Q: What is the best way to give bad news to a client?
A: Hopefully, your advice from the beginning of the engagement has been optimistic yet realistic, so that if bad news ensues the client won’t be totally blindsided.
Speak clearly about that news, express your own disappointment, and focus on next steps and options.
The key to good client relations is candor, caring, and communication. Getting great results is the goal, but because lawyers are human, law is unpredictable, and we all know–you can’t win ’em all–there will be times that the news is bad and your question is important for everyone to consider.