Which of your cases makes you proudest of the result?
My first trial stands out as being the most rewarding – and the scariest moment in my career. I had taken over the file from another lawyer only weeks before the trial, and I worked 18 hour days getting ready. I will never forget the moment when the jury verdict came back and I won. That moment validated all the hard lessons I had learned about crafting my theory of the case and presenting it to the jury in a way that underscored that theme.
What do you think the most important factor is in resolving a file?
Your reputation as counsel plays a key role in your ability to resolve cases, particularly at an early stage and without the presence of a mediator. Opposing counsel must know that you clearly understand both the risks and the strengths of the file and that you will take a fair and reasonable approach to resolution. Most importantly, they must respect and trust you. In excess of 90% of my files are resolved over the phone, which results in significant cost savings to the client and dramatically reduces the amount of time the file is open.
What’s the most valuable lesson that your professional experience has taught you?
Prepare, prepare, prepare. The more you prepare, the better you will do. This applies to every stage of a lawsuit. At discovery and at trial, a well-prepared lawyer immediately signals to the witness that you know as much about their life as they do (possibly more, as many have not adequately reviewed their records). This enables you to cross-examine effectively and obtain the answers you are looking for. It also enables you to accurately assess the case for your client. In so many cases, key details and information are buried in reports or business records that would never have been uncovered without a thorough review of the file.