THE RADICAL SOLUTIONS-BASED MODEL FOR YOUR SUCCESS
(How to Get Your Top Cases to Trial Quickly Using a Solutions-Based Model)
So often you focus on the things you don’t do well in a lawsuit. Like many, you might take too long to serve the bill of particulars and discovery responses or you might not schedule the non-party depositions until the last two weeks before the discovery cut-off date. The list of your shortcomings can go on and on.
What if you took a completely different approach by focusing on the things you did well in a lawsuit. Yes, a case where everything seemed to work our just perfect for your client–you got a fantastic result for your client and to top it off, you never got a case to trial quicker. Everything went great for you and your client. But just think, why can’t all of your cases be like this?
Your Model for Success
About 10 years ago, my former partner, John K. Powers, Esq., handled a Labor Law case that had great liability and damages. As soon as the new case came to us, we knew this case would be settled for top dollar and it was just a matter of getting the case to trial as quickly as possible. Like almost all cases, you don’t get paid until the trial.
The intensity of John’s focus on this single case was something I have not seen before or since. The lawsuit was filed within the first week we had the case and a trial date was scheduled at the first preliminary court conference—yes, John had a trial date that was just 8 months from the filing of the lawsuit.
“You are simply asking yourself, what’s working and how can we do more of it.”
Dan & Chip Heath, Switch
John was razor-beam focused in serving discovery demands and responses before they were due and he made sure the defense did the same. Expert witnesses on liability and damages were hired early on and expert reports and analysis were completed in the first couple of months. As the case got closer to trial, the inevitable requests for an adjournment of the trial were made by defense counsel, but they were met by deaf ears. The case settled for $4 million on the first day of trial…and just 8 months after the filing of the lawsuit.
Cloning Your Successes
Was this a fluke that could never happen again? There are very few courts that will give you a trial date at the first preliminary conference and the trial calendar of many courts is backlogged by over a year. It would be very hard to get cases to trial in just 8 months in 98% of your cases. But wouldn’t it be a vast improvement if you got your cases to trial in 18 months or even 24 months?
What if you studied the success model in John’s Labor Law case and ask yourself, “This is what’s working for John—how can I do the same?” If this streamlined model for getting a case to trial worked for John, don’t you think it can work for you? Instead of tearing your hair out over your failures, you focus on your successes, or “bright spots”, and you try to clone them for all of your cases.
“Anytime you have a bright spot, your mission is to clone it.”
Chip Heath, Switch
You begin by focusing on your success stories. Yes, the cases that got to trial quickly and ended with a fantastic outcome for your clients. Now, look at what you did in that case—yes, the specific steps you took to move the case aggressively to trial. Write down the “bright spots” of your success stories and be as specific as possible. Now you’ve got your model for success, but you’re not done–your job is to clone the specific steps in your model for your highest value and most substantial cases (your “A” cases).
Don’t be too ambitious—take your success model and implement the same steps in your top value cases. Now, you’ve got an action plan for getting your best cases to trial quickly and you avoid the usual delays and adjournments that you almost always encounter.
Can you get your “A” cases to trial in just 8 months? Seems impossible when you live by the old way of doing things, where cases get to trial in 3-4 years, right? Focusing and implementing the specific tactics that have been successful (instead of your mistakes) is the best way to get your cases to trial quickly and get the results you want.