standards, it could actually be a boon for your business. Two of the most important qualities clients care about in their lawyers are transparency and reliability. Clients want to be sure that when they hire an attorney, the client will know what the attorney is doing, know what they are paying for, and that the attorney will actually be able to get the job done they were hired to do.
While the first two items on this list deal with an attorney's ability to communicate, the last one is heavily influenced by how well an attorney performs due diligence at the outset, before accepting representation. Simply put, the more you research a client and case before taking it on, the less likely you are to take on a loser.
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