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Am I a Go Ahead Get Along Type Lawyer?

Burdine & Brown Nov. 6, 2019

Elijah Cummings, Democratic Congressman for Baltimore, recently died. He was in Congress for many years. Those who were in Congress with him, both Republicans and Democrats, are now praising him publicly.

Many of the comments from the Republican side go like this: “While we disagreed with him on almost every issue, at the end of the day we could still be good friends. We all love America,” said former Congressman for Utah, Jason Chavitz. Another current Republican Congressman, Mark Meadows, said in public on October 28, 2019 that he, too, did not agree with Congressman Cumming on virtually all issues yet he felt that a great friend of his had died.

Lawyers have many myths that swirl around them. One myth is that lawyers who oppose each other in court, and fight vigorously for their client's position, will be fast friends after the courtroom battle is over. They will go have a beer together after the courtroom fight.

This may be time for a select group of attorneys. I find it very difficult to be “buddies” or friends with those lawyers who assist the insurance companies by delaying and denying my client's benefits in any manner whatsoever.

How do you “get along with” those who clearly advocate for legal position that are indefensible but do so anyway? Here is why: they don't want to lose their insurance client's business.

I may come across as sounding like a difficult person to get along with during the litigation battle of a case. Well, so be it. That is true! I must zealously represent my clients within the bounds of the law.

The objective of the insurance company and their legion of lawyers is not to make my client feel good but to squeeze my clients by delaying and denying services, with their well-thought-out legal tactics.

I will not be a “back-slapping, get along with everybody” attorney. I have one goal: to assist my client as best I can.

In politics I may need to be different. Politics is about compromise of positions to reach a common good, a consensus. It is the way our government works.

I have no common goal with the insurance company and their lawyers. How can I unless that goal is to compromise my client's claim? That will not happen so long as I represent the injured and the disabled.

I can be both polite and gentlemanly. This can be done while being a strong advocate for my client. But the passions come from within.

Representation of the injured and disabled is like a war. As the lawyer, I must “put it all” on the line in helping my clients. This is not a game or a business as so many lawyers seem to think it is. Stand tall and do not compromise on the issues unless it is truly to your client's advantage.