We take a fresh and incisive look at the facts and circumstances of each client’s dispute and the legal precedents that can be brought to bear to support their claims or defenses. Every case is unique. Even though we are likely to have handled a similar dispute in the past and are familiar with the legal rules that are likely to apply in some fashion, we always examine each case carefully and apply a creative thought process as we construct a tough, aggressive, and effective strategy for prevailing. We disdain “cookie cutter” or formulaic approaches and work plans. Just because lawyers have “always” done things a certain way in the past, or the courts “always” have been inclined to view an issue in a particular fashion, does not necessarily mean the same approach or same result is mandated for our client’s case. We are creative, critical thinkers. Even in the most challenging of cases, like the best running backs in football, we look for the “seam” and nimbly circumvent obstacles to find the opening we need to attain a favorable outcome.
Once we understand the background of the dispute and have constructed a strategy for getting it resolved, we examine closely what we think it will cost to implement that strategy. We do not assume that our clients, even the largest Fortune 100 companies, have an unlimited budget for handling the dispute or will be comfortable with an entirely unpredictable billing structure. At the outset of a case, we project as accurately as possible what our litigation costs will be for each phase of the case, and we are candid with our clients about what assumptions underlie this projection. In this way, we set reasonable expectations for how the case will proceed and what our bills are likely to be, minimizing surprises and unforeseen expenditures. We explore ways for creating more predictability in our billing by setting monthly billing caps and finding mutually beneficial alternate fee arrangements where both the client and our law firm can share in the risks and rewards of the case.
There is no substitute for a lawyer rolling up his or her sleeves and digging into the factual record that precedes a dispute. At the large, mega law firms, this task usually falls to a phalanx of the most inexperienced lawyers, who are expected to find the “needle in a haystack” and filter the important documents and other evidence up the chain of command to the lead counsel. We approach our cases much differently. We are lean and nimble. We do not rely on a large team of inexperienced attorneys to do the most important investigative work on our cases. Our senior litigators work together with a small, select team (usually not more than one or two) of more junior colleagues and, together, we gather the facts, analyze them, and use them to construct the most effective claims or defenses for our clients. Reviewing documents, identifying and interviewing witnesses, issuing subpoenas to third parties, examining physical evidence and conducting site visits, determining which documents to produce to our adversaries or to withhold under applicable rules—these are critical elements in constructing and implementing a winning litigation strategy. We do not leave these elements to chance, nor do we take the view that our most senior litigators are “too busy” to dig into them. All members of our litigation teams, from the most senior to the most junior, master the details and, by doing so, take control of the litigation process and drive our cases to resolution as quickly and favorably as possible.
Once litigation has been commenced, whether we are representing the plaintiff or the defendant, we focus on driving the case forward with a sense of urgency and efficiency. We do not waste time on costly diversions. We take every opportunity to resolve our cases through early dispositive motions. When it is not possible at the outset to dispose of a case in its entirety, we work tenaciously to narrow the issues in dispute, seek to gather the evidence we need to prevail, and move again for judgment. When the facts and circumstances of the case require a trial, we move to have the case tried as quickly as practicable, and we almost always seek to have a jury decide the disputed factual issues. Once we prevail, we are adept at enforcing judgments and/or using the many tools available to ensure our clients recover all that they are owed.
At every inflection point in our cases, we seek to apply pressure on our adversaries to discuss options for resolving our cases through consensual settlement. We engage in merits-based mediations and negotiations to settle cases on the most favorable basis possible. When confronted by recalcitrant counter-parties, we pursue accelerated rulings from the court to demonstrate that we are on the pathway to prevailing in court, which oftentimes creates the opening we need to short-circuit the litigation process and obtain an out-of-court settlement. We are called upon by many of our clients to advise them before disputes have emerged, in which case we are often able to tailor their contracts in a way that maximizes prospects for success if and when a dispute arises. Anticipating where disputes can emerge at the contracting stage, we help our clients avoid litigation altogether with carefully crafted deal points.