The Borderline Plaintiff

The Borderline Plaintiff is a problem for attorneys who may lack the clinical skills to recognize that some of their clients have serious, but often undetectable, emotional issues.  Psychologists often take many years learning to deal with individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder.  When your client has this condition, they may make your life a living hell, AND, they may cause you to lose your emotional damages case.  Borderlines may come to you with sexual harassment, racial harassment, unlawful termination, or other civil cases.

Borderlines, as they are called, may superficially appear to be perfectly rational, intelligent and well-balanced.  As you get to know the Borderline, she (most are women) may reveal herself to be dishonest, paranoid, and, especially, to have a raging temper.  She will deny all of this, to herself and others.  For this reason, when it comes to obtaining her recall of what took place with regard to the litigation, her version may well be inaccurate and colored by her emotions, rather than by the facts.

What appeared to be a legitimate lawsuit taken on by the attorney may turn out to derive from events that occurred only in the mind of the Borderline client.  Discovery may reveal that no witnesses support the Borderline’s view of the case.  By the time the attorney figures this out, the attorney may have invested too much of his or her time to turn back and will hope to move the case forward to recoup whatever is possible.

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