Think how often you get out of the car, and drag an armload of plastic shopping bags into the house. Leaving aside the groceries, we haul in–and dump on the kitchen counter–clothes, books, TVs, laptops, desktops, hand-held PCs, monitors, all manner of computer and electronic games and gizmos, cell phones, small appliances, and goodness knows what all else. That’s just the stuff that you can lay out on the counter. That’s before we even start on vehicles and large appliances.
How would you describe the perfect client? Would the description be something along these lines?
Remember the infamous Carbolic Smoke Ball? The 1893 decision in Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company is not just memorable from a literary and historical standpoint; it remains good authority, 120 years later, for important contract law doctrines, including those of offer, acceptance, consideration and misrepresentation.
Cases of investment and securities fraud come in many sizes. It is hard not to feel for middle aged and older individuals who have seen their life savings and pension investments shrivel or disappear while under the supposedly watchful eye of some third party.
One of the most satisfying things about the practice of litigation is that every so often, you do get to rescue an individual, or a group of individuals, from an unfair and difficult situation. You get to be part of the solution for once–by helping the cause of justice to prevail. You know that you have helped to make the world a better place.
The Staten Island Advance reports that lawyer John O’Leary recently negotiated a $750,000 settlement for his client, mid-trial, for injuries she suffered when a car struck her as she crossed a street. Helena Rozanska, 62, a housekeeper at a convent at the time of the accident, injured her arm so badly that she was unable to return to work or perform her own household chores, such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.
If you are ready and willing to take on the big corporations on behalf of individual and consumer groups, you had better be ready to market yourself on the internet. I’ve pointed out earlier in this series you can get that marketing by supporting OLM’s online news magazine lawyersandsettlements.com. It’s a way to get a significant increase in internet exposure for a modest investment, and at minimal cost in terms of your own time and energy.
As any lawyer will tell you, the first hour a new client has with you is the most valuable. The reason? You give your client two immediate payoffs, namely information and relief.
Remember the good old days? When you learned about a trial decision when the law report digests came out? If you were lucky you read about the decision in the newspaper or heard about it by way of lawyer gossip. And as for settlements–good luck in finding anything out anywhere–the cases just vanished.
Have a look at this scenario. It’s Friday night, and for you one more week at the office is finally over. You’re drained-used-up-exhausted-for the thousand reasons only another lawyer will understand. Finally home, you’ve changed into T-shirt and sweatpants, and you’re standing in the kitchen deciding whether to have a drink or go for a run. It’s a tough decision.