Managing the Difficult Client

If you have been in practice for any length of time, sooner or later you’re going to get stuck with a difficult client, or at least a difficult client conversation. Uncomfortable client conversations can arise for multiple reasons. Sometimes those reasons have more to do with the client than with the lawyer, but every attorney-client relationship contains two players, so you need to be aware of the ways in which you might be contributing to the problem and the ways you can contribute to a solution.

The best way to deal with truly difficult clients is by not taking them on in the first place. That requires that you be able to identify potentially bad clients early – preferably before a retainer is signed so that you can avoid them entirely. Make a list of bad client warning signs to help you identify potentially difficult clients. Watch this CLE for tips on identifying bad clients, and how to deal with the difficult client after he gets into your life.

7 part video, duration of 01:02:47.
Production Date
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J. William Dunning

J. William Dunning


  • University of Cincinnati, B.A. English, 1965
  • University of Cincinnati, J.D., 1968


  • Admitted to Ohio Bar and U.S. District Court, 1968
  • Admitted to U.S. Court of Appeals, 1979
  • Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court, 1994
  • Cincinnati Asst City Prosecutor, 1968-70
  • Cincinnati Asst City Solicitor, 1970-72
  • Lebanon City Attorney, 1974-1999
  • President, Warren County Bar Association (WCBA), 1988
  • Member, WCBA Grievance Committee, 1993-2004
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), 1978-Current
  • Delegate, Council of Delegates (OSBA), 1978-Current
  • Member, Commission on Judicial Candidates (OSBA), 2000 and 2002
  • Governor, Board of Governors (OSBA), 1996-1999
  • Trustee, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1981-1996
  • Trustee, Ohio Bar Foundation, 1987-Current
  • Member, Cincinnati Bar Association, 1968-Current
  • Member, Assn of Trial Lawyers of America, 1968-Current


  • Annexation
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate & Estate Settlement
  • Real Estate
  • Zoning