From Invoice Gates on the finish of the final century to John D. Rockefeller on the finish of the earlier century; from Rick Scott, founding father of Columbia Well being Care, to AT&T: from Richard Branson and British Airways to Dan Peña and The Monetary Occasions; from authorities, banking, insurance coverage and each different side of world commerce – to develop geometrically and keep round, litigation should be (prudently) used and mastered.
I’ll, as briefly as I can, memorialize the salient factors of utilizing litigation as a enterprise instrument.
Now earlier than I begin, I need it on the document, some 50% of my 30-year observe document of litigation has had nothing to do with successful cash, i.e., many lawsuits have been over precept, some had been to proper a heinous improper reminiscent of slanderous remarks made about me; and a few had been as a result of an entity simply wanted a great comeuppance and no person else would carry the flag into battle.
I, like Don Quixote, have fought many a windmill.
As you have heard me converse and write about, when constructing your ‘Dream Group,’ you need Massive 5 accountants and a big nationwide or worldwide agency of attorneys – the most effective illustration you possibly can’t afford!
In contrast to the success-oriented charges I coach you to make use of when facilitating transactions, no regulation agency will litigate initially on this foundation.
Maybe in case your case is very robust, they are going to do it on a contingency foundation. Sadly, you can be utilizing, from time-to-time, litigation as a positioning instrument and your case might not be one thing you possibly can significantly leverage.
A 12 months or two in the past, being left with a pig-in-a-poke, I needed to litigate a case having specious information at greatest to help my desired consequence. Luckily, our (my) obvious lust for litigation was stronger than their need to battle a tough battle, so a fairly good settlement was lastly arrived at.
After all, throughout this course of my good attorneys recommended us, advising our case wanted to be a lot stronger, and so forth. Even with nice attorneys, it’s their job to inform you the draw back dangers. Once more, what occurs is you’re usually scared from pursuing your case.
Good attorneys win so-so lawsuits. Nice attorneys can win lawsuits during which you’ve little or no likelihood to win.
Three of my favourite litigators through the years are Steve Susman and Cyrus Marter IV of Susman Godfrey in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle and Tim Harris of Charleston Revich & Williams in Los Angeles. All three have dug me out of some fairly huge black holes.
I’ve handled them 10 and 20 years respectively. They’re value each penny they cost!
Our judicial system works, however we develop up being afraid of it. It is method out of our consolation zone so we preclude ourselves from benefitting from it. Usually the price related to it retains us from utilizing it.
In reality, I am presently embroiled in litigation the place the ancillary gamers to the litigation have rights that are being severely violated. A big group of individuals may deliver nice strain to bear, however they’re afraid due to earlier unhealthy experiences. They might get what they deserve however aren’t pursuing their greatest pursuits.
There are attorneys who tackle circumstances for humanitarian causes, if the case warrants, in enterprise as effectively, i.e., huge main firms making the most of the system due to their measurement alone.
Why do you need to provoke the lawsuit so you’re the plaintiff? Because the plaintiff, you decide the place and when the lawsuit is fought and possibly finally adjudicated.
This could be a enormous benefit. And secondly, the plaintiff is allowed two closing arguments, that means you (your lawyer) will get to deal with the decide and/or jury as soon as after which once more after the defendants’ closing argument. This will also be crucial.
26 Unbreakable Guidelines of Litigation
#1 CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES
#2 CHOOSE THE VENUE
#3 BE THE PLAINTIFF
#4 HAVE THE BEST REPRESENTATION
#5 LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
#6 DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR SICK STOMACH WHEN YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
#7 DON’T LISTEN TO RELATIVES, FRIENDS, ET AL
#8 LISTEN TO EXPERIENCED LITIGANTS – LIKE ME!
#9 GENERALLY SPEAKING, DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE COST (THIS IS VERY HARD!)
#10 BIG LAWSUITS ARE BETTER THAN SMALL ONES
#11 ELECT JURY TRIALS, AS OPPOSED TO A JUDGE ONLY
#12 PREPARATION (YOURS) IS EVERYTHING – KNOW THE FACTS
#13 PRACTICE DEPOSITIONS AND TRIALS
#14 IF YOU ARE THINKING OF A BETTER STRATEGY, GET A NEW LAWYER (NOT TRUE IN MY CASE)
#15 NEVER GIVE UP
#16 DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THE PROCESS
#17 USE MOCK TRIALS (PRETEND TRIALS YOU DO IN FRONT OF A HIRED JURY)
#18 DRESS SIMPLE AND CONSERVATIVELY IN COURT – NO JEWELRY EXCEPT A WEDDING BAND; WHITE SHIRT, PLAIN TIE AND DARK SUIT FOR MEN AND THE EQUIVALENT FOR WOMEN; SHORT GROOMED HAIR FOR MEN
#19 DON’T LOSE YOUR TEMPER IN COURT – IT’S OKAY TO CRY IF IT’S REAL
#20 HAVE YOUR SPOUSE IN THE FRONT ROW EVERY DAY. CHILDREN ALSO IF POSSIBLE. OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS IN SECOND ROW IS OKAY
#21 NO QUOTES TO THE PRESS OTHER THAN ‘WE BELIEVE IN OUR CASE AND THAT IS WHY WE WENT TO COURT’. YOUR WORDS CAN EASILY BE TURNED AROUND.
#22 WHEN YOU BREAK FOR LUNCH OR A RECESS, REMEMBER NEVER TALK IN PUBLIC ABOUT THE CASE – YOU NEVER KNOW WHO MIGHT OVERHEAR
#23 WHEN YOU FIND A LEGAL TEAM THAT WINS, STAY WITH THEM
#24 ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH, NO MATTER WHAT. THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.
#25 DURING VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITIONS AND IN COURT, LOOK AT THE CAMERA AND THE JURY. MAKE EYE CONTACT.
#26 WHEN TESTIFYING IN A DEPOSITION/TRIAL, IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER, SAY YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER
It is a closed world of high litigators. Just about all huge regulation corporations have good to super-good attorneys. All huge regulation corporations do not have nice litigators. You do not all the time want an excellent lawyer, however someday should you develop geometrically, you’ll.
Like some other challenge administration, litigation should be managed. Sadly, like speech-giving, you change into an excellent litigant by going via a studying curve.
I do not imply it’s important to get entangled in shedding efforts (like making unhealthy speeches so after a while you make good speeches) to get ready to win in court docket. Giant regulation corporations will assist you to get forward of the training curve.
The Quantum Leap methodology talks advert nauseam about following your goals. Life with out goals is sort of a chicken with a damaged wing – it might probably’t fly. I wrote this article as a result of typically you will want litigation to observe your dream.
Exit and kick some butt, and do not let typical knowledge hold you from attaining your dream.
Standard knowledge says Do not Litigate.
All high-performance folks and the good organizations of the final 100 years did and do litigate as I write this letter.
Do not litigate frivolously – however do not be afraid to both.
To Your Quantum Leap,
Daniel S. Peña, Sr.