For the last 13 years, it has been my job to mitigate people’s damages in a custody/divorce action and control the risks. It is well-known within my industry that the best way to do this is to avoid court, and everyone also knows that only about 5% of all cases ever go to trial. So, it is very normal for more seniored attorneys, who have the family’s best interest at heart, to start to promote settlement upfront in cases, precisely because we want to minimize the losses and reduce the risks for our clients.
This week, I was a part of two very favorable settlements, which brought me great joy. At the same time, I was quite saddened to learn from some of my colleagues that they were under the mistaken impression that I no longer litigate. Let me be very clear– I do still litigate, and in fact over half my cases are still contested cases. While I enjoy mediating and collaborating, I realize that it is not for everyone, and it takes two willing participants to agree to pursue a settlement process outside of court.
So, now ironically, I find myself in the role of mitigating my own damages– so if you hear that I am no longer going to court, I hope you will correct that mistaken assumption. I still know and enjoy the rules of that very familiar playground that lawyers traditionally thrive in, and if that is the sandbox you choose to play in with me, it is not going to be pretty. If you want us to play nice, then I encourage you to pick a different sandbox (outside of court).