Litigation and NegotiationAs of September 2009, there were 47,136 lawsuits pending in Bexar County, Texas. Of those, 67 resulted in a trial with a final decision rendered by a jury between September 2009 and August 2010. In other words, only 0.1 percent - less than one percent! - of cases were resolved by a jury. Although there are many other methods for getting a case to a dismissal or judgment, those statistics suggest and our experience confirms that, in the vast majority of cases, parties will head down the litigation path only to find that the process of litigation assisted them in reaching an agreeable resolution. However, not all disputes are destined for a friendly resolution and, sometimes, putting the facts and legal arguments before a jury of our peers, esteemed member of the judiciary, or mutually selected arbitrator(s) is the only way to resolve a disagreement. Having experienced litigation counsel that understands when to approach a problem aggressively and when to proceed toward the path of reconciliation and negotiation sooner than later is critical not only in terms of a potential recovery, but also in terms of reducing costs.
Some firms approach litigation in the same manner they approach drafting agreements: if they've used the same document in the past, they will use it again in what they consider to be the same situation. Thus, if they've litigated a contract dispute before, they will most likely use the same approach repeatedly. There are some cost and experience benefits obtained from using the same approach in litigation on a particular type of claim repeatedly, but it is not always beneficial. Moreover, it is not necessarily the familiarity with a concept that leads to success in the arena of lawsuits, but the willingness to work hard to accomplish the client's goals and ability to think "outside the box".
While we do not seek to reinvent the wheel, our firm prides itself on creative litigation strategies blended with cost cutting measures. We believe in identifying and addressing the weaknesses of our clients (as well as their opponents) early in representation so that our clients improve their chances of recovery and the parties can better understand their relative positions. Our multi-faceted approach does not rely on a "cookie cutter" methodology but employs a combination of hard hitting research, investigation when necessary, and keenly posited legal arguments.
Negotiations & Dispute Settlement
We also believe in informed negotiation. We begin by developing a thorough understanding of a client's goals through question and answer sessions. We then supplement with independent research of the legal issues. Research is important in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a negotiating position or strategy. It also improves understanding how the party you are negotiating with may agree or disagree with you. A good negotiation concludes with each party feeling like he or she achieved some, but not all aspects of what they wanted. Our negotiation aims to conclude with a client maximizing his or her goals.
Our law firm has also developed a propensity for assisting clients with the prompt resolution of disputes - preparing early and well and striking while the opportunity is most open. We pair tactful lawyering with business acumen to present our clients with the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed plan. Our experience guides us in providing our opinion on when to be aggressive and when not to be, and our insistence on preparation puts us in a position of strength at the settlement table. While many firms take the mediation process for granted because it has become so common, we actively engage our clients to prepare them for the experience for both peace of mind and to help maximize the outcome.
Through the course of our practice, we have resolved numerous disputes before and during litigation. In many cases, the parties had been at an impasse prior to working with our firm.