Is My Retained Civilian Lawyer Doing What He Should Be

One of my all-time least favorite questions to be asked in a consult is an invitation to comment on another civilian practitioner. In my mind, that is a topic for a candid conversation to be having with one’s retained lawyer. Because chances are if the potential client is asking it, then there are doubts. It is not for me to get in between that lawyer and his client. Period.

I am also savvy to realize that callers will pick and choose the information they impart to shape the answer they receive. I don’t play games or suffer fools, and I am not going there with anyone. Is the other retained civilian counsel doing what I would be? Again, I have no idea. I cannot tell fortunes, and I cannot practice telepathy. It is too speculative and invites unethical answers. I won’t even quote a fee to the client of another lawyer. Nope. Not me. Our community is small, and I have more business than I can (or will) accept. I do not need the community to view me as someone who needs or wants to be poaching anyone else’s clients.

There are many questions I can answer, but some I won’t go near. I get it – the anxiety of the unknown is the brainchild for these and other queries, and my answers or comments here should never be construed as insensitivity. If anything, quite the opposite. I believe it is genuinely unkind to answer questions that no one can answer. There is a need to lean into the unknown. It is critically why the relationship between client and attorney should include a level of intimate trust. Without that trust, all anxieties and doubt will give way to pandemonium.

A client should trust in the effort and capability of his lawyer, and not in the process. Trust in the process is what largely lands us the Firm’s appellate clients. Tragically.

So, while I don’t have a crystal ball, I understand the desire clients have for one. Instead, I will continue to walk a path of boundaries cradled by empathy. For military justice

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