What Result-Focused Representation Really Means
Result-focused representation is not a sales pitch. It's the right way to practice law
Result focused advocacy is not a buzzword. It is not a cliché. It is the foundation for how we practice family law. What does it mean to you?
Results consistent with the facts and the law
You can't possibly know what the results should be until your family law attorney conducts an analysis of your facts to the law. How an asset or debt should be divided, what the support number should be, what custody and parenting plan is in the children's best interest, is what you rely on your family law attorney to tell you.
Our family law firm educates our clients on all of these issues
We do not leave it to the client to figure it out. Too many lawyers in our opinion think of themselves as first and foremost negotiators who spend time trying to strike a deal. We don't consider that our primary purpose.
While negotiations are an important part of resolution, putting negotiations first is truly the cart before the horse. Until you know what you are negotiating, what California law states regarding your issues and what the strengths and weaknesses of your case are, you cannot know your potential options. And knowing those options is an important prelude to any negotiation.
Your family law attorney cannot do this without your help
Helping your family law attorney means being actively engaged in the process and letting your attorney do his or her job.
Whether you are the higher or lower earning spouse, whether you have an estate that is worth a million dollars or tens of millions of dollars, your family law attorney will count on you to being an honest collaborator.
If you refuse to let your attorney litigate the issues that need to be litigated, you place your attorney in a position of weakness in negotiations.
If you do not allow the appropriate experts such as forensic accountants, appraisers, child custody evaluators or others to be retained or appointed, your family law attorney may not be able to gather the information he or she needs to advise you of your options.
There are no sidelines in divorce and family law cases. You have to be actively involved in the process if you expect reasonable results.
There are of course never any guarantees in family law
Many issues fall into a gray area and are not black or white. But that does not mean an experienced family law lawyer cannot lay out for you your options on the various issues and which ones make the most sense from a cost and benefit perspective.
Separating important issues from “fluff.”
I consider fluff anything that does not make a significant impact in a client's case in the short-term or long-term. We simply refuse to get caught up spending significant time and money on issues that are fluff.
Dividing standard furniture and furnishings is a good example. Arguing over minimal debt and who should pay what credit card bill is another example.
Arguing over minutes or an hour here or there on child custody and visitation cases when that time has no impact on the children's best interest is one of the best examples.
What all of these examples have in common is they are time and money poorly invested.
What you receive from us is objective advice on the issues that matter but also advice on how to resolve and deal with issues that probably do not.
While we recognize divorce is and can continue to be an emotional process, we do not believe emotions should factor into the decision-making process. For those reasons, we think logically and factually when we give advice and help separate the important issues from those that are not.
Factoring budget into the analysis
You don't have an endless supply of money. There are some issues worth litigating and some issues that are not. There are issues that are worth compromising on even if you are right if the compromise makes sense for you financially or is otherwise consistent with the children's best interest for child custody issues.
Not everything has to be a fight. But not everything has to be resolved.
For these reasons, we factor budget into any analysis we do for a client. We do not put our heads down and blindly lead the client to a court hearing. Instead, we take time to discuss with the client the potential costs that go with the hearing, those that are predictable and those that are not.
Cost versus benefit matters
A big part of this cost versus benefit analysis on financial issues is how much will the cost likely be in comparison to the value of the actual issue. I often tell clients that it does not make any sense to spend nine dollars on a ten dollar dispute. That is because whether it is hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars, if the ultimate cost for the issue may be close to, meet or even exceed the value of any result, all you have done is pay lawyer’s fees for the sake of paying lawyer’s fees. Compromise in such situations makes more sense.
However, if the issue is a valuable one and there is significant money at stake, then it may make more sense to litigate the issue if the other party refuses to reach a reasonable compromise. How that may apply to your case of course requires significant dialogue and analysis. That is what you will have if you retain our family law firm and what you should expect in any advocate you hire.