What We Do
Clients come to us with varying types and levels of legal problems. Depending on the nature of the issue, we have various approaches. While we pride ourselves in approaching each separate matter with the necessary sensitivity required for the individual assignment, our overall sensibilities can be described in three ways:
1. The Prophylactic Approach – Benjamin Franklin
Many legal disputes should be resolved quickly and efficiently and – most importantly – before they become major problems. Unfortunately, avoidable problems are rarely avoided. Whether it is greedy lawyers driving up the price of litigation by taking overly aggressive positions to the detriment of everyone else (including their own clients), or whether its inexperienced lawyers who forget that a big part of their job is to actually counsel their clients, or whether its unreasonable litigants who try to bully their way through court system, the costs of litigation can be staggering when they do not have to be.
When we are engaged early enough to assist our clients in preventing major problems before they erupt in a messy and expensive way, we try to subscribe to Benjamin Franklin’s theory that “[a]n ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We call this the prophylactic approach to dispute resolution; when possible, we try to prevent the problem before it becomes a problem.
2. The Diplomatic Approach – Winston Churchill
And then there are clients who engage us after they have been sued or victimized harshly enough that they need to initiate legal action. In certain types of cases, the most reasonable way to resolve a problem that has already begun brewing is to simply talk it through early enough to avoid the casualties of war (trust us, litigation can be war…).
In those types of matters, we espouse a diplomatic approach that may take the form of negotiation, compromise and mediation. We believe diplomacy is an art form; as Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “[diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”
3. This Means War! – Thomas Paine, Meet Vincent Lombardi…
In a pamphlet called The American Crisis, Thomas Paine noted in 1776 that “these are times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but that he stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
While a lawsuit in modern day America may not instill in the hearts and minds of the masses the same vigor as did the American Revolution, litigation can cause a tremendous amount of havoc that can ruin lives, destroy companies and take no prisoners. Once the troops start lining up at the border to engage in high-stakes litigation that could very well be a “bet the business” case, we tend to agree with Vince Lombardi:
“The object is to win – to beat the other guy. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win. I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear – is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he’s exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”