Top 10 Rules to Stay in Control with Difficult Counsel, Clients, and Situations

The Bencher  |  July/August 2023

By James M. Schildt, Esquire

  1. Maintain civility at all times.
  2. Instead of fighting “fire with fire,” acknowledge the other person’s anger and frustrations.
  3. Never stoop to the level of conduct you have observed.
  4. Never retaliate with name calling or bad language.
  5. Don’t bully back, but call it out in correspondence.
  6. Be overly polite—bullies can’t stand it.
  7. Create a record with running correspondence and a calendar of events not in writing.
  8. Respond in writing to false accusations.
  9. Be patient.
  10. Remember that difficult attorneys will sometimes create a path that will destroy them at a meeting with an impartial fact finder (judge, arbitrator, or discovery master), if you haven’t engaged in similar conduct.

James M. Schildt, Esquire, is a civil litigator with Williams and Schildt, P.C., in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Bucks County American Inn of Court.

© 2023 James M. Schildt, Esquire. This article was originally published in the July/August 2023 issue of The Bencher, a bi-monthly publication of the American Inns of Court. This article, in full or in part, may not be copied, reprinted, distributed, or stored electronically in any form without the written consent of the American Inns of Court.