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What is your philosophy about being “tough” on the other side?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2013 | Uncategorized

Interestingly, I have been asked questions about this a lot. I am speaking for myself here, but I strongly suspect that the other lawyers in my firm would react similarly when asked this kind of thing. I think it is unquestionably true that a lawyer needs a backbone. Lawyers generally should not retreat without cause, should not avoid controversial things just because they would be uncomfortable, and should have the intestinal fortitude to look another lawyer, or even a client, in the eye and say “no.” However, I am increasingly of the thought that the best lawyering is lawyering that is geared toward resolving a matter in a fair, expeditious, relatively quick way, if that is reasonable and realistically possible. I absolutely welcome the opportunity to negotiate with people on the other side of conflicts. I don’t think it is appropriate to be nasty, mean, or discourteous to them. I think more is accomplished by being professional, kind, and courteous.
My own personal opinion is that those lawyers who seek first to find common ground are usually more successful in securing appropriate resolutions for their clients than are those lawyers whose first move is to try to promote large fights. While it is not always the case, I find that most small fires react better to being doused with water than gasoline. So, personally, I welcome clients who come with the attitude that they want to try to do what they can to get their matters resolved in a fair way. And, if it proves to be inappropriate to try to proceed in a way other than litigating a matter to the mat, then so be it.