The beauty of practicing law is no two days are alike. Every case is different. Every client is unique. It is incumbent upon us, as attorneys, to meet our clients where they are in life. We need to get to know them, and that extends well beyond their present situation. It is up to us to truly learn what their special needs are, and then we must tailor our representation to fit those needs. When it comes to legal representation one size does not fit all; however, that is exactly how most clients are treated in most law firms.
As a trial attorney, I spend countless hours preparing a client for trial. That preparation goes well beyond learning how a client’s injury was sustained. I let my clients start by telling me where they were born, and we go from there. I want to know as much as I can about each one of them, because that is the only way I can be sure that the jury will render a fair and just verdict in their favor. A personal connection between juror and client must be forged, and that cannot be achieved if I don’t truly understand my clients’ needs, and that also happens to be my favorite part of the job. I enjoy immersing myself in those stories, and I relish the opportunity to help them re-tell it. It is that process that that I find so satisfying.
Even though every client deserves special attention, the court system is not set up to provide that level of care. Judges are overworked. Court dockets are severely backed up. Defense attorneys are not interested in understanding why my client’s case is so unique and important, and insurance adjusters only care about the bottom financial corporate line. This is the reality of civil litigation. It is also my least favorite part of the job.
Which makes it all the more important that I do my part to make sure that my client’s voice is heard and his or her needs are addressed. No one else in the process, is looking out for them. They are exceedingly vulnerable and they are usually lost in a morass of red tape. That is the bad news. The good news is that I understand that, and I do my level best to make sure that my clients are heard and their needs addressed.
This, of course, is not easy. It requires hard work, diligence and the ability to persevere in the face of fierce resistance. Together, we will work to streamline a draconian system of justice that is often not fair, and we will do it as a team. It is my job to lead, advocate and explain, and it is the client’s job to care for his or her injuries and try to get better. We will navigate the minefield together, understanding the shortcomings of the system, and ultimately utilizing those inadequacies to our advantage.
The key to successfully litigating a personal injury action is communication. I have to be able to communicate with my client, the judge, opposing counsel and the insurance company. Each of these parties play a critical role in the litigation. Not only do I have to understand my client’s needs and desires, I have to understand the judge’s rules and protocols, opposing counsels arguments, and the restrictions of the insurance carriers. All this information must be addressed, discussed and synthesized in a manner which is most favorable to my client. Truly understanding how these factors come together is the only way I can be sure that justice is served and my client receives the kind of award he or she is entitled to under the law.