At Smith Lehman, we believe that every person who is accused has an absolute constitutional right to a lawyer. We also believe that it is critical the accused has the right lawyer for them, and quite frankly, sometimes we are not it.
We simply cannot take all of the cases that call our office. If we did, we would not have the time to dedicate to cases and achieve the results we are known for. We go through phases where we simply cannot take another case because our case load is full. When this happens, we do have referral attorneys we work closely with that we can point you to. At other times, some of our cases will suddenly resolve at once, and we are able to take on a few more. The tides are always turning at Smith Lehman, so we have learned to just go along with the ebb and flow. We believe the Universe sends us the people we are meant to represent at the right time.
Personalities Might Not Be Compatible
Sometimes personality-wise, it’s just not a good fit. Having a close relationship with our clients is key. We end up speaking to our clients more than our family some weeks and there has to be a comfortable relationship to work together effectively. Sometimes personalities just do not vibe. Instead of trying to force the relationship, we find it is better to forward clients to someone with a personality that will be more compatible for them. And honestly, other lawyers who are perfectly capable of handling cases send us some clients as well for the same reason.
Expectations Should Be Realistic
There are also times where a client has very unrealistic expectations and goals. We find that it is far better for everyone to be blunt and honest about what the case looks like. There are lawyers who will just go along with crazy ideas and do not care about the outcome at the end of the day. We are not those lawyers. We want to have successful outcomes and we want our clients to feel confident they are making the right strategic choices. When there is a disconnect between what the client wants and what is realistic, we find it is better to be honest. Otherwise, it just creates a disappointing and stressful situation later. We always do want to hear any and all ideas our clients have when they retain us. Sometimes, without knowing it, they will tell us a game-changing fact. We will always take the time to listen and review materials, but if the overall strategy a client wants to take looks like a terrible option, we find it is only fair to them and us to be straightforward.
Finances are Different for Everyone
We also know that not every client can afford us. Because most people do not have our full retainer just laying around in an account waiting to be spent, we do give clients a reasonable amount of time to move things around and do what they need to do to come up with our retainer. We just ask that the client have a game plan to get the money other than just hope it works out. We get very connected to our clients and the last reason we want to get out of a case is due to finances. At the end of the day, however, we have to pay our staff and office overhead. We are fair and reasonable but cannot give payment plans that would make it impossible to pay our own bills. Quite frankly, no person should want a lawyer willing to do this. If they are not being paid by you, they will be stretched thin, handling too many matters, and stressing about paying their bills versus focusing on your case. This is just all-around a bad idea. Cases are hard enough.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are facing an allegation of criminal sexual conduct we are happy to consult with you to see if we are the right fit. We are happy to answer your questions. Even if you decide to go with another lawyer, there may be bits and pieces you learn from us that help your case overall. Too many people are falsely convicted in sex cases, so defense lawyers are usually great about collaborating and helping one another. We are happy to meet with you to determine if we are the right fit. We also do have to warn everyone who calls that sometimes we simply cannot take a case because of our caseload. It is not something you should take personally, and we will always try to point you to a lawyer who will probably be a better option.