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A New York personal injury lawyer was recently disbarred for basically “being an asshole.” Although I can hardly endorse his brash style (e.g., telling the judge to “Kiss my tuchis!”), it is interesting what other New York attorneys had to say: “Personally, I find him abrasive, angry, tough, fierce, and frightening,” says attorney Ron Kuby. “You know, the qualities you usually want in a lawyer.”

This raises the question: what kind of lawyer do you want for your case? Do you really want an “abrasive, angry, tough, fierce, and frightening” attorney? Is that really what you need? What good do that do?

As colorful and entertaining as it may be to watch such lawyers chew out their opponents, the reality is that most clients are not well-served by such tactics. To the contrary, judges and juries typically do not embrace hostile attorneys and, sometimes, such tactics can backfire, and badly.

Don’t get me wrong; you also do not want a lawyer who is afraid of their own shadow. My point is that you should select a lawyer who knows how to “pick their battles” and who can “fight smart,” not just a scrapper who picks a fight with anyone within earshot.

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