If You Refuse to Take On a Difficult Client

The best practice is to send a non-engagement letter when you decide not to represent someone. This advice applies to all clients, but is particularly relevant for difficult clients because they are more likely to have unreasonable expectations or misunderstandings, and to be unhappy with you. Make sure:

  • the letter is precisely worded;
  • you inform the person that neither you (nor your firm) are representing him or her;
  • you warn the person about issues such as impending limitation periods; and
  • you return the person’s file or documents and if necessary, confirm you will not be responding to the person’s communications in the future.

Sample non-engagement letters can be found here.