How Do Attorneys Handle Their Cases?

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Summary: Attorneys discuss the manner in which they handle their cases.
Attorneys handle their cases how they best see fit.

We asked six attorneys how they handle their cases. They all gave different opinions, some of which may surprise you. We hope you enjoy their responses.

I am an intellectual property attorney. I handle cases usually by urgency, but also by deadline. In dealing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, as well as foreign offices, there are always deadlines for response. So I respond by taking care of the most urgent first and making sure that all deadlines are met.

-Kathleen Lynch
Law Office of Kathleen Lynch

I handle my cases on a ‘case by case’ basis. It truly depends on the court, the other side, the circumstances, and the facts. Some criminal cases move extremely quickly, while complex white collar cases drag on for years. A large part of a successful litigator is to understand how to handle the variety of cases in an efficient manner. Logistically, I meet weekly with our partners to go through each matter and detail the upcoming events/deadlines, etc.
-Braden Perry
Kennyhertz Perry, LLC

Braden Perry, partner in the Kansas City-based law firm of Kennyhertz Perry, LLC is a former federal enforcement attorney and veteran in government compliance, having over 10 years of experience in the areas of financial services compliance, internal investigations, enforcement matters, regulatory issues, and litigation. He currently advises highly regulated firms and frequently speaks on compliance and regulatory topics. He was previously a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Chief Compliance Officer of a global financial firm.

I represent clients in civil and criminal cases. There isn't much freedom to handle cases any other way than on the government's schedule, but for civil cases, I try to handle them in three stages: investigation, negotiation, and litigation.
Investigation is probably the most important step because it sets you up for success in the rest of your case. If you know everything there is to know about a case before you contact the other side, you're at a huge advantage in negotiating settlement or forming a litigation strategy. It's more expensive in terms of time and money up front, but it's worth it in the end.
Negotiation is where most cases get settled. You get in touch with the other side. Show them the results of your investigation, and persuade them that it's not worth litigating the case. This is where you see the pay off from investigating up front: you get to show them why you're right without having to spend money in litigation for them to find that out.
Litigation, if it's necessary, is the third step. How you handle litigation is pretty much set by procedural rules, but if you've got a full investigation done up front, that forms the basis of your strategy. You know what you need to prove, and what evidence is available to prove it.
Thinking of each case as a three step process really helps keep you focused on what has to get done. More than anything, it stops you from getting lazy and shooting off demand letters that just make the other side think you'll be a pushover at trial.
-Sam Cannon
Attorney, CannonLaw, LLC

A case comes to me because someone has made an appointment with me. Clients usually find me through word of mouth or the internet. I perform the initial intake in person, by phone or Skype, and then develop a legal (immigration) strategy. Next, I give the client a list of items I need to continue their case. Depending on the type of case or client, my assistant or I do the data input. We use Outlook to tackle due dates and follow up. Clients can call, email or come by with questions. I like them to have an appointment but do not require it. I return calls within a business day. If a case requires it, I attend interviews out of town with the client or arrange for a colleague if I am unable to do them myself.
-Elizabeth Ricci, Esq. ”Immigration Law Expert” - 850 Business Magazine Seen on CNN, CBS, Fox, Univision & Al Jazeera Quoted in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal & Washington Post
Rambana & Ricci, PLLC “Concentrating on Complex Immigration Across the Nation”(tm) Skype: elizabeth_ricci


The answer to this question may scare many people who have hired attorneys in the past. While many attorneys and their staff are highly organized many others are the opposite. I have seen law offices where the lawyers did not have filing cabinets or even use file folders. Instead they kept huge stacks of paper all over their office. At Smallwood, P.A. we use a cloud based law office management software that keeps all our staff in check with tasks, billing, and trust accounting. At the end of the day nothing is more valuable than having a highly organized paralegal. The right support staff can absolutely make or break the firm, especially in this day and age where lawyers are commonly acting as social media and online marketers as well as advocates in court.
-Sean Smallwood, ESQ.

A “good” attorney handles their cases with the client's best interest in mind plain and simple. Although during the course of representation, the attorney can determine the course of action and strategy on particular matters in the case, the goal should always be to fight for the best outcome for your client. If you understand your client’s goals and their reasoning behind them, your “handling” of their case should be fairly straightforward. When an attorney fails to acknowledge that not every client is similarly situated, and they believe that a certain predetermined outcome is best for them, they are failing to properly handle the case at hand.
-Michael A. Troiano, Esq.
Attorney & Counselor at Law

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