Canberra, Australia, October 14, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Legal research company Research One has provided specialized legal research, writing, and analysis services to lawyers worldwide for 7 years. To mark the launch of a groundbreaking new law book ‘Win More Cases: The Lawyer’s Toolkit’, the company has compiled the best information available on why some lawyers lose “unlosable” lawsuits.
“Unlosable” lawsuits are the cases where everything — including history, policy, precedent, and basic fairness — all points to a good outcome, yet the court still decides the other way.
Releasing its “Top 5 List of Fatal Lawyer Mistakes”, Research One’s choice for number 1 may surprise some lawyers.
According to Research One’s CEO, Troy Simpson, the commonest mistake lawyers make is to raise every argument imaginable. “The fear of losing a case compels lawyers to raise every argument conceivable. It may seem counter-intuitive, and might contradict what you’re taught in law school, but raising a mishmash of legal theories in fact creates an even bigger risk for a lawyer. Unless you find the real point of the case and toss out the arguments that have no legs, then you risk diverting the court’s attention and you dilute the strength of your ‘real’ argument”, Simpson says.
Forgetting to look outside your area of expertise comes at number 2 on the list of ways to lose the unlosable lawsuit. “No lawyer can master every area of law, so lawyers compartmentalize the law and focus on 1 or 2 areas of expertise. But the law can’t be so neatly contained, which means that you may miss a winning argument if it’s outside of your experience”, Simpson says.
Asked to provide an example, Simpson adds: “You might be an expert in the substantive area of law in question, for example criminal law, but you might miss a threshold issue that should have disposed the matter quickly, such as the defendant having immunity from prosecution.”
Coming in next on the list are several deeper problems that affect lawyers’ success rates.
At number 3 is lawyers’ shortage of time: “[As a lawyer], you may have no time to think through your argument properly, but deadlines push you on. So you paper over the gaps in logic and end-up presenting nonsense”, Simpson says.
At number 4, Simpson says too many lawyers work in noisy and busy environments, poorly suited to the work of lawyers: “It’s hard to think in the hustle and bustle of big cities. The work of a good thinker is quiet and unhurried.”
The 5th problem is a lack of objectivity: “When you’re anxious for a particular result, you may sometimes not look as objectively at a legal problem or legal argument as you should”, Simpson says.
Fortunately for lawyers, and their clients, help is at hand. Launched this month, Win More Cases: The Lawyer’s Toolkit aims to reduce the risk of making potentially costly and embarrassing mistakes by providing lawyers with checklists, brainstorming devices, links to time-saving tools, a “workbench” of common legal arguments, tips to get into the right mindset at the right time, and a compendium of expert advice on the essence of winning cases.
Win More Cases: The Lawyer’s Toolkit is available from bookstores and is also available in electronic format. Visit www.win-more-cases.com for more details.
Serenson P/L and Research One P/L are sister companies. Serenson commercializes Research One’s ideas into products for lawyers, such as Win More Cases: The Lawyer’s Toolkit (www.win-more-cases.com). Serenson also operates a free community website called Write Better English (www.write-better-english.com). Research One (www.research-one.com.au) provides award-winning customized legal research and writing services to lawyers worldwide.