Beware of inherent financial risk when you ask your attorney to be “more aggressive” in your case!
There are many ways to pursue conflict, with aggression on one end of the spectrum and cooperation on the other end of the spectrum. It is understood that due to the personal nature of any dispute, the desire for immediate gratification or timely resolution of issues raised is very important to any client. However, many customers aren’t aware that aggressive and collaborative options generally come in very different price tags.
As a seasoned attorney for over 25 years, I usually have a discussion with my clients about “aggressive” and “cooperative” acting. The incentive for the majority of these discussions is that clients are frustrated by the time they spend trying to “talk” to the other party and their attorneys. The misconception is that jumping hard with both feet, filing a lawsuit and forcing the other party to respond, will speed up the process and at the end of the day, it will cost less.
I agree that being so aggressive can sometimes, but not always, see a faster solution to a problem. This may be because the other side simply does not want to deal with the situation at hand or that your attorney is able to utilize the courts to help maintain a timely schedule. However, this tactic is much more expensive, as it requires a lot of work. More suggestions for the court. More hearings. More back and forth with the other side. If the opposing party consists of aggressive attorneys, then you need to spend more time and more expense to stay ahead of them until they are in the center of defense and you are in breach. It’s not always faster, because there are a lot of procedures and rules about when and how responses take place. Not surprisingly, “aggressive” court cases take years to finish.
Collaborative is the flip side of being aggressive. It can take longer, but not always. In sum, it is very prohibitive, because the attorneys in question only do the work necessary to assert the client’s rights and act on the advancing momentum of the case. The collaborative option can be faster in many cases, because attorneys can operate outside the time requirements of litigation.
Listen, almost nothing about being a party is fun. Certainly, there is a lot to be said about the cathartic nature of “putting on screws” of someone who has harmed you, your business and ultimately your livelihood. However, as with any emotional situation, it is best to pause for a moment, put the anger aside and think about the realistic and positive outcome for you. If the ultimate goal is to get out on the other side of the conflict with your business and assets still standing, then I highly recommend starting a collaborative process. It will require you to be patient. However, it may solve all the issues at hand well before having to use more powerful options.
Alternatively, if you find yourself in a place where you need to be aggressive from the start or as a result of a failed attempt to cooperate, make no mistake – there are many brilliant lawyers who specialize in aggression. Just be aware that it will likely be an expensive and lengthy process.
Are you in a situation that requires a strong strategy to solve it? We visited Business Lawyer Consulting Page Make a time to speak with one of our licensed business attorneys. We’ll hear the details of your specific situation and help you create a game plan for how to move forward – aggressively or cooperatively.
author: Larry Donahue
Larry Donahue is an attorney and founder of Law 4 Small Business, PC. It is licensed to practice law in the Illinois, New Mexico, and US Patent and Trademark Office.