Delivering Bad News to Clients the Ethical Way with Kathleen Havener [LGE 030]



No one wants to think about it but there might come a time in your legal career where you have to deliver bad news to your client – whether it’s due to a lawyer error or otherwise. How can you deliver this news to your client swiftly and ethically?

Joining me is Kathleen Havener, a lawyer at The Cullen Law Firm in Washington DC. Kathleen’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. In this episode, Kathleen shares her insight on a lawyer’s responsibility when it comes to informing the client about the legal process and delivering unfavorable news, if any should arise.

What We Discuss in This Episode:

  • How to prepare your clients when judges fail
  • How to tell your clients when you have failed
  • Is the fear of failing keeping you from being honest with your clients?
  • What can more experienced lawyers do to prepare younger lawyers for failure?
  • What are the different ways something can go wrong in the legal process?
  • What are some considerations to keep in mind when you know you have bad news to tell your client?
  • How can you explain to your clients the legal process and what effect does that have on clients making better choices?
  • What is the “Nora” Rule?
  • How you can prepare your clients for alternative outcomes should they arise?
  • Learn to take your clients “as they are” when it comes to their understanding of the law but still explain the legal process to them
  • Never delay or hide bad news from your client

Resources Mentioned:

Kathleen’s ABA article on How to Deliver Bad News to Your Client

Other articles written by Kathleen worth exploring

Contact Information:

Kathleen email:  kbh@cullenlaw.com

Phone number: (202) 298-4775

Thank you for listening!

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This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.

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