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Don't RUN from Liability - EMBRACE It!


Imagine you visit the Doctor with an incurable headache only to discover that you have an operable brain tumor. Your prognosis is good but the surgery is risky and revolves around the skill and competence of your surgeon. You interview the surgeon and are dismayed to find that he or she spends most of the interview sidestepping the tough questions and instead talking about how comfortable the hospital bed is, how competitive his or her pricing is and (what really gets you suspicious) how evasive he or she is when asking for referrals for a second opinion.

I know, its a silly hypothetical and doctors don't act that way. So, why do other professionals? It seems that engineers and land surveyors frequently look at jobs on a profit level basis and turn away anything that looks remotely risky. Now, the next time you do this, ask yourself, "who is going to take this case and give this client a better resolution that I can"? If the answer is, "probably no one", then get real and figure out if you really deserve to be a professional.

This is your raison d'etre - there is no reason for being licensed except to step into the ring and practice your profession. That client needs you. Embrace the liability - enhance your skills - become the best in your specialty. And above all, learn to refer clients if you don't have the confidence or experience necessary. Can't afford to? Raise your rates. You (and your profession) can't afford not to...


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Excerpted from an article originally published for Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) in the Real Property Law Reporter, Vol. 45, No. 3 (May, 2022) See original article for additional content and

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