My practice is limited to civil litigation and appeals. I am located in Vero Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Business & Commercial Law, Insurance Law, Personal Injury (Plaintiffs & Defense), Products Liability Law and Professional Malpractice Law. I also conduct civil mediations for other lawyers.
I am available to represent clients in every level of the Florida State court system, the Federal courts in the Southern District of Florida, the Federal Appeals Court which covers Florida (11th Circuit), and the United States Supreme Court.
I am also admitted in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts (all four inactive).
Law and creativity do mix. The rote approach to representing any client does a disservice to the client, the lawyer, and the profession. Unfortunately, especially during the last few years, we have seen a deterioration of the profession:
Instead of a reasoned approach, which views a jury’s resolution as a legitimate option, plaintiffs’ lawyers in search of a large, quick cash flow, persuade their clients to settle their cases for far less than a jury would be likely to award, by highlighting to the client the possibilities of losing. The lawyer’s economics are telling – If the lawyer can settle ten cases for 25% of their likely verdict by doing only 10% of the work (or having a paralegal do the work), the lawyer earns money 2.5 times as quickly. This approach is often paired with a massive advertising campaign and pays for that campaign. Only the lawyer benefits – the client is taken advantage of, the physicians usually do not get paid the value of their services, and the public’s perception of the system suffers.
On the other side are the insurance defense lawyers and commercial litigators whose whole existence seems to tied to the number of their billable hours. Work which should take minutes takes hours. Work which has already been done for another client is billed as if it is done freshly for the new client. The format of pleadings, motions and letters are changed to make them take up additional pages so more can be billed for them. The person controlling the litigation (claims adjuster in the insurance setting or client in a commercial setting) is told how strong the case is, but, in the same breath, is also told that “extensive work will need to be done in order to prevail.” Sadly, that extensive work often consists of unfocused, goalless paper shuffling, yielding nothing more than aimless motions and discovery. Ask your lawyer why a motion to dismiss has to be filed – most of the time the same defenses can be raised in the Answer and decided at trial, when it is too late to correct the perceived defects. Raising them in a motion to dismiss only gives the plaintiff a chance to correct a poorly pled Complaint. Why do it? The lawyer will be paid by the hour. Needless work will be done. The best time for a defense lawyer (not client) to settle a case is when most of the work has been done and before there is any real risk of losing – near the beginning of trial. At that time, the lawyer often then tells the client that the case must now be settled. The end result to the client? All the money given to the lawyer to prepare the case for trial is for naught. If a thorough review of the facts by attorney and client were conducted in the early stages of the case, the case would have been settled then, saving the client time and money.
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