Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Destructive Personalities Revisited ...

It is absolutely fascinating to track who reads your blog and what they are interested in. My blog sites have the usual built in trackers and I have one of those little HTML modules tucked in as well that gives me more detailed information. You never know what will interest people. The most often read essay on this blog is the one about dealing with destructive personalities. This essay gets anywhere from six to ten hits per day, every day, day in and day out. Some of these hits are probably coming from psychology buffs but I suspect there are a lot of lawyers in there as well who are wondering what in the world to do next. Attorney/Blogger Norm Pattis nailed the problem with this statement:

So what do you do? Do you withdraw because the client's objectives have become repugnant? Do so and face the inevitable grievance and perhaps suit. Do you litigate the case to completion, papering your file so as not to become the latest target for the infinite wrath of a person with stripped gears? Lawyers and judges don't talk openly about this. This is water cooler talk -- talk behind closed doors.

Most of what is contained in that essay is derivative from other people's work. I just wrote my usual summary of what I had found in a lot of reading on the subject.

Perhaps the best discussion on this subject for lawyers is taking place on the Crime and Federalism blog which can be found HERE.

Norm Pattis, the founder of the blog, started his Sociopathy Project in 2005 and has done quite a bit of reading and writing about the effects of sociopaths, persons with borderline personality disorder and other problem clients. It is well worth the read and as a matter of fact worth Pattis writing a book if he had time. It would seem that his work did some good because one of his final entries in the project recorded a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court which might open the door for attorneys who faced bar complaints that are later dismissed to recover some of their expenses.

The other prime source on this subject is Attorney and Mental Health professional Bill Eddy's High Conflict Institute whose website can be found HERE. Eddy was written a couple of books about the effect of high conflict personalities in legal disputes. At one time, a good portion of his work could be found online and while some of it has been withdrawn there are still good articles to be found there.


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