I met with a very nice gentleman about a case tonight. He had rescheduled several times, but he had very good reasons. I understand that completely. When we were able to get together something became obvious to me:
He had not fully reallized what he would be likely to get with his very limited budget. It was a custody case. I love custody cases. Fact is though that it takes a certain amount to have a real chance of getting what you need. This guy had enough to cover what I was going to require as an absolute minimum, but that was very tough for him.
I could have taken his money, and strung him along to get more. I did not feel that would be ethical. So what did I do?
I explained to him what all was involved, and asked him to think about whether he could afford it. Basically I talked him out of putting down a retainer. If I had taken his case, he would have likely been disappointed when I didn't meet his expectations within the relatively small retainer.
I like the guy. I feel bad for him. I told him that if that if situation changes, and I can help him to please call.
The guy thanked me for being honest with him. I could tell he genuinely appreciated the time I spent with him.