First, let’s talk about what type of lawyer you should not hire. The answer? The pit bull type. These are attorneys who believe that they can impress their clients by being ultra-aggressive. They tend not to compromise and to utilize the take-no-prisoner approach by fighting for every single little thing, even those that are irrelevant. They also tend to believe that extending courtesy to the other counsel is a sign of weakness.
Unfortunately, this type of attorney usually misses the window of opportunity for settlement. As Amy Anderson notes, they fight for themselves and for their egos and often drain your pocket book at the same time.
I will even go one step further by asserting that such attorneys only fool themselves in thinking that by growling at the opposing counsel, they will gain some advantage for their clients’ cases. When a complaint is filed, the attorneys and the litigants all have to follow the rules, obligations, and responsibilities set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedures. If the conduct of an attorney grossly deviates from the code, he or she is subject to sanction and sometimes the court will make a ruling that is adverse to the case itself, such as dismissal of the case or the imposition of an evidentiary sanction.
Now, let’s talk about why you should hire an attorney who believes in win-win solutions, even in litigation matters. I often say tell my clients that we only file for litigation when it is the last resort, as it is an expensive process. Thus, even after you file a complaint, you need an attorney who is able to recognize the opportunity for settlement. If the parties can live by the terms of the settlement, the client should always consider settlement, as it is often less expensive the litigating the case all the way to trial. The worst thing that an attorney can do is to win the lawsuit but bankrupt the business. If this happens, the client doesn’t win; only the attorney does—but at the expense of the client. Thus, you need to have an attorney who is not afraid to bring the case to trial if necessary, but who can recognize a settlement opportunity and to strike a win-win deal.
Furthermore, during the trial, the attorney who is fair and genuinely courteous to other people will gain the most credibility, which is very important as it is the only way to gain the trust of the jurors. You don’t want the jurors to doubt or distrust your side of the story, even if is a compelling one.
Do you have a dispute that you believe may end up in litigation? At the Law Offices of Tony T. Liu, we believe that settling the case is often the best approach to resolving disputes. However, we also understand that not all cases can be settled without any judicial intervention. We are experienced business attorneys with extensive trial experience in the areas of business, real estate, commercial, and shareholder/partnership disputes. Call us today, and let us know how we can help to solve your problem.