Listen To Your Client’s Story and Win

It always amazes me how lawyers never listen to anything. As a group, lawyers seem to think they are better than everyone else and certainly more intelligent than anyone. Hogwash! What a crop of crap. Lawyers may be able to memorize more than most and regurgitate everything they hear,,, but that doesn’t make them smarter or better than anyone.

I have a neighbor who has a horse that can count to 3, does that mean his horse is a genius? I’m afraid that just because many lawyers pass a test called the bar, they feel they are entitled to and must be dealt with like royalty. I say put ’em in the swamps of East Texas and let’s see. Or maybe put ’em in West Texas and see how long they survive in the heat. Maybe these “royal” folk can treat an alligator or a mountain lion with the same amount of respect they treat their clients. I can only imagine who’ll win.

Anyway, the reason I’m on such a high horse today is that very, very, very few lawyers even listen to their clients. I know what you’re saying, but it’s true. Almost everyone was made with 1 mouth and 2 ears,,, but lawyers seem to overuse their mouth and neglect their ears. Maybe every lawyer who is born from now on should have 10 mouths and no ears.

I believe that lawyers think of themselves as problem solvers extraordinaire, and that the only reason a client is seeing you is to solve their problem. Besides, the lawyer knows best,, right? I mean who else can help? So shut up and listen to what I tell you. Now I don’t know bout you, but can you imagine what would happen if doctors practice medicine like lawyers practice law?

Suppose you go to your doc with a sore throat. Now you get to his or her office and you begin to tell old sawbones what is wrong,,, but sawbones cuts you off and begins telling you what’s wrong with you. Before you know it,, you’re in the operating room and ole sawbones is fixin to cut something.. Well, isn’t that what most lawyers do?

Most lawyers I know usually can’t stand it when they have to listen to a client for more than a couple of minutes. Can you imagine what would happen if lawyers actually listen to their clients?

I say today that listening to clients is the single most important act a competent lawyer can perform. I know that when I sit in with other lawyers speaking with their clients, I usually hear what Motions the lawyers are going to file,, what steps are going to be taken and what the fee is going to be, (not necessarily in that order though).

I never hear the lawyers being silent and just listening. I once tired a case with only 2 hours preparation and won. I never met the client before the trial and during the very, very short time before trial we had together,,, all I did was listen to my client. I did not attempt to talk about what motions to file or what steps to take or my fee,, I just listened to my client. I won. Now I don’t recommend this at all, but it goes to show you that listening is more important than talking.

So there are certain listening techniques that need to be employed in order to win your case and I say that trial begins and ends with your client’s story. How can you tell your client’s story if you never bother to listen to it in the first place? Have a nice day,, I’m off to build a fence around a construction site.


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