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Lessons Learned

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The power of an excellent attorney-client relationship can never be understated. The following are just a few examples of how our clients work together with us in helping maximize the value of their own case.

Case Study #1

Recently, at a client’s deposition, the opposing attorney made every effort to be disarming, and the client seemed to fall into the trap of speaking in a conversational manner and offering more information that was being requested.

We strongly reinforced the point and reminded our client not to be gratuitous in the answers, and to limit them to the question being asked. The defense attorney wasn’t there to help our client get more money–rather, the opposite. Defendants’ attorneys will make every effort to weaken a client’s case.

Lesson learned: Although attorneys are present during depositions and trials, it is important that clients are well prepared for to give testimony. As a client, you must remember that, no matter how an opposing attorney is acting, there is only one advocate on your case–your own attorney!

Case Study #2

A case that recently resolved at trial in excess of $1 million involved a client who was referred to our office by a prior client who informed him about our reputation as an industry leader after he had already been retained by another firm. He came to our office and requested that we take over his case, which we did.

After trial, he mentioned to me how comfortable I made him throughout the whole process and how thorough our legal team was. He explained to me that, during our initial conversation, I had asked him many questions about the accident and discussed his past and future damages, which the prior attorney had never addressed; he knew then that we were the right firm to handle his personal injury case.

This client realized that the resources and experience level of our firm were impressive and that our focus on detail and on maximizing the value of his case was the exact reason he chose to have us take over the handling of the matter.

Lesson learned: Make sure your attorney is able to explain the litigation process to you, so you have an understanding of what is going to happen in your case.

Case Study #3

One of the significant product liability and construction accident cases I recently settled involved a client who sustained a permanent facial disfigurement that required multiple sutures as a result of an accident involving an electric hand tool.

At the initial client meeting, we had a professional photographer take many photographs. Additionally, we had that professional photographer meet with the client every month for the first year after the accident, taking photographs of the facial scars as they healed.

This photo documentation allowed us to reach a large settlement without trial. The defendant’s attorney and insurance adjuster were both present at mediation when the case settled, and they acknowledged that the photos would have served as powerful evidence if we had gone to trial.

Lesson learned: Persistence, patience, careful planning, and cooperation can be crucial in winning your case, often with less struggle than would otherwise be necessary.

By: Howard Raphaelson

Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Established in New York, NY, his personal injury law firm has obtained numerous million-dollar verdicts. With over twenty-five years of experience as a personal injury attorney, he has earned a trusted reputation from his peers, judges, and top leaders, including recognition among the top 5% injury attorneys as a “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) and “New York’s Best Lawyers” (New York Magazine). View all posts by Howard Raphaelson

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