“I promised you dad not to do the things you’ve done, I’ll walk away from trouble when I can. Now please don’t think I’m weak, I couldn’t turn the other cheek, Papa I sure hope you’ll understand: sometimes you have to fight when you’re a man…” Coward of the County, Kenny Rodgers, United Artists, 1979.
Few normal people go out looking for a fight, either in a bar room or a courtroom, but sometimes—like in Coward of the County—circumstances require you to fight in order to resolve a dispute. Thankfully, in light of his friendly nature, Attorney Sullivan is paid to fight in the courtroom and keeps his hands to himself in the bar room. When litigation is necessary, he understands that in the end there will be no “winner.” Rather, there will be a loser and someone who has lost less. For that reason his approach to litigation is simple: hope to settle, but be fully prepared to fight so clients lose less.
Where Attorney Sullivan stands out is in the manner he buttresses his hope for a settlement by aggressively pushing his cases. He does not passively wait for the other side to grow weary and make a settlement based on some artificial timetable. By employing the civil process as a sword rather than a shield, he is able to test the opposing party’s resolve and get the parties into active settlement discussions before standing at the proverbial courthouse steps. In this effort, the Hourless Pledge is invaluable. By offering clients fixed fee options, even in complicated litigation matters, Sullivan Legal has no incentive to prolong the litigation, and every reason in the world to explore creative ways to reach client goals. This teaming approach aligns attorney-client interests and helps encourage a thorough, realistic evaluation of the merits and risks of a case before the fees accumulate over time and reach such a level that they serve as the only barrier to settlement.
If the hope for a settlement fades, the same aggressive approach employed to force a favorable settlement serves as the foundation for a well-prepared, trial-ready case, as opposed to a hastily thrown together plea for mercy. Like many of us (hopefully) learned in high school, cramming for a test is never as effective as preparing throughout the semester. The same principle applies when the exam is being graded by a judge or jury. At Sullivan Legal, we work hard to get As, but do not complain when the test is cancelled as a result of a favorable settlement!