Saturday, 18 May 2013

"Pros or Cons" Thoughts For The Modern "Sports Attorney" - Part V

Sports Law Blog is publishing a 5-part series on the practice of sports law.  The series is co-authored by Peter Jarvis, a legal ethics and professional responsibility attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP in Portland, Oregon and Jason Davis, a California attorney currently residing in Seattle, Washington.  These posts will appear on Saturdays.  These posts  appear on Saturdays.  First post can be read at this link, the second at this link, the third at this link, and the fourth at this link.  Here is the fifth:


"Pros or Cons" Thoughts For The Modern "Sports Attorney"
Authored by Jason A. Davis, Esq. and Peter R. Jarvis, Esq. (all rights reserved)

Know Your Role

On occasion, an oversized lineman may find the football bouncing into his arms on a fortunate bounce from a fumble to which he may then lumber anywhere from a few to more than he thought he was able, yards into the end zone for an awe-inspiring score. However, this is not his expertise and far from the position assigned which he has spent in years of training, practice and preparation.

So what happens when you find yourself with the "perfect client" but the client needs work in a field in which you lack essential experience? Do you run with it and hope for the best? In the alternative, do you take a look at the clock, use your last time out and confer with the coach?

The prior installments should suggest the answer. Although a lawyer need not have sufficient competence to handle a matter before taking it on, the lawyer must either be prepared to acquire the competence on a timely basis or to bring in someone who already has the competence. And just as quarterbacks do not necessarily make the best tackles, so too a lawyer-client team may be best served if each player fills the role, and only the role, for which that player has the greatest expertise. An attorney's job is to put the client's goals first and foremost. And even from the attorney's selfish point of view, time spent by an attorney to learn what other lawyers already know may be time that the lawyer simply cannot bill to the client. In other words, both Al and Mega may be best served if Al is, and remains, quarterback rather than trying to play eleven positions at once.

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