It is unethical for a lawyer to promise a client certain results. In Michigan, the Rules of Professional Conduct govern a lawyer’s conduct. Making promises and/or guarantees with the purpose of fraudulently inducing a client to make a decision to hire a lawyer is strictly prohibited. These tactics are unethical and dishonest.
I often visit with people and my view of the case is much brighter and more optimistic than they anticipated. But when a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney makes a promise and there is even a sliver of a chance he or she can’t keep that promise, it is self-serving, greedy and harmful to the client. Unfortunately, criminal lawyers making a promise of a dismissal, acquittal, lenient sentence, no jail, or other extraordinary results for the purpose of manipulating a potential client to hire that lawyer is more common than it should be.
Many potential clients come meet with me and express that another lawyer made a promise or a guarantee of a particular result and they ask if I can match the promise or guarantee the same result. They ask me, “If I hire you do you guarantee a dismissal?” This practice is unethical and the sign of a Michigan Criminal Defense lawyer who is either dishonest, desperate for business or just plain greedy. The fact is that anything can happen in a case. Facts often develop of the course of representation that make achieving an extraordinary result more or less likely. A great, highly experienced lawyer will have the ability to size up a case and give a reliable range of probable results but no lawyer has a crystal ball or can predict the future. Making promises or guarantees of particular results is strictly prohibited.
The fact is that every single case – drunk driving (dui or owi), marijuana, felony, misdemeanor, domestic violence, or whatever, is like a snowflake. Each set of facts has it’s own unique nuances which may turn the laws in different ways. There’s also the unpredictability of humans such as prosecutors, judges, complainants, witnesses and not least of all – juries. When you combine the individual facts of cases with the multitude of different prosecutors, judges, witnesses, etc…, no case will ever be exactly like another.
A doctor also can’t predict how the human body will react to treatment with 100% certainty – and a lawyer can’t predict how the human judicial process will react with 100% certainty. If a particular medicine will work with 95% of patients, 5% will not benefit or will have an adverse reaction. Good Michigan Criminal Defense lawyers recognize the variables and do their best to put those variables in perspective. The most informed potential client will know that the lawyer to hire is the one that is smart, fearless, zealous and will fight for them no matter how the case progresses or what challenges develop.
Lawyers take an oath to zealously represent their clients. Any lawyer you hire should be willing to fight for you and defend your case aggressively and to the best of their ability. A guarantee isn’t part of the equation and is a reason to seek another attorney.
Another thing to consider about a lawyer that promises results – is that it’s not smart from the lawyer’s perspective! Even if that lawyer can deliver on their guarantee often – they’re breaking their pledge probably just as often. These tactics are frequently used by lawyers in Oakland County, Wayne County and Macomb County. If a lawyer does something unethical in order to convince you to hire him or her, how can you trust anything that person tells you?