12.4 Do You Have to Act for a Difficult Client?
Do you have to act for a difficult client? The short answer is "no". While the answer is simple, it is sometimes difficult to apply in practice because:
- you might not immediately identify the person as being difficult;
- you might worry that turning away any client is bad for business;
- you might feel passionate about the person's cause and fail to consider the consequences of acting for the client; or
- you might think you can handle a difficult client.
The issue often arises in criminal defense and family law cases. While it is sometimes difficult for these clients to find legal representation, you are not obligated to take the file. It is good practice, however, to assist the person in finding another lawyer by providing them with referrals or other resources that may be useful to them in the circumstances, such as Lawyer Referral Service or pro bono legal clinics, if appropriate.