If you’re not a business attorney but you have a business litigation case, you’ll need to trust an expert. Since you don’t have legal knowledge though, how do you know if your attorney is using the right strategy? Their strategy could mean the difference between winning and losing. We have our own strategic approach based on the individual cases of our clients and every lawyer has their own style, but we can offer a little advice to make sure the attorney you chose is on the right track.
Is Your Business Attorney Reactive or Proactive?
First, he or she has to have one (a strategy, that is). Many lawyers practice reactively, instead of on the basis of a carefully-considered plan. That is dangerous. As a business owner who needs to protect your rights in court, you can’t afford to act without a sound plan that is right for you. Successful outcomes in litigation or trial do not happen without sound plans and the strategies that comprise them.
Does Their Litigation Strategy Take Your Priorities into Account?
Any smart plan must start and end with your priorities. A litigation strategy is only right for you if it makes sense to you and is right for your business. Since you have the best sense of what’s right for your business, Rule #1 is that the attorney must listen to you. Only by taking an active interest in what is important to you can an attorney truly represent you successfully.
Do They Understand Your Big-Picture Goals?
Once you’ve found an experienced trial attorney who can listen to you and taken your concerns into account, be prepared to discuss your goals with him. Do not limit yourself to your goals for the case; discuss your broader goals in the larger context of your business and your life.
Are They Communicating Their Strategies and Tactics?
Once you are satisfied that your business lawyer understands your goals, he can begin to craft a strategy for your case that will serve your goals. Strategies may range from “resolve this dispute as peacefully and as possible” to “push as hard and fast as you can to protect my intellectual property,” or even “send a message to make sure nothing like this can ever happen again.” Only after you’ve decided on a strategy to intelligently serve your goals can your attorney identify the tactics to put that strategy in play. These tactical components will be the concrete steps taken on the ground in your service.
This structured approach – Goals dictate Strategies that dictate Tactics – helps maximize success and client satisfaction. It also improves efficiency and minimizes expenses, because little to nothing will be done unless it is done for a specific purpose that is necessary for your overall strategic plan. In addition, this approach strengthens your command of the case and lets you keep the initiative, so that you spend as little time (and money) on the defensive as possible.
Call us at (206) 407-2536 (in Seattle) or (503) 224-9946 (in Portland) to learn how our strategic approach to litigation and business planning can help your business.