Why can’t we use the outcome of a past case to predict the result in a current or future case? The reason is because the outcome of a case depends on factors and variables, most of which are outside of our control, and those factors and variables will be different in each case. For example, suppose a jury awards someone $12,000.00. How did the jury arrive at that number? Well, those jurors relied on the facts of the case, their own personal life experiences, the judge’s instructions about the law, their common sense (hopefully), their education (or lack thereof), and other intangible factors including their biases and prejudices, to make their decision. The next case will involve twelve different jurors, each with different life experiences, biases, prejudices, viewpoints, as well as different lawyers, different facts, and different law. No two cases can ever be exactly alike; therefore, it is impossible to predict the outcome of a case by relying solely on the outcome of a different case.
It’s like a football game. Why can’t we predict the final score of today’s football game by relying on the final score of yesterday’s game, 21 to 10? The answer of course is that each game is different, with different players, different coaches, different weather conditions, different plays, different officials, and so on. While today’s game certainly might end in a final score of 21 to 10, that outcome is not made any more likely, or less likely, by the outcome of yesterday’s game.
Because predicting outcomes is impossible, I don’t include dollar amounts on my website. I don’t want you to get the mistaken impression that because one of my cases resulted in a $10,000.00 settlement, your case will also result in a $10,000.00 settlement. The case summaries on my website are simply examples of the types of cases we handle. I chose them for purposes of illustration only and not because of the verdict or settlement amounts because, again, amounts can be misleading and can lead to unrealistic expectations.
I have represented hundreds of injured clients in cases involving injuries ranging from whiplash to wrongful death resulting from tractor-trailer crashes, bicycle collisions, pedestrians killed by careless drivers, motorcycle crashes, and virtually every other type of crash or collision involving a vehicle. Some of those cases ended with jury verdicts, and some ended with settlements. Some cases ended with confidential settlements, which means that neither I nor my clients can discuss the outcome at all. Dollar amounts have ranged from a few hundred dollars to well over a million dollars.
Based on my experience, a client’s best interest is served by having one unselfish, compassionate lawyer who is willing and able to hand-pick and join forces with other lawyers, if necessary, to form a customized “dream-team” for the particular case. Having successfully assembled and worked with many “dream-teams” over the years, I am fortunate to have a network of hundreds of qualified lawyers from which to choose.
The alternative to this “dream-team” approach is what I call the “Big Firm” approach. First, realize that big firms guard cases like Fort Knox guards gold. Tight. Big firms want clients to believe that every lawyer in their firm is the best of the best in every case and that no other lawyer in any other firm could add any value to any case. In my experience, that just isn’t true. The reality is that big firms have some lawyers who are very good at what they do, and other lawyers that aren’t as good, either from lack of experience or otherwise. Remember, not every lawyer graduated at the top of her class. Someone had to be at the bottom.
This is important because we, as professionals, are supposed to do whatever is in our clients’ best interests. Even if it means sharing the fee with a top shelf lawyer from another firm, if that lawyer’s expertise will benefit the client, we’re supposed to do it. For example, if “Big Firm A” has your case, and the lawyers at Big Firm A know that a lawyer at Big Firm B recently won a similar case for a gazillion dollars, it might be in your best interest for A to bring that lawyer into your case. However, Big Firm A might not bring in lawyer B because it might appear that Big Firm A is not capable of handling your case. Or, it might be that Big Firm A greedily doesn’t want to share its fee with a lawyer outside of the firm. Or, it might be a combination. Regardless, you, the client, are deprived of possible help because of Big Firm A’s own self-serving interests.
I do not handle cases that way.
If you will benefit from having lawyer B or lawyer C or D or E or F working on your case, or all of them, then I will do my best to associate them. The other lawyer(s) and I will agree on a fee-split arrangement. You will not have to pay ANY additional fee regardless of what or how many lawyers it takes to get you the best possible result. Your case is too important to be compromised by a lawyer’s greed or selfishness. The goal is to get the best possible outcome. The best way to accomplish that, in my opinion, is the “dream-team” approach instead of the big firm approach.