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5 Reasons a Law Firm Won't Take Your Case

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Want a big law firm to take your case, but disappointed that they won't?

Don't feel bad, even the rich and powerful seem to have trouble getting law firms to represent them sometimes.

So why isn't any lawyer or law firm you reach out to interested in your lawsuit? Here are five potential reasons why they won't take your case:

1. Money, Money, Money.

You may be able to get some free legal help in some cases, but most law firms expect to be paid. There are a number of fee agreements that firms may be willing to work out, but they aren't required to be flexible. Firms may also not feel your potential recovery amount will be enough to justify their fees.

If a firm treats you like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," don't let it discourage you from pursuing your case. Just find another firm that will take you as you are.

2. Bad Publicity.

Firms may also turn you down if they believe you'll tarnish their image. For example, TMZ reports that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been rejected by at least eight law firms in his quest to sue the NBA because they think he's "toxic."

If your case (or your own publicity) has the potential to scare away a firm's current clients, you may have trouble finding someone to represent you.

3. Conflict(s) of Interest.

Law firms may turn down potential clients because doing so would conflict with a current client. Lawyers have ethical duties not to represent clients with adverse interests. Similarly, if a lawyer is related (professionally or by blood) to a party in your case, that can also be seen as a conflict.

4. Not a Good Enough Case.

One of the questions you should always ask in a consultation with a firm is, "How strong is my case?" After evaluating the facts, a firm may decide that your case isn't likely to win if you take it to court. Since many firms have reputations to protect, they may only take cases that they deem likely to prevail, either in trial or settlement.

Remember, no firm is obligated to take you on as a client.

5. They're Just Not That Into You.

Taking on a new client means starting a new working relationship for a law firm. If the firm's attorneys perceive you to be hard to work with, obnoxious, or abrasive, then they may choose to pass on your case.

Of course, if at first you don't succeed in finding a law firm, you can always try again. Don't waste too much time on those who won't represent you: Head to FindLaw's lawyer directory to look for an experienced law firm that will take your case.

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