Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

# 61. They try to talk you out of suing

The Gathering Storm - The First Visit to Your Lawyer
If your living room looks a little untidy, are you the sort of person who starts cleaning in the attic? It is easy to approach a legal dispute from the wrong angle and become overwhelmed.

Here are three reasons why you delay in seeing your lawyer:

1. You decide to work on the problem yourself- 3am is always a good time for this sort of reflection.
2. You want to organise every last page of detail-letters, emails, diagrams, photos to give your lawyer the clearest picture.
3. You have another go at getting your adversary to see sense, which fails.

Some people don’t do all this. They go to their lawyers early, get the advice and are often able to avoid the legal dispute and move on. Dull I know.

A lawyer may approach the first interview in three stages:

Stage 1
• What damage have you really suffered? He doesn’t care about the ins and out of how you have been shafted only the consequences.
• Is there a cheaper or alternative method of getting what you want as opposed to legal action?
Stage 2 If legal action is the only solution:
• Can you prove it? Start from a position of strength or you are likely to lose.
• Can you gather more evidence? Hopefully you have left the door open to interacting with your adversary.
Stage 3 A reality check:
• Do you want to spend the cash? You may decide to spend the money on a holiday instead.
• Do you have the grit that litigation requires? More than aggression it requires time and hard work.

All this can often be done in a thirty minute initial interview. There will be plenty of time for 3am consideration and mind numbing detail later, if that is necessary.

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