Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 35 L
"The Most Important Component of the Lawyers Meeting...YOU"
Recently, a doctor who I consider very smart and a very good articulator, shared with me that he met with lawyers and got nowhere, to his frustration. This doctor is "wired" when explaining issues to go into too much detail at the expense of getting lost in minutiae. For most lawyers, this is problematic. We must not lose sight of the fact that lawyers judge you from the second they meet you, especially if it is your first meeting.
Your goal in a meeting with a lawyer is to get him/her to want to meet with you every month so you can teach him/her and his/her staff about the 2 new educational fliers. The lawyer's goals are to learn both about the educational materials and about you as an expert. Although you will never ask the lawyer for a referral, he/she WANTS, DESIRES and NEEDS experts in order to prevail in his/her cases because without experts, he/she has no ability to prevail in his/her cases. Therefore, each encounter with a lawyer will cause him/her to judge you on your ability to be expert.
Never lose sight of the fact that we are commodities to lawyers to be used, no different than an MRI image, a view box, a document or a video. Our testimony is what they need to prevail in their cases. They need us, but not all of us; only those commodities (kinda like a piece of lawyer-meat...doesn't that make you feel special?) that they feel, based upon your interaction with them will help them prevail. The question is, what are they judging you on?
Make no mistake that the first thing they will judge is NOT your CV or your credentials. Many of you, unfortunately, will not get that far. They are "sizing you up" as a jury would perceive you. Have you dressed the part? Are you articulate? Do you speak with authority? What is your body language like? Can you communicate effectively? Do you make a physical connection with your audience? Most of all, do you really understand the issues as a true expert SHOULD and can you teach a jury in a simple manner, avoiding the medical jargon that would lose the jury?
These are just some of the issues lawyers are thinking about when they are sitting with you. If they feel that you pass the test of nuances, then they will go to your credentials because even the most credentialed doctor will be on the "outside" if he/she cannot communicate the issues to a jury in a convincing manner. Never lose sight of the fact that lawyers live in the world of arguments and your testimony proves their legal arguments. Again, another argument, but this time it is by you in deposition or in court.
Once you get past the initial test, it is then that the lawyers will dig deeper into your credentials, but never lose sight of the fact they are judging you first. It is here that you must come out first in the contest for "Miss Congeniality."