Our strategic approach to litigation.
HOW WE APPROACH LITIGATION
We win cases by finding the right position and sticking with it.
Litigation is high-conflict, high-stakes work. And it is expensive—particularly when you don't have a clear strategy. Our ability to define and execute winning legal strategies is the single most important factor that sets this law firm apart from the competition. But there is no one single approach that can applied in every case. Below are some of the philosophies and strategies we apply to win cases.
We control the tempo of the case.
If you want to see progress in your case—if you want things to happen—then you need to make things happen. If you want to see the other side's documents, then you need to go and get them. If you want to dismiss their claims or win on summary judgment, then you need to write motions and take them to court. You need to constantly press forward. Aggression wins cases both on offense and on defense.
We don't back down.
Once we figure out our legal position, it is unlikely that we will change our minds about it. It is a simple truth that you win cases by being right. It can be hard to know if you're right because (1) the law is often more gray than black and white, and (2) we may not have complete factual information. But when we're convinced that we're right, we aren't going to back down. Most cases "settle" before trial, and a lot of attorneys operate under the assumption that at some point or other, a compromise will be struck. In our opinion, this leads to weak litigation practices. We're happy to strike a compromise, but we're happy to go to trial as well. We find that sticking to our guns leads to great settlement outcomes.
We value legal scholarship.
The legal profession has a rich philosophical history, and every law that's on the books today has roots that extend back in time hundreds or even thousands of years. Great lawyers know how to research the history of laws and how to effectively communicate that history to persuasively support their cases. Writing great legal "briefs" to support our legal positions is a core element of our practice. Our preparation of these written motions and briefings is one of the most important and time-consuming aspects of our representation.
We fold weak hands.
To use a poker analogy, if you play every hand then you're going to lose all of your chips. Sometimes your case just sucks, and it pays for you to learn when your case sucks as soon as possible. When you have a losing hand you need a strategy focused on minimizing the cost of folding.
We don't waste our time.
You pay us for every hour that we work on your case, and the more complex the dispute, the more hours your case will require to resolve. The good news for you is that we hate wasting our own time. Bill Gates once quipped that he wanted to hire the laziest software engineers he could find, because he knew that they would find the easiest way to solve their problems. And while we actually enjoy working hard, we are not going to waste our time or your money on low-impact legal work. A lot of big law firms pad their billable hours with research projects focused on obscure issues tangential to the heart of your case. It's wasteful, and we don't do it, and we're all better off for it.
We get to the heart of the matter.
Every case has a heart. What is your case really about? What are the legal issues and factual issues that are going to be interesting to a judge and a jury? We want to make a complex and messy dispute as simple as possible. We want to distill this nasty business down to the essence and we want to focus on that essence. You may be surprised at how many parts of a dispute don't really matter at all in litigation. Many lawsuits can turn on a few simple facts, and we focus on finding and leveraging these facts.
We go all in.
There comes a time in a legal dispute where you need to commit to a course of action that can decide the entire case. If you win, you win. But if you lose, the game's over. A lot of strong cases fizzle out at this decision point, and people opt to compromise and settle. Again, we're happy to compromise if the compromise makes sense for our client. But it takes courage and conviction to put the case on the line in the name of achieving justice for our clients.
We shoot straight.
We never compromise our integrity for any reason. We're not going to bullshit you about your case, ever. If we think we can win, we'll tell you how and why, and what the odds are. And if we think you can't win, we'll tell you why and how, and help you find an exit.
We play with most of our cards on the table.
A lot of litigators guards their legal positions like they are state secrets. And, to be fair, sometimes we'll hide an ace-in-the-hole until its too late for an opponent to do anything about it. But for the most part, we like playing with all of our cards face up. If we have a good case, why hide it? Our goal is to get our clients a good outcome as efficiently as possible, and the sooner we can educate an opponent about our legal position, the more likely we are to arrive at a reasonable and economical outcome.
We are very experienced in court.
The courtroom is the bottom line in a legal dispute. When we get there, we're there to win, and we are going to come prepared to dismantle our opponent's case. Dan DiCicco is an expert at presenting compelling trial testimony on extremely complex topics. And Dan has completely ruined opponents' cases through his meticulous cross-examinations of hostile witnesses. Knowing that we have the skills to win in court gives us the confidence to strike hard bargains in pre-trial compromises.