It has been difficult to find a company size crisis to write about this week. All the crises seem to be national and world class. I have been having hallucinations about being a Dollar A Year man for the new government, serving as a one person think tank on crisis management. Oh well. At least it’s a nice hallucination – doing what I do best for the right causes and the right government.
Until I am summoned – yeah right – I had better take pen to paper (electronically) and deal with the AllBusiness.com Crisis Management column with which I have been blessed.
I am now coming up to trial in a case in which, as Plaintiff’s counsel, I know I am going to make it to the jury – no directed verdict potential against me here. I also know that my opponent is a good man and a good lawyer, but one who will not lobby for settlement in any case, no matter what. He has a perfect client, people who insist that they must be vindicated, no matter the facts. They won’t be.
Have I suggested non violent resolution? Yes, of course. They think I am begging. How stupid!
Assume you have so much money that you can just buy the pot in any game. Now ask yourself if that is really true. Is it just a dollars issue with you? Are there no other important ongoing issues at play? Will your reputation in the courts in your home jurisdiction become such that all the judges see your company as over litigious? What will your home town judicial attitude become as you elect to fight with so many people so often? Judges have so many discretionary case management opportunities. Will things start going against you as they seek to send you a message about your dispute management perspectives?
If your lawyer of choice is not lobbying you to revisit these issues, is it because he is simply so happy to have your open wallet from which to extract evergreen fees? Not likely. More likely he is simply apprehensive that if he is seen by you to be conciliatory, he will be cashiered, and some new counsel may get to enjoy your scorched earth approach.
Your lawyer is probably the only person who profits from your attitude about dispute resolution. Why should he lose out because your ego is so perniciously engaged? He knows that eventually you will become shell shocked. Even the best counsel will ride that wave. And in the end you will blame your lawyer for the misfortunes that will certainly befall anyone who likes to duke it out with the world. Fortunately, in this case, my client can afford everything that my opponent’s client can throw, and it is now very obvious that the case is going my way, especially to the trial judge.
We have great object lessons here right now. Our national foreign policy of threatening people, directly and through our surrogates whom we pay enormous sums to pretend to agree with us, has brought on such great public disgust that the government is not being replaced by another Republican regime. General Motors, the world’s most out of touch deep pocket, is now, finally, begging. No one is forever bullet proof. Get some help before it’s too late.