The need to respect a client’s cultural traditions
In his article “Manage Malpractice Risk by Recognizing Cultural Diversity“, Lorne Shelson (Litigation Director & Counsel in the Specialty Claims Department at LAWPRO) gives five ‘culturally-based’ claims scenarios loosely based on real LAWPRO claims.
Here is one scenario:
A lawyer appeared on behalf of a client on a criminal matter. During a break in the proceeding, the lawyer made a flippant comment related to the client’s background in an ill-conceived attempt at humour. The client, on learning what his lawyer had said about him, lost faith in the lawyer’s ability to represent him and discharged him. The comment was included in the official record of the proceeding. The client sued the lawyer for both negligence and defamation.
This article appeared in the September 2014 “The Changing Face of the Profession” issue of LAWPRO Magazine. All past LAWPRO Magazine articles can be found at