Rock Swimming Upstream by Elizabeth Black
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A Transaction / Litigation Law Firm

I practice law in a customized and result-oriented manner. I understand that every client has their own personality, character, history, habits and budget. An approach that fits one may be too slow, too expensive, or too disruptive for another.  I want to understand your business, your goals, and your limitations so I can be your lawyer.

I also understand that many clients associate the hiring of lawyers with negative events in their lives. I cannot control the external factors that sometimes require clients to seek legal advice; what I can do is try my best make the legal processes as comfortable as possible. 

Core Principles

In my practice I follow certain principles:

1. The Transaction/Litigation Distinction is Artificial. I believe the distinction between litigation and transactional work, made at many law firms, is usually artificial. Business litigation, real estate litigation, employment litigation, and intellectual property litigation are almost always the result of a poorly drafted document or an incomplete negotiation.  Almost always the dispute can be traced to a document that was ambiguous, inconsistent, failed to define a key term, or simply failed to address an important issue altogether.  Because I am at home in the courtroom and the boardroom, I have the ability to facilitate transactions today that are least likely to become lawsuits tomorrow. 
 
2. I Practice Preventive Law. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.  I strive to help clients prevent legal problems, and I do this by careful drafting, anticipating possibilities, and educating my clients.  If you become party to a lawsuit, I will represent you capably in the litigation, but I will also teach you how to better protect yourself or your organization in the future. 

3. I Strive for Clear, Concise Communication. No matter how strong your case, or how bright your attorney, effective communication is the key to success in any legal forum. I insist on clear and concise writing.  Judges do not like "Legalese" and neither do I; you will not see words such as "hereinafter" or "aforementioned" in the documents I draft.  I believe the most effective communicators are almost always those who get their message across using as few words as possible. I support the use of plain English.

4. The Client is a Resource. I view you as my best source of information.  You know your business and your concerns better than anyone else.  I will consult you before making significant decisions on your behalf. 

5. I am Prompt and Responsive. I will be prompt and responsive to your needs. I will take your call if I can, and if I can't I will return your call quickly. I check email messages often and respond quickly.  If I will be unavailable for any extended period I will tell you that ahead of time and plan for any contingencies that may arise during my absence.

6. Honesty. I will be honest with you.  I will tell you the truth even if it hurts.  If I believe your legal position is weak, I will tell you that.  And I will tell what you can do to make sure your position is stronger if a similar situation arises in the future.  There may also be times that your legal position is strong, but it does not make economic sense to pursue legal action.  If I believe that to be the case, I owe it to you to tell you that.

7. I Will Keep You Informed.  I will keep you informed about your legal matter and all significant actions and developments.  If I feel the best course of action is "strategic inaction," I will consult you and explain my reasoning.  I will provide you with copies of all important documents I prepare and copy you on all significant emails and correspondence.

8. I am Practical.  I will be practical.  If I believe a certain legal solution will not be cost-effective, I will tell you that.  If I believe a short-term solution may present a long-term problem I will tell you that.
 
9. Focus on the Issues - Don't Get Sidetracked. Too many lawyers focus on side issues. I focus on the main issues, a philosophy that helps deliver cost-effective results.
 
10. I Will Not Be Intimidated.   I am not intimidated by large law firms. I have been up against some of the most prestigious firms in Colorado and beaten them.  
 
11.   The Party With the Most Money Does Not Always Win.  Litigation is costly, there is no doubt about it.  But the party with the most money does not always win.  Using resources wisely and not fighting unncecessary battles can level the playing field.  The U.S. spent $173 billion on the war in Vietnam.  The Viet Cong lived in tunnels, survived on rice, and fought with hand-me-down Soviet and Chinese weapons.  But the Viet Cong won.   Read my article - Litigating Like the Viet Cong: How to Win Against an Opponent with Superior Resources.

12. Keep it Simple.   Lawyers have a tendency to make things more complicated than they really are.  When I take on a project I try to keep it simple.  Well organized documents written in PLAIN ENGLISH are easier to read.  Trials should also be kept simple.  Judges and juries love simplicity.  

 

 

 

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