The Same Approach
Every case is different. Every client is different. However, we approach every case the same way with a proven system that, combined with our experience, gets results. It doesn’t matter if you have a criminal case like a DUI, a traffic ticket, or you were injured in a car accident. Our thorough approach, combined with Our Promise, delivers consistently great results for our clients.
So many attorneys fly by the seat of their pants, so to say. They have a general idea of what they need or want to do for your case, but very few of them have a specific plan in place to guide them from start to finish. The approach Our Team takes for every case makes sure that no stone goes left unturned, that nothing gets missed, and that we get you the best outcome possible. Here’s how we do it:
It all starts with doing smart intake. We like to make sure we’re on the same page with you so you can be confident your case is being handled well. We’re actually starting that process as you read this and learn what you can expect from us. We’re not telling you to sign on the dotted line and trust us to handle things without telling you what we’re going to do. You know the service you’re going to be receiving.
Smart intake also means that we make sure we have the information we need to hit the ground running right away. Before you hire us you’ll talk with us about your situation, your background, and your concerns. We don’t just take your name and your money and deal with the rest later like so many attorneys do. We take the time to get things straight from the start so we can start helping you right away. And that’s important for your whole case, but it’s especially important for the next step.
There are almost always important, time-sensitive tasks that need to be done right away. Waiting to do these can sometimes damage your whole case permanently while other times the urgent matters simply allow you some convenience or peace of mind, which is important to you so it’s important to us.
An urgent task that is important for just about any type of case is gathering fleeting evidence that may disappear if isn’t secured quickly. Commonly, this is potential video surveillance that might exist of the incident leading to your case. We need to make sure that security tapes (or hard drives) don’t get written over, which often happens within days or weeks of the incident.
Another example of an urgent task is scheduling a DMV hearing in a DUI case within 10 days to make sure your driver’s license isn’t automatically suspended. Or in an injury case making sure you see a doctor right away to properly document and treat your injuries so the insurance company can’t cite your gap in treatment as a reason to pay you less money. Or in a felony case it is always urgent to try to talk with the District Attorney before charges are filed to see if we can convince them not to charge you with any crime or with a less-serious crime. If you’ve already been charged, it’s urgent that we prepare for the bail hearing to make sure you are not unnecessarily taken into custody or required to post bail, which can be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We do efficient but thorough intake to identify these urgent tasks so we can prioritize them. The legal process can be slow, and sometimes that can be helpful. However, certain things need doing right away, and we make sure to get those things done before moving on.
Every single case can benefit from the client, you, helping the attorney, us. You may not want to, and it’s fine if that is your preference. But most people are eager to do something to help their case, and there is always something to do. Too many lawyers tell their clients to just let them handle the case without any help or input from the client because the attorney doesn’t want to bother. That is a recipe for less-than-ideal results.
Client Homework can take a lot of different forms for different types of cases, even small cases. For example, even in a traffic ticket case, it can be helpful for the client to get a copy of their driving record so we know what it looks like before we go into court.
In Personal Injury cases, the client always has a big homework project: GET BETTER! That means going to your doctor appointments, communicating with your medical providers about how you’re feeling, and updating us about your progress.
In all criminal cases it can be beneficial for the client to review the evidence and give us their input about it. We always like for our clients to examine the accuracy of police reports, for example. You are too important of a resource to be ignored.
Ultimately, almost all client homework contributes towards the evidence we have to work with, which is the focus of the next step, Investigation.
Investigation is an extremely important part of any case. It doesn’t just mean knocking on doors looking for witnesses, although it that can be part of it. Investigation is gathering ALL the evidence in a case. Ultimately, all cases revolve around the evidence, and you can’t win a case without evidence that supports your position. Evidence can be physical evidence, like a knife. It can also be photographs, videos, or reports. One piece of evidence that is sometimes the most important is the statements of witnesses.
Gathering all this evidence during the investigation process can be a long process. In criminal cases, we want to get all the discovery (a fancy word for evidence) the District Attorney will give us, but that isn’t the end of the investigation and too many attorneys stop there. We then have to review that evidence to see what other evidence it might refer to that we don’t have. We then have to get that additional evidence, whether it be through a court motion, a subpoena, or sending our own investigators to find it. This can take a long time and is often the most stressful period of a case while you wait for us to get it, but it’s important that we have it all if we want to get good results.
One part of the investigation that we already touched on is finding our own evidence, such as surveillance videos. There may be other evidence out there that could greatly help your case that we can’t assume will be gathered for us- so we need to make sure we get it ourselves.
In a car accident Personal Injury case, there may be a police report, but that isn’t the end of the story. A police report isn’t admissible in court, so we want to get every piece of evidence we can to prove the other person was at fault. Enough is never enough because the more evidence we have, the more your case is worth.
After we have all the evidence, it’s time to see what the evidence means for your case: what does the law say about the evidence? In every case, both sides are trying to figure out what is going to happen at trial and what the likely outcome of that trial will be. Our job is to convince the other side that the trial is going to go our way, and we need to have the arguments to back that up.
We need to figure out what evidence is admissible, and what evidence might be kept out. We need to figure out what motion or motions we can file based on the evidence to help your case. We need to research similar cases and see what the courts have decided so we know what the courts are likely to decide in your case.
This is often the most important part of a case. This is the stage where critical legal issues are identified and potential loopholes that may help or hurt your case are discovered, and it’s the stage where our experience and expertise is best put to use.
Perhaps the blood test in your DUI case is inadmissible because the police didn’t have a warrant or didn’t follow protocol in drawing your blood. Perhaps the District Attorney is missing a key element of the felony charge against you that may result in a dismissal after we cross-examine the police officer at the preliminary hearing.
Maybe you have a large medical bill in your injury case from that you can’t be billed for. Maybe the person who hit you with their car doesn’t have any insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance, but we’re able to find another person who is also liable and does.
There are countless stories of good analysis turning a losing case into a winner or even turning a good case into a great case. You need to have the key pieces of evidence, of course, but this stage is where cases are most often won or lost and where we make the biggest impact.
Once we’ve gathered all the evidence and done our analysis of what it means for your case, it’s time to sit down with you and explain it all. You’ve probably already received and reviewed the evidence, because we like to send it out to you as we receive it so we can get your feedback. But now it’s time for us to review with you the pieces of evidence that we think are the most important and how we think they’ll likely impact your case.
We’ll review what conclusions our prior analysis leads to and how they impact your case. We’ll talk about potential realistic resolutions for your case. Make no mistake, this conversation is not always us telling you that we think we can get your case dismissed in a criminal case or get you a million dollars in an personal injury case, but that does happen. If you’re looking for someone to only tell you what you want to hear, then we’re not the firm for you. We believe in honest communication that gives it to you straight whether it’s good or bad or somewhere in between.
Ultimately, after you’re well informed of what the evidence is likely to mean for your case and what we think we can do with it, we’ll get our marching orders from you. You’ll tell us what you want to happen, and what you need to happen. Most often, you’ll be telling us the same types of things we already told you we think are realistic results. You may not, though, and that’s okay. You are the boss, and our job is to pursue the results that you want. Of course, just because you want the results does not mean we will be able to achieve them.
When we have your marching orders about what resolution you’d like for us to pursue, we get to work pursuing it. Sometimes that means aggressively filing motions in a criminal case or taking depositions in a personal injury case.
Other times it means negotiating with the other side. Negotiations can occur in many different ways, but it almost always involve us leveraging the advantages we discovered in our analysis to convince the other side that the trial outcome will favor us.
In criminal cases, negotiation often involves selling you, the client, as someone who is deserving of leniency of some kind. If you’re Mother Theresa, then great. If you’re not quite there, we’ll find what we can about you to work with.
In personal injury cases, negotiation can involve the threat of a bad faith claim, one of the few things insurance companies fear, or the threat of lengthy litigation, costing them tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses.
This Resolution Pursuit process is usually the single most important part of your case. We’ve gotten information about you, we’ve addressed the emergencies along the way, you’ve done your homework to help us, we have and know the evidence, and we have learned everything we can to predict what would happen at trial through our analysis. Now is the time for us to put all of that together to convince the lawyer or lawyers on the other side that they will lose, and that they should give us what we want to avoid losing.
Every single type of case involves convincing another party, whether that is a judge, a jury, or another lawyer or firm of lawyers, that they should give us what you want. That’s what the process we use in every case is designed to achieve, and it works nearly every time.
After we achieve your desired and approved resolution, the job is still not done. One obvious step that needs to be completed is to communicate to you what the resolution is and what it means for you.
In a criminal case, even a dismissal may have a minimal impact on your future. You need to know that information so you can live accordingly, but more importantly so you can live at ease knowing that you don’t have some unknown hazard hanging over your head.
Where there is not a dismissal, followup becomes extremely important. You may have obligations that you need to fulfill or your rights may be impacted in some way. It’s crucial that you are well-informed about the details so you can protect yourself. Additionally, those obligations and rights may change, even years in the future, and we make sure to remind you of important milestones down the road, including your eligibility to have your criminal record cleared.
Followup in a personal injury case is usually less involved, but even a large settlement is not the end of the road. There are likely still outstanding medical bills that need to be negotiated or possibly totally eliminated. Just that bit of followup can mean tens of thousands of dollars in your pockets instead of the bank of the insurance company or healthcare provider.
Too many attorneys get the resolution on paper and then think they’re done. We make sure to see things through to the very end, meaning until the case is no longer impacting you, our client.