You Won't Pay Us to Go to Trial
This is our promise to you and to all of our clients. More importantly, it’s our promise to judges, juries, district attorneys, insurance companies, other attorneys, and anyone else reading this or anyone who knows our firm. We’ll explain that promise and tell you why it matters for your case.
We don’t charge any money to take your case to trial. Zero dollars. Seriously.
Our Team will only take your case to trial if it is deserving. What does deserving mean? If you hire us for your case, we will follow Our Approach as we work on it. Part of that system is consulting with all of our clients about the resolution they want for their case. During that consultation we tell our clients what we think is a realistic and fair resolution for their case after we evaluate and analyze the evidence. If we tell you a resolution that we think is fair and we can’t get it, then your case is deserving. That means if you want to go to trial rather than accept an unfair resolution, you get us for free.
That is great for you if you if you are the rare client who needs to go to trial. But our promise benefits all our clients, even if you have no intent of going to trial.
Trials Are Expensive
For any legal case, going to trial is the most expensive part. We spend a lot of a time going through Our Approach for each of our cases, and it makes a difference. However, even that amount of time pales in comparison to the amount of time it takes to do a trial. Sure, we’ve thoroughly reviewed the evidence and we’ve analyzed what the law says about the evidence, but that’s just the beginning of being prepared for trial. A trial involves extensive planning, strategizing, researching, creative thinking, preparation, persuasion, and countless other verbs that all mean time. And for attorneys, our time costs money.
Even a simple speeding ticket trial is no walk in the park if you want to do it right. Let’s say the only witness is the cop who wrote the ticket. You have to prepare questions for the officer, questions if the officer answers this way or that way, and then further questions based on those answers. In case the officer will be evasive, which you can’t know ahead of time, you need to have a tree of branching questions and for each of those questions be ready to grill the officer with the facts if they don’t give a straight answer. Not to mention that you have to know the science of the radar or lidar technology behind their speed-detection device or the legal requirements of their cruiser if they “paced” you, meaning they followed you at the same speed and looked at their own speedometer to figure out your speed.
Yes, an experienced attorney can go into that trial with little preparation and they might win. But that same attorney, if they are prepared, will undoubtedly have a higher chance of success. And a higher chance of success is what you deserve, but it’s expensive. You’ve got to have the manual on whatever method they used to determine your speed and know it better than they do so you can catch their mistakes or mistruths. You’ve also got to be familiar with the road where it happened and the landmarks, as well as a hundred other things that may or may not come up. A trial that only takes 2 hours requires being prepared for the same trial that might go 4 other ways, meaning you’ve got to be prepared for a 10 hour trial. There’s a reason that the attorneys who won OJ Simpson’s trial cost $5 million.
Credibility & Reputation Matter
So, trials are expensive. If you need to go to trial, not having to pay us tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars is great! But that’s not the best part of our promise.
The best part about our promise is that the other side knows you don’t have to pay for trial. For our clients with criminal charges, that matters because District Attorneys know that most defendants who can afford to hire a private attorney before trial can’t afford to keep that attorney if they go to trial. They know that if they don’t make a good offer that the defendant, you, is happy with, they can just go to trial and the private attorney will drop out and leave the defendant with a public defender.
When we’re in the case, the District Attorney knows that we’re in it for the long haul. They know that if they don’t give us what we want for you then we will go to trial regardless of whether you can afford it or not because it’s free for you. This changes the dynamic and flips the script, meaning their leverage is nullified or even becomes a weakness because their crutch is gone.
Our clients with personal injury claims whom we represent on a contingency fee also benefit from this. Any other attorney typically increases the percent of their recovery if a case goes to trial, or even if a lawsuit is filed. That usually means 40%, 45%, or even 50% of your recovery! Go check their fee agreements, we’ll wait.
Our percentage-based fee, 1/3 of the recovery (33.3%), is the same whether we get a settlement with the insurance company, whether we have to file a lawsuit, or whether we have to take the case all the way through trial and get a verdict. It doesn’t go up even if we have to put in all the work that a trial requires. Insurance companies and insurance defense attorneys know that they can’t offer us low-ball offers and expect us to take it because we’re scared of trial or because you don’t want to pay us the extra percentage to take the case further.
Our Character & Motivation
There’s a lot of logical reasons why our promise about trial makes sense. It helps our clients who need to go to trial. It helps our clients who don’t need or want to go to trial. When we initially made the decision to only do trials pro bono, it made a substantial improvement in our ability to get good results. The opposing party doesn’t want to go to trial if we give them an acceptable way out.
When the other side knows that we’re only going to trial because we think it’s the right thing to do and not just because someone paid us a boatload of money, their evaluation often changes. Despite all the bad things you might hear (or we might even say) about District Attorneys and Insurance Defense Lawyers, they are real people with their own feelings about what is right and wrong. They’re used to lawyers threatening a trial or even going to trial and they know the attorney has financial motivation to do so. When they know we are putting in or are willing to put in the long hours of preparation for a trial for no money because we think it’s the right thing to do they often change their outlook in a way that tremendously benefits our clients.
Additionally, going to trial for money wasn’t always fun. Our brains were in it, but our hearts sometimes weren’t. Our founder, Doug Goss, knows this more than anyone, and he taught us all: helping someone whose cause is just makes you perform better and achieve better results. Our promise is a guarantee that when we go to trial our hearts are in it. And let’s be honest, in the grand scheme of things our promise makes us more money than we lose, so our brains are definitely in it to. We make our promise because it makes it easier for us to better serve our clients while staying true to ourselves.