May 23, 2012
When Lawyers Lawyer Up
Let’s face it: when it comes to litigating a family business
dispute, a lawsuit can be a trial! The road to court is paved with years of
depositions, pre-trial hearings and other exhaustive legal maneuverings, and by
the time the trial date finally arrives, the lawyer-client bond has been
strengthened by the shared experience of navigating the legal trenches
According to today’s guest article by Henry C. Krasnow, such emotional entanglement
coupled with sheer trial fatigue can cloud an attorney’s otherwise sound legal
judgment. This can become a problem, especially when a lawyer stubbornly clings
to his original strategies to the bitter end, and consequently rejects reasonable
settlement offers along the way. Such acts of foolish pride not only can lose a
case, by more importantly, they can discourage future business. Hey, if The
Practitioner was your client, I’d be much
happier walking away with something than nothing!
I know, I know—when you’re elbow deep in a trial, objectivity
can fly straight out the window. Which is precisely why Krasnow advocates
bringing on outside counsel to help keep things in check. Doing so is by no
means an indication of failure. On the contrary: accepting guidance from others
signals to clients that you’re adaptable. After all: everyone makes mistakes.
It’s about how you handle setbacks, that matters most.
Of course, if your client autonomously hires back-up
counsel, don’t scoff! Instead, salute your client’s initiative, and play nicely
with your new team members. Remember: it can’t be easy for clients to tap
reinforcement, given the emotional delicacy involving the relationship they
already have with you.
Bottom line: keep the communication lines open, and remain
fluid. And if everything isn’t hunk-dory in Legal Land, pair willingly with outside
counsel to maintain a sensible approach moving forward. Because when it comes
to satisfying your family enterprise clients, course correction is not a crime!
But don't take The Practitioner's word for it, seek a second opinion yourself and read Kranow's article by clicking the button below.
About the Contributor:
Henry C. Krasnow is the author of "Your
Lawyer: An Owner’s Manual” and partner at Krasnow Saunders Cornblath Kaplan and Beninati LLP. He has over forty
years experience crafting solutions to legal problems that are focused on
increasing the profitability of entrepreneurial and family businesses. He
advises business owners on a broad range of problems, such as family business
succession planning and dispute resolution, real estate development, sales and
acquisitions of businesses, intellectual property protection, resolution of
business disputes through litigation, arbitration, negotiation and mediation,
and debt restructuring. An FFI Fellow and FFI Interdisciplinary Achievement
Award winner, Henry also holds a certificate in Family Business Advising. Henry
can be reached at http://www.ksc-law.com.
Be sure to look for The Practitioner: Wednesday Edition
next week in your email or online, when we feature our next guest article "The Power and Practice of Storytelling” by Judith Kolva.
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