How to Tell a Client You Screwed Up

Randall Ryder provides 5 key steps on how to approach a client if you make a ‘minor mistake or a venti-triple-shot mistake’ in their case. At the end of the day, he suggests that you put it behind you. Check out his tips on how to deal with clients after you make a mistake that could potentially cost you.

The article begins as follows:

As a lawyer, most of your mistakes affect the lives of others. But no matter how much you charge, you will make mistakes.

Fortunately, not every mistake results in the sky falling, and many are correctable. Regardless of how big (or little) the mistake is, here’s how to fall on your sword and tell your client.

Prevention Is the Best Cure

You can minimize the opportunity for mistakes by avoiding bad clients and staying with your practice area niche.

Bad clients tend to do bad things. They may push you to approach a case in a different way. They may push you to pursue a certain argument or legal theory that you don’t believe in. Or maybe they just drive you crazy and cause undue stress. A bad client will cloud your judgment, which will only result in bad decisions for everyone.

While straying from your niche can be a great learning experience, it is also a path filled with landmines. Even a “basic” will package is not all that basic if you’ve never drafted one before. Sure, you can figure it out. But what you don’t know will hurt you, will probably get you fired, and could result in an ethics complaint or malpractice claim. The next time someone calls you with a great complex IP lawsuit in federal court, politely decline unless that is what you do.

However, even if you follow that advice, you are still going to make mistakes. Here’s how you should handle them.

Find the article here

Posted by Pooja Shivaprasad, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal


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