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The worst client ever

By March 29, 2019October 13th, 2020law, Marketing

He was an evil, despicable man.

I knew it the day I met him, which long before he was convicted of battery on a woman in a bar.

What kind of “battery” exactly?

Well, here’s what the Louisiana Court of Appeals wrote in its opinion

“…and as she was lying on the floor on her back, defendant immediately took two steps and stomped on [her] face five or six times with the heel of his shoe.” See court opinion at pg. 5 (La. 1st Cir 2008) (emphasis added)

So, THAT kind of battery.

Not good, right?

No it wasn’t. Obviously.

Having Bad Clients Sucks

Yes this guy was evil.

And I could see that pretty much the entire time I represented him (even though he hadn’t stomped a woman in a bar back then).

I completely hated him from day one. And yet, I had to represent him.

Why?

Because I worked in a big firm and didn’t have my own clients. So whomever I was told to represent was who I had to represent.

The firm was supposedly picky about which clients they took on.

But as you can see they let a few clunkers slip in.

According to the firm, though, he wasn’t a clunker.

He was a “successful business man” who sent us steady stream of work.

Guess why?

Yep, you guessed it.

He was always in trouble because he couldn’t get along with anyone. So yeah, he was always in litigation.

Ding, ding, ding…cashflow galore!!!

But…

He was a pain in the ass to deal with (go figure!).

And if we had to use him as a witness in trial? Oh boy.

Judges didn’t like him. Jurors didn’t trust him.

But opposing counsel loved him. Because cross examining him was like shooting fish in a barrel.

So he wasn’t a helpful witness. But he insisted on being allowed to testify, so we did.

Of course, when we lost the case it was never his fault.

Yeah, this guy was bad news from day one.

But…

He paid his bills.

Eventually.

Reluctantly.

And never on time (of course).

So the firm kept doing work for him.

And unfortunately I was one of the poor schmucks that had to do the work.

But I learned a valuable lesson from my evil client (and the other clients who weren’t evil, but were still not enjoyable to work with)

So…

When I went out on my own I resolved to NEVER represent anyone that I didn’t respect or enjoy working with.

Period. No exceptions.

Sure, it meant I couldn’t take just any client who walked in the door and was willing to pay.

But it was worth it because I kept my sanity.

And my integrity.

Moral of the story: When you take on crappy clients it’s debilitating on many levels.

So, don’t do that.

How?

First of all, make sure you come up with a classification system for clients. (Here’s mine if you want to get an idea)

Then make sure you’re marketing to the ideal client you most want to serve.



P.S. If you appreciate my observations, you might want to join my inner circle.
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