Exploring Lawyer-Client Interaction: A Qualitative Study of Positive Lawyer Characteristics

Psychological Injury and Law, Volume 1, Number 1, March 2008

8 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015

See all articles by Nieke A. Elbers

Nieke A. Elbers

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Kiliaan van Wees

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law; VU University Amsterdam - Amsterdam Centre for Comprehensive Law

Arno Akkermans

Amsterdam Law and Behavior Insitute (A-LAB); Amsterdam Centre for Comprehensive Law; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Pim Cuijpers

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology; The EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center; The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

David J. Bruinvels

The Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB) Utrecht; The Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center; The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health; VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology

Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

Personal injury victims involved in compensation processes have a worse recovery than those not involved in compensation processes. One predictor for worse recovery is lawyer engagement. As some people argue that this negative relation between lawyer engagement and recovery may be explained by lawyers’ attitude and communications to clients, it seems important to investigate lawyer-client interaction. Although procedural justice and therapeutic jurisprudence had previously discussed aspects relevant for lawyer-client interaction, the client’s perspective has been rather ignored and only few empirical studies have been conducted. In this qualitative study, 21 traffic accident victims were interviewed about their experiences with their lawyer. Five desirable characteristics for lawyers were identified: communication, empathy, decisiveness, independence, and expertise. Communication and empathy corresponded with aspects already discussed in literature, whereas decisiveness, independence and expertise had been addressed only marginally. Further qualitative and quantitative research is necessary to establish preferable lawyer characteristics and to investigate what would improve the well-being of personal injury victims during the claims settlement process.

Keywords: Personal injury victims, Lawyer characteristics, Client-centered lawyering, Procedural justice, Therapeutic jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Elbers, Nieke A. and Wees, Kiliaan van and Akkermans, Arno and Cuijpers, Pim and Bruinvels, David J., Exploring Lawyer-Client Interaction: A Qualitative Study of Positive Lawyer Characteristics (March 2008). Psychological Injury and Law, Volume 1, Number 1, March 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562304

Nieke A. Elbers (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Kiliaan van Wees

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

VU University Amsterdam - Amsterdam Centre for Comprehensive Law ( email )

Faculty of Law, Initium Building
De Boelelaan 1077
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Arno Akkermans

Amsterdam Law and Behavior Insitute (A-LAB) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

Amsterdam Centre for Comprehensive Law ( email )

Faculty of Law, Initium Building
De Boelelaan 1077
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands
+31205986286 (Phone)
+31205986280 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

Pim Cuijpers

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

The EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

David J. Bruinvels

The Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB) Utrecht ( email )

Utrecht
Netherlands

The Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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