Michael Sean Quinn*

I often tell “ordinary” clients and
potential clients that litigation is a rich man’s game. It is not meant for
regular people, absent serious bodily injury or property damage, and perhaps not then if a class action can be found.   Victory is usually not very profitable, I point out, and the monetary penalties
resulting from losing can be large, cumbersome, and sometimes even ruinous, especially if the client is paying fees or expenses. 

I know
this is disappointing for people to hear, since it seems inconsistent with the ideals of justice in
a cosmopolitan society, and modern ideals of justice-for-all but, “That’s the way things are,” I say gently and sometimes at explanatory length. Thereafter, I send them on their way, usually quite promptly.  

Sometimes I feel disappointed in myself for not undertaking to make things right for them (to go out and get justice for them), and I feel weak for not plunging forward. On the other hand, I know that they should not be exposed to “headaches,” anxiety, and stresses of a new, if not different, kind. 

I say to myself that I am actually looking after their interests by declining to go forward and suggesting that they not go forward either. Sometimes the best lawyering for some clients is to “just say ‘No'” to them and at the same time encourage them to use the same word on themselves. Paradoxically, my unconscious self bubbles up and reproaches me.  At that point, I have to say again, this time to myself, “That’s just the way things are.”

*Michael Sean Quinn, Ph.D. and J.D., Etc.
Quinn and Quinn

1300 West Lynn Suite 208
Austin, TX 78703
Office Phone: 512-296-2594
Fax: 512-344-9466

Email: mquinn@msqlaw.com