In my legal nurse consulting career I’ve met attorneys who I’ve loved and attorneys who I didn’t. But one of the most important lessons I learned came from seeing two attorneys who had just been going after each other in the courtroom like two raging bulls, casually scheduling a golf game and laughing together outside the courthouse at the end of the day.
The lesson that these two ruthless opponents could be friends caused me to rethink my own encounters with opposing attorneys, “Why not turn those adversaries into clients?”
Here are five ways Certified Legal Nurse Consultants can easily turn opposing attorneys from adversaries to the most treasured of assets – new clients.
- See the opposing attorney as an opportunity. Contrary to popular belief, the opposing attorney is not your enemy. If you do a stellar job from the opposite side of the litigation table, the opposing attorney is a potential client. This attorney gets to see you in action – there’s no easier way to sell yourself as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant than delivering a stellar performance under pressure.
- Don’t take anything personally. When the opposing attorney is grilling you, he is merely doing his job. For example, if the attorney challenges your credentials and qualifications as an expert witness, don’t take it personally. Nothing is personal, even when it feels personal. It’s all business. You’re in the legal nurse consulting business. The attorney is in the business of lawyering. Business is simply that, business.
- Conduct yourself professionally at all times. Never get down in the dirt with the opposing attorney even if he’s desperately trying to take you there. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, “Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and the pig likes it.” When you encounter the attorney at breaks, be friendly and professional. Never act put out or annoyed. The more professional you are, the more the attorney recognizes that you know how to conduct yourself in the legal world.
- Contact the opposing attorney when the time is right, preferably after the case has resolved either by settlement or trial verdict. Offer your CLNC® services while you’re still fresh in the attorney’s mind. Attorneys quickly move on to their other cases. Remind the attorney how and where you met.
- Knock your performance out of the park. You want the attorney to be thinking “I sure wish I had been the one to hire this Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. I’m not making this mistake again!” When you have the attorney regretting that he’s not the one who retained you, you’ll find yourself on his side of the fence for his next case.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “us against them” mentality while under the pressure of a deposition or trial testimony, but if you keep your cool and use these five methods for turning opposing attorneys into clients, you’ll soon be turning adversaries into assets.
I’m Just Sayin’
P.S. Comment and share your methods for turning opposing attorneys into clients for your legal nurse consulting business.