I practice law all across Washington. I handle a range of litigation matters, with an emphasis on real estate and construction law. I assess each situation as realistically as possible so that we start the process with clear goals. Litigation results are simply not possible to predict with any sort of accuracy. The judge, the jury, the arbitrator or any other factor can dramatically influence results, and this is something lawyers don’t often fully control. That’s why I’ve found that there are “three Ps” which are key to successful litigation. I really try to use these “three Ps” as a guide for all cases.
Plan: Figure out goals, deadlines, and how information will flow between the client and lawyer. The one thing that truly can put a damper in a case is struggling to get information from your own client, or having to hunt the client down to get basic information, for discovery or otherwise. Responsiveness is key, on both sides. Emails and phone calls must be returned. We’re in the information age, so we are all flooded. Litigation is not ‘fun’ for the client. I recognize that. It’s not like watching the Seahawks or Sounders. But we still have to stay entirely engaged throughout the process.
Personality: Personalities must align. If a case is heading towards litigation, I like to sit down, get a coffee and really hash out where we stand, what to expect. If anyone has reservations at that time — before trial deadlines start approaching — then it’s probably not a great fit and both sides should reconsider.
Payment: Unfortunately litigation is never cheap. I have tried to keep my firm’s overhead low so that hourly rates are slightly below market for someone with more than 12 years of experience. I ask clients to always turn a close eye to all billings and let me know if they have questions. But with the cost of litigation — which is always time-consuming — it is difficult to estimate total costs. I often work out payment plans to make cash crunch issues easier. But there must be a full understanding that it gets expensive, and unless the client chooses to settle, there is always risk, and the phrase “in for the penny, in for the pound” ends up being accurate more often than not the further a case progresses.
For more information, check out my AVVO page.
LL.M. in Taxation, University of Washington School of Law, 2003
Honors: Top Ten Percent
J.D. University of Oregon School of Law, 2002
Honors: Outstanding Student in Law and Entrepreneurship
B.A., English, Tufts University, 1996
Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Washington State Bar Association, 2004
Oregon State Bar Association, 2003
United States Tax Court, 2003