Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I walked out of the courtroom yesterday amazed that my adversary hadn't taken our last offer. He had made it quite clear that he was unhappy about the prospect of paying for his experts, even though he said, at the same time, that he felt the verdict value of the case was much higher than what we were talking about. I looked at the jury and I saw a pretty conservative looking group. He said he saw something else, but there was enough money on the table that he had to have been thinking about his downside.

You have to know when to go for it, but "no guts no glory" is a mistake a lot of younger lawyers make, and it looked like he was about to. Sometimes it works, but the climate isn't very plaintiff friendly right now, and I wouldn't have tried this case over the difference between where we were, so when I left the building I was shaking my head.

I'd just finished unpacking when the call came on my cellphone. I'm sure he feels bad about not going for it, but knowing when to fold 'em is important. His fee is a lot better today than a third of nothing would have been, and his client is two thirds better off than she would have been if she'd gone home with two thirds of nothing. I decided that a run in Central Park was what I wanted to do with my unexpected evening off.

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