THE BEST NWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – (in his own mind)…. that you may NOT want to hire!


The other day I was reading an article I found online by Ann Bittinger entitled Disarming the Narcissistic Attorney.  It is an insightful essay on how attorneys should deal with other attorneys afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder.  However, it really  made me think about how sad it is when people facing very real and very serious problems entrust their cases to such attorneys. That is because, as Ms. Bittinger points out, attorneys are supposed to advocate for their clients.

True advocates put the interest of the person for whom they advocate ahead of their own. Thus, when we take a case, the client’s interest comes first. While a self-absorbed attorney often has trouble with this very simple concept, a narcissist finds it impossible. That is because the client and the client’s case are merely vehicles by which the narcissistic lawyer feeds his or her constant need for admiration.

Ms. Bittenger writes, “[t]he narcissistic attorney is the direct opposite of the attorney advocate. We are all familiar with the stereotypical narcissistic attorney: puffing his chest, bragging about his cases, his achievements and at the same time insulting and deflating those around him, including partners, associates and even the client. The narcissistic attorney must keep inflating his ego and perceived persona, like a balloon, while behaving in a way that deflates the behaviors of those around him.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, a narcissistic personality disorder can include these features:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Do any of the foregoing describe someone you initially admired, or wanted to admire you, only to later despise as their true narcissism became evident?  We have all encountered a narcissist and many of us are forced to encounter them everyday for the sake of a paycheck!

When you are trying to select the right attorney, who will truly put your needs ahead of their own, then you should at least make a mental check list to take into the initial conference with the lawyer.

  • Does the attorney whom you actually wanted to see, pop into the meeting to be introduced but then leaves you in the hands of other “staff” in the firm to get the details?
  • Does the attorney make statements such as, “oh we’ve handled cases just like yours half-a-dozen times successfully” (often asking a member of his or her staff to confirm his or her boast)?
  • Does the attorney casually tell you of some “really important” thing (or things) he or she has recently done?


Keeping in mind that a narcissist usually makes an impressive first impression and surrounds himself with only admirers, if everything you see and/or hear is a little over the top with respect to “how great we are” or “how great he or she is,” – you might want to visit a few other attorneys before signing a contract.

Trust is extremely important when it comes to finding the right lawyer. If you genuinely trust the attorney, then others will, too. (That can be really important when it comes to a jury trial.)  If you have reservations regarding this …then others will, too.  Find a true advocate by trusting your instincts.


Please click HERE to learn more about my practice.



Ari art

When looking for the right attorney, sometimes I think folks are too quick to just look at the lawyers in the town in which they live. The fact is, most personal injury or wrongful death claims that arise from an auto accident or truck accident, should the claim not be settled out of court, are going to be litigated in Arkansas and any attorney licensed in this state can practice in any State court in this state. (Most can also practice in U. S. District Court, if the case involves parties from different states.)

Finding the right law firm can be the single most important decision a family can make following a wreck.  Inexperience and/or disorganization can spell disaster for a claim. If important matters are relegated to new attorneys, law clerks, paralegals or secretaries, without proper oversight by an experienced personal injury attorney, the settlement value of the injury claim can be seriously compromised. Moreover, from the initial letter of representation, the insurance company on the other side of the case begins to set its reserves (or determine its valuation) on the claim and, make no mistake, the insurance company knows if the case is actually being handled by the “staff” or by the lawyer.  Thus, bigger may not equate to better, when it comes to the right law firm for a case.

The communities of Northwest Arkansas have expanded along the I-49 corridor such that, in many respects, it is now a single metropolitan area. Aside from the initial attorney-client conference, which in the case of our firm can occur wherever the clients would prefer to meet, rarely are families required to actually travel to the location of the law firm. As most routine matters can now be handled by email, these days choosing a law firm simply because it is located down the street, makes much less sense than it did in years past.

The bottom line is that when an accident occurs, and certainly if there is a serious injury or death involved, a family should take the time to really look around, even beyond their immediate community, and choose an attorney who they believe has the experience to handle the case, is genuinely respected in the community, hard-working, honest and fair. The home team may not always be the best team for the job.

Please click HERE to learn more about our firm.

We proudly represent families all over Arkansas in serious injury and death cases. If you or a family member is involved in a car accident in any of the following locations, we are nearby and ready to help: I-49, Benton County, Washington County, Madison County, Carroll County, Sebastian County, Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Lowell, Springdale, Fayetteville, Van Buren, Fort Smith, Huntsville, Siloam Springs, Harrison, Green Forest, Eureka Springs, West Fork, Garfield, Gentry, Gravette, Centerton, Gravette, Decatur, Mena, Elm Springs, Cave Springs, Alma …and everywhere in between.

Original graphic artwork by Ari Mulkey.