You’ve probably heard radio ads, watched TV commercials, and read huge billboards inviting you to hire this or that attorney because he or she is “aggressive”; and yes, my own website invites you to do the same. But what does it really mean to have an “aggressive” attorney? And how does that benefit you?
As a family law attorney in South Florida, on a daily basis, I deal with attorneys on the opposite side who claim to be aggressive. Unfortunately, some of them don’t even understand the definition of that term. They believe that it means an attorney should be rude, uncivil, and unapproachable. What’s even worse is that some of them believe that it means that an attorney should reject every settlement offer, contest every issue in the case, and file a ton of frivolous motions and pleadings “to stay on the offensive,” regardless of whether such bad faith conduct is in their clients’ best interest.
But who benefits from such bad faith conduct? No one. Such conduct may help that “aggressive” attorney’s ego in the short term, but I’m not so sure it will in the long term when his/her clients run away after receiving that legal bill for all the frivolous motions and pleadings that the attorney has prepared, filed, and prosecuted on the clients’ behalf.
The true meaning of being an aggressive attorney is to be aggressive in pursuing the client’s best interests. Every attorney should make that his or her priority and conduct him/herself accordingly. Being aggressive means to thoroughly examine the client’s case and seek the best outcome in the most affordable way. Being aggressive means to properly prepare for court appearance and make your best arguments at hearing or trial. Being aggressive means advising the client to accept a settlement offer when you believe that it could probably be the best outcome in the client’s case. Being aggressive means to constantly communicate with the client to keep the client informed and updated. Being aggressive means being honest with the client about the strength of his/her case. Being aggressive means being available to meet with the client when necessary. Being aggressive means to remain knowledgeable by continuing to educate yourself about the law, including the most recent court decisions relevant to your client’s case. Being aggressive means doing your best to keep your client’s legal fees under control.
I can go on and on. But to sum it all up, being aggressive means being intelligent, knowledgeable, ethical, and affordable. And that’s exactly what our clients expect of us.