So you have an initial conference with a client who has enjoyed steady employment for the last twenty years and has been making a very good living. She is a supermom, tending to all of the children’s needs and activities. Under her tutelage, the children are all straight-A students, involved in sports and music, and on a trajectory to be very successful young adults. Your prospective client has been faithful during the marriage, does not have any alcohol or substance abuse problems, and is extremely level-headed. She has been financially prudent and has, as a result, significant financial and other resources at her disposal. Her husband is an abusive alcoholic who has been having an affair for three years with her best friend. He pays no attention to the children and cannot be bothered to go to any of their games or concerts. Despite this, the children are still polite and respectful to him. Your prospective client has heard great things about you and is relying on your expertise to achieve a fair and appropriate resolution. When you quote your fee, she does not blink an eye. It seems to you the ideal case, and you’re chomping at the bit to take it. But wait. You then wake up and realize it was just a dream.
Realistically, each case presents its own set of difficulties, be they finances, the client, the novelty or difficulty of the issues presented, client expectations, outside sources and influences, or co-counsel. The ability to recognize and confront these issues is what allows the practitioner to overcome these roadblocks.