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Given the time of year, we begin with a story often told by my Canadian friend Simon Chester (and often repeated by me) about Simon’s friend Al. Simon describes how each New Year’s Day, his friend Al would settle into a rocking chair overlooking his back yard and consider how his firm had fared that year. Not so different from most lawyers. But Al’s annual ritual had a twist. As he sipped his hot toddy, he’d also consider his list of clients and would pick one—and fire that client. In this article we will consider when, why and how lawyers may go about withdrawing from client engagements—and whether it is appropriate to follow Al’s example.
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