Lawyers that go to trial will lose a case from time to time, regardless of their abilities. Many factors outside of their control may contribute to a loss. For example, they may get an unfavorable jury or judge who has a bias in a direction against them; their witnesses may prove to be without credibility despite extensive preparation; or the other side may perform “trial by ambush” and produce a “smoking gun” at trial. Maybe, despite their best efforts, the loss may have been avoided. They may have made critical tactical errors or they may even have underestimated the strengths of the opposing party’s case.
MOST IMPORTANTLY – PROTECT THE DOWNSIDE RISK BEFOREHAND
Realizing very early that there always exists a potential for trial and a trial loss means that seeking downside protection early is paramount. Redress Risk Management (Redress) can set up a cost effective After the Event (ATE) insurance program for your firm which can mitigate the fallout from a trial loss, both for your law firm and your client. Redress’s ATE insurance can act as a litigation safety net, ensuring that a loss at trial does not devastate your client’s finances, or unnecessarily expose your firm to lost disbursements. With this coverage in place, you and your client can approach trial with confidence.
LEARN AND STAY MOTIVATED
Decompress and learn from the failure – don’t dwell. As once said by Henry Ford “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
After the conclusion of the trial, review the evidence and law arguments. Do this immediately after the trial is concluded as opposed to waiting for judgment because many of the details will be lost with the passage of time. Reviewing the proceedings will assist in developing a game plan to do better next time if you find some errors or omissions in the way the case was presented.
After your review and the learning of the results, educate your partners on potential pitfalls so that they do not fall to a similar situation. For instance, if there was a sneaky defense lawyer or a non-Plaintiff friendly judge, it is critical to earmark them for potential future cases. The players in a lawsuit are important factors to decide whether to proceed to trial or settle.
Lastly, stay motivated after losing a case. Do not to take the loss personally…. think of it as a learning experience. You are now armed to win the next case with the learning experience of the loss. So, stay focused, move on and win the next case.