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 to make your intentions clear. This advice applies to all potential clients, but is particularly relevant for difficult clients because they are more likely to have unreasonable expectations, to misunderstand, and to be unhappy with you. Make sure that in your written non-engagement letter you:
  • use clear and precise language;
  • clearly inform the person that neither you (nor your firm) are representing him or her;
  • caution the person about issues such as impending limitation periods;
  • return any file or documents that the person may have left with you; and
  • when necessary, confirm that you will not be responding to the person’s communications in the future.
Sample non-engagement letters can be found here.