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Never Let a Client Go to Bed Angry

Lots of marriage therapists tell married couples never to let their spouse go to bed angry. If there is a dispute or marital discord, many therapists tell couples to resolve it before they go to bed.

Otherwise, the view is that anger is left unresolved. When anger is left unresolved, it can result in resentment. It can result in fights and disagreements over other issues. Many marriage therapists swear by the saying that you should never let your spouse go to bed angry.

This is a good metaphor for lawyer and client relationships. What if a lawyer accepted the viewpoint that they should never let their client go to bed angry? What kind of difference might this make in terms of lawyer and client relationships?

For lots of lawyers, it is hard when the client sends an email or leaves a voice mail where they are upset. They might feel as if they are working very hard for the client. They might feel like they are giving it their all. They might feel like they have done a great job.

Many lawyers are also averse to touchy situations. When a client is upset, it makes them uncomfortable. They might be non-confrontational by nature. They might feel like it will blow over. They might have other pressing legal matters that demand their attention. Thus, they may not address the client’s concern right away.

When this happens, anger can build. The client can become resentful. It can result in the client becoming upset about all kinds of ancillary matters that do not pertain to what they were initially upset about.

Ultimately, this can be deadly to the attorney-client relationship. This can result in clients not referring friends and family members. But even worse, it can result in complaints. It can result in grievances. It can result in online bad reviews or the lawyer being fired from the case. Minimally, it can result in the client saying bad things and being unhappy after the case is over.

In the end, lawyers should really live by the motto that they should never let a client go to bed angry. If the client is upset, the lawyer should reach out to them right away. They should listen to their concerns as soon as possible. And then they should address these concerns the best the lawyer can. This might mean informing the client about the law. It might mean explaining the pros and cons of various situations. It could entail giving them updates. Or, it might just mean listening to their concerns and offering genuine concern.

If a lawyer is tied up in court or stuck dealing with other matters, even sending the client a quick email that the lawyer received their message, but that they are going to get back with them as soon as they can, can be enough to make all the difference. That can ensure that the client knows that the lawyer cares and will address the concern. Often, this might mean calling the client after-hours to discuss the situation with them.

Lawyers who do this can often nip unhappy client situations in the bud. By merely reacting quickly and showing genuine caring, many unhappy client situations can be alleviated before they spin out of control. For this reason, lawyers should live by the motto that they should never let their clients go to bed angry.

Kirk C. Stange

Kirk C. Stange is a founding partner of Stange Law Firm, PC. Stange Law Firm, PC has offices in the Midwest in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. In addition to practicing law, Kirk spends time educating attorneys and other law professionals at CLE Seminars through the Missouri Bar, myLawCLE, the National Business Institute and other organizations. Learn more at: https://www.stangelawfirm.com.

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesPersonal Development

About the Author: Kirk C. Stange is a founding partner of Stange Law Firm, PC. Stange Law Firm, PC has offices in the Midwest in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. In addition to practicing law, Kirk spends time educating attorneys and other law professionals at CLE Seminars through the Missouri Bar, myLawCLE, the National Business Institute and other organizations. Learn more at: https://www.stangelawfirm.com.

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