If you want to the best lawyer, maybe you should hire a fancy Loop lawyer that bills more than $500 an hour. You might get a great lawyer at that price. Or, you might hire a lawyer that I’ve thoroughly dismantled with superior strategy, legal argument, and litigation skills.
Did you know that getting into lawyer school has nothing to do with thinking strategically? It’s true.
But not only that, but getting good grades in law school has absolutely nothing to do with an ability to think strategically.
One way that I beat big-time lawyers is by thinking strategically. Many lawyers from big-time firms are there for reasons that have not much to do with their ability to think strategically. The problem is that unlike law school, when litigating strategy can play a big role in success.
Avoid intimidation traps
I recently had a case against a lawyer from the biggest divorce firm in Illinois – most of their clients are multi-millionaires.
The first time I met this lawyer she tried one of the most lame intimidation techniques I’ve ever seen.
When I walk into the judge’s chambers, we both had to wait for the completion of an administrative task. The lawyer introduces herself to me, and says “I’ve never heard of you. No one at my firm has ever heard of you.”
This is a common technique that mostly talent-less idiots use to try to intimidate the performance of lawyers with low self-esteem. It’s mean to make the other lawyer feel small, like they cannot possible fight lawyers from the big firm.
Knowing how to litigate – and fight
Some people are lot of talk. They pretend like they know everything, they strut around the courtroom, wear fancy outfits, and make annoying small-talk with court staff to show how family they are with being in court.
But that’s all a show.
The same big firm lawyer I mentioned above did this type of thing. But guess what happened when it was time for a hearing that lasted more than 4 hours?
She had to bring in a real litigator to conduct the hearing. So let me put this another way: the big firm lawyer was all show.
By the way – that other lawyer wasn’t much either. I took him head on, winning many key objections and surprising them with my creative examination of witnesses.
Focus on efficiency
Big firms often try to force the other party to spend money by focusing on a bunch of nonsense. You have to understand – people at those firms are under a lot of pressure to bill clients – they need to pay rent on fancy offices downtown, wages for front desk people and secretaries, and fancy artwork for their office walls. But I don’t need to do any of that.
So when big firms try to lead me down a black-hole of nonsense, I don’t take the bait just because I want to bill my client. What you should understand is that clients don’t have to fight about everything possible. Focus is an important part of litigation.
Properly use the law
While in law school, I worked for three judges. What I was surprised to learn is that even lawyers from big firms often misuse the law.
Sure, the law can be complicated. But many times divorce lawyers misuse the law. I think that’s because so much of divorce law is a bunch of he-said, she-said. Many divorce lawyers rely on skills that have nothing to do with legal analysis. However, I don’t shy away from using legal arguments, and studying the law. I’ve seen this approach works out better than I would have previously thought.