Frequently Asked Questions

Doesn’t your slogan, 1-800-SUE-THEM, contribute to the problem of litigiousness, by encouraging frivolous lawsuits?

altNo. The intention, and we think the effect, is the opposite. The action our ad recommends is, not to sue, per se, but rather to consult a good lawyer. A good lawyer, by and large, knows whether or not a case is sound. Because a plaintiffs’ lawyer receives his fee only as a percentage of what he wins in the case, and he’s not likely to win, or win much, on a bad case (whereas litigating it takes considerable work); and since a lawyer can be sued or even disbarred for bringing a trivial or legally groundless case; the plaintiffs’ lawyer has built-in disincentives to purse bad cases. Hence people consulting competent lawyers about prospective claims, far from stimulating bad lawsuits, tends to prevent them. It may encourage righteous claims, but these are not objectionable. The big corporations’ cry of “frivolous lawsuits” when those businesses clamor for so-called “tort reform” (restricting citizens’ access to the courts) is a red herring, for frivolous lawsuits are comparatively uncommon, and easy to deal with. The real target of “tort reform” is the just case. Finally, if anyone in the profession has an incentive to take unwarranted legal action, it is not plaintiffs’ lawyers, in prosecuting bad cases, but defense lawyers, in opposing good ones, as they (defense attorneys) are paid by the hour, regardless of a case’s merits or results.

Even if a claim is valid, isn’t litigation, or even an aggressive attitude, sometimes counterproductive?

Yes. As a rule, a fair out-of-court settlement is preferable to litigation, since it is less time-consuming and less costly, which is why we attempt to settle a case before we file suit. But an attorney must be ready, willing, and able, in appropriate cases, to go to trial, because sometimes a case does not settle, yet is worth trying. And if a lawyer never goes to trial, he’ll never obtain adequate settlements, as the insurance companies and defense attorneys will know that there is no adverse consequence (losing a trial) to their refusal to provide a reasonable settlement. Similarly, a harsh attitude is not always called for. The lawyer’s ultimate aim should be, not aggressiveness, but effectiveness, which is often best achieved with a softer touch. Courtesy, usually reciprocated, pays. Again, however, when the defense is uncooperative, the good plaintiffs’ lawyer must be able to get tough, go into court and fight, and win.