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How Aggressive Does My Lawyer Need to Be?

We’ve all heard of references to the “bulldog” lawyer, who will bite down the opposition and never let go. Many people, especially those with a grudge against the opposition, think that such a lawyer is just what they need. If that’s you, then read on.

The fact is, if what you want is a “bulldog,” then what you probably need instead is a lawyer who is simultaneously aggressive, determined, and professional. The legal profession–and this is especially true in the litigation arena–has certain inherent tensions involved. For example, our professional duties mandate that we “zealously represent” our clients, and yet, the profession is also governed by collegiality among those who practice together.

Thus, the lawyer who is excessively aggressive is more likely to make mistakes that can land him or her into professional quagmires. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is often a term that gets thrown around--so a lawyer using underhanded tactics shouldn't be surprised if they get used against him. It's important to distinguish between zealous representation and dishonest representation. Sometimes lawyers overreach and misrepresent facts or the law to courts or other attorneys in their zealous advocacy. If this happens and your lawyer gets caught, it can be very detrimental to your case!

None of this is to say that aggression is a bad thing for a lawyer, either. This becomes especially true when the opposing party or their counsel has shown bad faith by failing to participate in litigation in earnest or with candor, such as by hiding important information or refusing to comply with important discovery rules and deadlines.

One final caveat: An aggressive lawyer can also be expensive. Aggressive pursuit of a case is timing-consuming and it’s hard work, so don’t be surprised if a lawyer with a reputation for being aggressive ends up charging you more for services. It means she’s working really hard for you!

At Asheville Legal, we strive to cultivate a reputation among our peers for being very aggressive, but also for being professional, courteous, and collegial. We have always found that by taking the high road on ambiguities and ethical dilemmas, we can then advocate from a position of strength when it comes to seeking recourse through the Courts.

In other words, if you need an aggressive lawyer for your civil matter, call Asheville Legal today.

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