What It Really Means When a Lawyer Says, ‘I’m Too Busy to Take Your Case’

It could mean they really are busy … or it could mean that your case is a stinker. Here’s how to tell the difference.

A busy executive shrugs her shoulders.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are times when the greatest help your lawyer can provide is in not doing what you request.

In a recent article about suing for defamation, we examined the Streisand Effect, explaining that sometimes filing a lawsuit can totally backfire, as Barbra Streisand learned the hard way. Lawyers who want to protect their clients from unneeded negative publicity cite the Streisand Effect as the rationale for telling them, “Here’s why I recommend against filing that lawsuit. I am here to help, not hurt, you.”

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."