Monday, July 13, 2009

Do I have a case?

Giving free consulations for most type cases has always been my policy as I like to let you know what I can do for you, if anything, before I charge you. I wish everyone had this policy. Every now and then, during a free consultation, I hear a familair case. The facts of their particular situation vary but the stories often follow a familiar theme. The person had gone to a store, restaurant, hotel or public facility and while there they were treated badly by the staff or employees. Sometimes these stories involve a slip or trip and fall, but the fall is only incidental to what is seen as the true offense, which is the ill-mannered manager, clerk or security guard. Very often these people are still fuming over the incident even though it may have been weeks before coming to see me and even though they suffered little or no physical or monetary loss.

My advice to these folks is very often to contact the better business bureau and to not return to the establishment. However, I am also direct to let them know that I do not believe it wise to pursue the matter through litigation, if that is in fact my conclusion. While it is always wise to seek a second opinion, many times, hurt feelings have little remedy under our legal system and any remedy that is available is often not worth the financial output.

Every case must be evaluated on its merits and our law does allow for claims for defamation, certain emotional distress and harassments. However, my job as an attorney is to give each consult as honest and accurate evaluation as possible. Our system also, fortuantely, allows me to decide to refuse to take cases I do not believe warrant litigation, and I have done so in the past. My experience is that, while there may be some people out there trying to game the system, most people respond well to a fair and honest evaluation of their claim.

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