Last week I shared 16 things a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant should never say to an attorney-prospect. I hope you’re already using their sage advice with prospects. There are also things we should never say to our clients, so this week, six CLNC® consultants disclose 12 comments Certified Legal Nurse Consultants should avoid with attorney-clients. Maybe you’ve been tempted to make one or two of these 12 comments yourself. Read on to learn why you want to always avoid them.
- Never challenge an attorney on the legal issues of the case. You’re the expert in nursing. The attorney is an expert on the law. Stick with your expertise and the attorney will respect you more than if you play amateur lawyer.
- Never agree to meet a deadline when you know that you can’t. Be true to yourself and transparent with your attorney-client to strengthen the professional relationship.
– Suzanne E. Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC
- Don’t talk about your personal life. And don’t probe about the attorney’s personal life. Though I avoid discussions about my personal life, an attorney deposing me asked, “How does it feel to have four granddaughters?” I was floored. I never post personal things on social media. I don’t know where he found the information, but this situation proves how powerful the Internet is and illustrates how careful we must be with posting personal information on the Internet.
– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC
- Don’t say you can’t meet a deadline. If you’re serious about being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and serious about your reputation, you will do whatever it takes to meet deadlines. The attorney who sees you go above and beyond gains confidence in you and trusts that you can consult on other matters.
- Don’t highlight that a case is not within your specialty. Subcontract with another Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and/or request CLNC Mentoring. Be honest with an attorney-client about what you don’t know, but do emphasize that you have access to thousands of CLNC consultants in a variety of specialties.
I work at a law office one day a week and review many different types of medical malpractice cases. I’m honest about my knowledge and experience. When I review an obstetrics case, I can easily organize and summarize the events of the case, identify what records are needed and research the case. I also recommend the specific issues the attorney should address with the physician and nurse experts.
– Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC
- Don’t just focus on yourself. Listen to the attorney and focus on her needs. Ask how you can best help the attorney represent her client – plaintiff or defense.
– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC
- Don’t change your opinions without a reason. Stand by your opinions. Unless new evidence is provided that changes your professional opinion, respectfully decline to amend your opinion and/or legal nurse consulting report.
After submitting a report to an attorney regarding a nonmeritorious case, the attorney called and asked me to reconsider my opinion. I explained why I had come to my conclusions and the attorney became frustrated and upset. After meeting with his client in person for the first time, my attorney-client called and apologized for not trusting my opinion and reported he was settling the case immediately. This attorney has become one of my most influential sources of referral. Always stay true to what you know.
- Never say you don’t know how to write a specific type of report. Ask the attorney if he has a preferred format. Consider subcontracting with another Certified Legal Nurse Consultant or request CLNC Mentoring. Never limit yourself.
- Never lie or exaggerate. Own your mistakes
– Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, PMHN, SANE, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC
- Never complain to your attorney-clients. Be professional, positive and grateful for the work.
- Never tell an attorney-client you know about something when you don’t. A legal nurse consultant told me she argued with an attorney-client about the facts of the case. Turns out, the legal nurse was wrong and hadn’t accurately evaluated the records. This cost her an attorney-client. That’s why it’s never a good idea to tell the attorney you know something that you do not.
- Never tell an attorney-client you can’t do something. If you want a thriving business, figure out a way to answer the attorney’s questions, complete the work and ensure quality work-product.
– Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC
Thanks to Suzanne, Dale, Marcia, Dorene, Robert and Michelle for sharing 12 comments Certified Legal Nurse Consultants should avoid with attorney-clients. Heed the CLNC Mentor’s advice and you’ll gain life-long professional relationships with your attorney-clients.
Success Is Yours,
P.S. Comment and share additional comments Certified Legal Nurse Consultants should avoid with attorney-clients.