Question of the Week

Has a Case or a Client Ever Made You Fear for Your Life?


We have posted a couple of sad stories in recent weeks about lawyers who have been killed apparently in the course of their work on divorce cases. Last month, a California lawyer was shot along with her divorce client in a diner during a court recess, allegedly by the client’s estranged husband. Last week, an Idaho lawyer was killed after he filed divorce papers on behalf of a client; the client’s husband has since been charged with first-degree murder.

Lawyers working with clients in crisis can find themselves in the sights of desperate individuals. Thankfully, though, tragedies such as these from recent weeks are relatively rare.

This week, we’d like to ask you: Has a case or a client ever made you fear for your life? Did your fears turn out to have a serious basis? If so, how did you manage to protect yourself?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: In Your Experience, Are Performance Reviews Objective and Fair?

Featured answer:

Posted by Hadley V. Baxendale: “What I found most unfair about performance reviews and other subjective evaluations, was the use of a single incident to represent a failing. Not to sound like the famous Italian bridge builder, but if one client complained about your approach, even if the complaint was unfair, it became ‘the clients complain about his approach.’ You miss a deadline (yes, everyone does) and it becomes ‘he misses deadlines,’ and the anecdote resurfaces year after year. But really, isn’t that how one’s reputation works in any circumstance, fair or not?”

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