Among the many high-profile legal cases dominating headlines across the country these days, the murder case against former rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight continues to take new twists and turns. The latest update – Suge just fired another attorney and hired someone new. This new attorney will become the fifth to represent Mr. Knight in his fight against charges of murder after running over 2 men last February, killing one of them.
Attorneys don’t often think about getting fired from a case, but it does happen. No matter how passionate you are about the case or how dedicated you are to your client’s cause, sometimes things just don’t work out and you are sent along your way.
So what now? Do you let this dismissal impact your career – and if so, how?
Focus on Your Strengths
To begin with, this is not a time to engage in self-bashing or doubt. You can’t afford to spend time focusing on everything little thing you may have done wrong or could’ve done better. There will be time for analyzing the situation, but for now, you need to move forward. Take some time to review your strengths, your successes and your abilities. You have other clients that still need you to be at your best and you can’t let this slow you down.
Eventually, it might good to find out exactly what went wrong and why your client fired you. Rather than attempting to talk to your ex-client directly and risk a defensive and ugly conversation of pointing fingers, leave it to an independent 3rd party. A neutral party will be able to get to the heart of the matter and come back with insight and reasoning behind the firing.
Recognize Changes That Need to Be Made
If you truly want to make the best out of the situation and turn a negative into a positive, then at some point you’re going to have to face up to the criticism and feedback you received and decide how you can learn from it. No matter what the reason – your client didn’t feel comfortable with you, they felt a lack of communication, they didn’t trust your expertise in the case – if you don’t make changes, you may find yourself getting fired again. The required changes are often small tweaks that you probably already had an idea of anyway. Maybe a little extra attention to your client or a more thorough explanation of your strategy is all that it would’ve taken to keep them happy.
As attorneys, we should always be focused on improving. If we’re not continually focused on moving forward and getting better, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. When you are always looking to improve, then being fired becomes less of an obstacle and more of a learning opportunity.