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How A Civil Lawyer Can Hurt His Client's Case

Posted by Alvin Wolff | Oct 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

With the Michael Brown tragedy, a lot of media attention is on St. Louis.  With that attention comes an out of town lawyer representing the Brown family.   At every chance he gets, he cheers the good evidence and trashes the bad with public comments picked up by the media.  Historically, I can't think of a national lawyer coming in to St. Louis and doing well.   F. Lee Bailey and Melvin Belli   tried with dismal results.   Giant corporations with all the money in the world will bring in the meanest and nastiest defense lawyers who practice nationally;  they usually lose as well.   I can think of Suzuki and Tobacco right off the top of my head who made a mess of their cases in the Lou. 

If a lawyer wants to influence public opinion, he must begin his quest in a non adversarial manner.   At the outset, the lawyer has no credibility and rightly so.  Why would anybody believe what we have to say?  What have we done to influence you to have any trust in what we have to say?   There is no trust yet; no reason to believe.   Our job is to present the facts in a neutral manner.  The public or the jury will then come his or her own conclusions.  If we give our message correctly and truthfully, the public or the jury will begin to trust the lawyer.   With trust comes credibility.  If I say believe me, I'm a lawyer, what does that do for you before you know anything about me?   For those of you who know me, you may not belive any thing I say, at any time, ever!  This though is not for you.  

Once there is trust and credibility, the lawyer is safe to begin advocating.   If he starts advocacy right from the beginning, he may as well go home because there's little chance of a win for his client. 

About the Author

Alvin Wolff

Alvin has been in practice for nearly 40 years. During that time, he has handled over 7000 cases and claims and has tried over 100 cases to a jury verdict. Alvin handles all sorts of injury claims, from car crashes, medical malpractice, slip & trip & falls, to dog bites, incorrect prescri...


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