When you’re hired to make an initial case evaluation, make sure you have an understanding with the client that, if you find that the case lacks merit, you won’t provide any further representation on it. A case may seem compelling to the client, but you may see a fatal flaw. Explaining this can be uncomfortable, but it’s critical that you do so in a termination letter that clearly states your position.
When a prospective client brings you a case, they’ll want to know immediately what you think. It’s rarely possible or wise to give a firm, unqualified opinion as to the likelihood of success, or even to recommend a particular course of action at the first meeting. But you can and should outline possible results, risks, costs, timing, and alternatives.