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When Good Attorneys Have to Deliver Bad News

A recent Court of Appeals decision confirms what we have told clients for years: Not every case is a good case. When you hire our firm to assist you in resolving your legal issue, the first thing we do is investigate and uncover the facts surrounding your specific circumstances. On occasion, once we uncover the facts, we recommend against the action you want to pursue.

You’ve heard the expression, “Don’t throw good money after bad.” In our experience, pursuing a case based on bad facts is only going to end in aggravation. We believe a good lawyer will be honest with you and try to guide you in the direction of an outcome you can accept. After all, the facts are the facts, and neither you nor your attorney created the facts that led to the event you’re unhappy about. A good lawyer will do a thorough job of understanding the facts of the situation and the law that governs those facts. From that platform of understanding the facts and the law, it is our job to help you understand the importance of what we’ve uncovered and how the law will treat your unique set of facts in a courtroom.
While we don’t like telling clients they have no case, it’s not in your best interest for us to go into court with a case that stands little to no chance of succeeding. And even knowing we could earn tens of thousands of dollars by  pursuing your case through trial, we will not counsel you to pursue a predictably bad outcome, especially one for which you will lose tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees to get there. So you can understand why one of the hardest recommendations we can make is that you throw in the towel, but to recommend anything else would betray our deepest commitment – to represent you, our client, to the best of our ability as your honest and trusted legal counsel.
This said, even faced with facts that will not prevail at trial or gain you the outcome you desired when you sought our services, many times we can still find a solution that is better than walking away. We know that most judges refer all their cases to mediation. In mediation, a skilled mediator can find an out-of-court resolution to the issues at hand, and those resolutions depend on the facts of the case and the parties involved. Sometimes restoring family harmony is more important than fussing about who got what in a will. Other times, family harmony is not important, and who got what is all that matters. Whatever the specific case, a skilled mediator can help craft a solution that does not involve a full-blown trial (and the attorney’s fees associated with it).
At Hughes & Associates, our priority is to deliver the best outcome given the facts of your case. But we know that not all cases have good facts, and we’ll deliver that bad news when we have to. A relationship built on honesty and trust is the most you can hope for with your law firm. Hughes & Associates will deliver that, every time.

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