Not every attorney is cut out for it. Being in a courtroom isn’t for the faint of heart. Only about 5% of cases go to trial. And a trial isn’t ‘civil litigation,’ it’s more like ‘civilian warfare.’ I’m a trial lawyer, with a 40+ year real estate and business background. When my team and I are hired, the other side should take pause.
My practice has a focus on real estate related matters (contracts gone bad, easement disputes, boundary line errors, fraud in disclosures, negligence by broker, etc.). I also sue E & O (Errors and Omissions) insurance carriers for “bad faith”, that is, when an insurance company denies or tries to under-pay a claim. I spend a lot of time in a court room. I like it there. I’m comfortable trying a case. It suits me. It doesn’t work for everyone.
I invite you to look through the web site and learn more about who I am and what we do here.
Trial lawyers are a breed apart.
You’ve got to be part adrenaline junkie, part juggler, part magician, part chess player, part actor and part research librarian in order to walk into a court room and tell a client’s story. And, you have to be able to tell it in a way that is compelling and convincing. Oh, and all the bits you want to use have to comply with California’s picky rules of evidence.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of very talented, experienced, excellent attorneys out there.
There are fewer talented, experienced, excellent trial lawyers.
Because of my background as a broker for 40 years, as you might expect, a LOT of what I do is real estate based. The industry today is going through changes more dramatic than almost anything I’ve ever seen. And because of the chaos in the market, real estate brokerages, and the agents that work for them, and their clients, sometimes do some pretty strange things. When it all hits the fan, somebody calls me.
I take the who, what, where, when and how, and distill it down to a story that I tell to the judge or the jury. I’m a good storyteller. I’d better be. Take a look at my War Story Wednesdays videos.
In a trial, my job is to convince 9 of the 12 jurors that my side of the story is true and right in order to win; or I have to convince 4 of the 12 that the other side shouldn’t. If that can’t be done, the case shouldn’t go to trial. If I don’t think I can win (or block a win), I’ll do whatever can be done to settle that case — early.
Sometimes I’m called upon to step in at the last minute – in the 90 to 120 days before a trial. The litigators have tee-d the case up; now someone needs to go in and present it. That’s harder to do, but it can be done. I review all the work that’s gone on before that point, work with the client and the first attorney to package it up as best we can, and march into court. Sometimes I take over completely; often I work alongside the prior counsel.
I believe — strongly — in a jury. In far more cases than not, the jury can smell a rat, and will do the ‘right’ thing, even if they don’t know exactly why it’s the right thing to do. So, again, telling the client’s story in a way that resonates with the jury is key. Bench trials leave too much power in just one person, even if that person is a judge.
Tenacious. Ingenious. Those are the words my clients have used to describe me. I’m pleased they feel safe — knowing that I’m on their side, knowing that the ‘bad guy’ has to go through me first to get to them, knowing that I’m also awake at 3:00 am worrying about their case, knowing that I hate to lose.
Isn’t that the kind of lawyer you want?