Dec 22, 2022 • 50M

How To Be A Good Client

Not just for Ken's sanity.

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An irreverent podcast about the law from Josh Barro and Ken White.
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Dear listeners,

For the last Serious Trouble episode of 2022, we have something a little different.

We talk a lot on this show about bad clients — people in legal trouble who disregard advice, talk when they should shut up, and generally make their lawyers' lives miserable while increasing their own odds of facing a large judgment award or ending up in prison for a good, long time. You know, clients like Sam Bankman-Fried and Donald Trump.

So we thought it would be good to talk about what it takes to be a good client. If you're in legal trouble, what can you do to ensure you leverage your lawyer's skills to get a good outcome, instead of driving him or her to distraction and shooting yourself in the foot?

I talked with Ken about the steps — from deciding you need a lawyer, to shutting up until you've talked to your lawyer, to finding the right lawyer and persuading him or her to take you on, to building an effective partnership that serves your legal goals.

Some of the tips (like "tell your lawyer the truth") seem straightforward but cut against human nature, and especially the human nature of many people who find themselves needing criminal lawyers. Other issues involve harder trade-offs, like figuring out what to do when continuing in your business activities threatens to compound your legal trouble. These are the sorts of hard questions where it's especially important to have a lawyer who understands the issues you face and whose advice you're prepared to heed.

We hope you don't end up needing the advice in this episode, but... well, you never know, do you?

Let us know in the comments if you have any follow-up questions. Have a Merry Christmas, and we'll see you in January.

Josh

Click here for a transcript of this episode.