Warning Signs of a Challenging Client

There are a number of indicators that you may be dealing with an individual who is, or may become, a challenging client. A few examples include:

  • a client who has gone through a number of lawyers and has not been satisfied with any of them;
  • a client who demands that their work take priority over all your other clients’ work; and
  • a client who makes unrealistic demands of you, your staff, or both.


Fraud Artists

A challenging client may also be a fraud artist. If a client is making demands that push you out of your comfort or competence zone, you need to assert control over the relationship. Remain cognizant of your professional obligations as articulated in the Legal Profession Act, 1990Rules of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, and the Code of Professional Conduct. Think about what the client is asking you to do and assess whether the client’s conduct (coupled with the request) may be an indicator of fraud.

You must be vigilant to avoid being the vehicle for fraud. You should develop an understanding of the types of frauds that are being perpetrated on the legal community and public at large. We’ll examine fraud in more detail in Module 16 – Avoiding Fraud.