A lot of my practice involves litigation, so I know the importance of fortifying the client's position and preparing for trial. However, litigation is oftentimes avoidable, and in many cases, not in the best interest of the client. Lawsuits can be expensive, emotional, and time consuming. The best lawyers are skilled at avoiding them. Everything revolves around the client. Phones, libraries, conference rooms, bar numbers... would all be meaningless if there was no client. I never forget that. I put myself in my clients' shoes whenever I give advice.
I was born and raised in Seattle. I love it here. I received my B.A. degree from the University of Washington in philosophy. When my professional philosophizing career did not exactly materialize, I applied for law school. In truth, philosophy provided me with an excellent foundation to learn the art of logical reasoning and argument. They say the master philosopher (not lawyer, mind you) is capable of starting with a few premises that noone would deny, and deducing them to a conclusion with which noone would concur. The better a lawyer is at filtering through hype, posturing, and flawed reasoning, the more effective the lawyer is at serving the client's interests. Philosophy was also a good place to learn the fundamentals of ethics. I attended the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene. Yes, that makes me both a Husky and a Duck, which is arguably a contradiction in terms. Within those three years of lawschool, I pursued studies and programs that served to develop my skills of persuasion, advocacy, and articulation.
Legal matters always involve a client. Always. Furthermore, the client is always more important than the legal matter. Always. The reverse is never true. Never. I fully communicate with the client and work with the client to get to the optimum outcome. Where's our direction, our perspective, what is logical, practical, how best to persuade the other side? Our firm's clients are almost always businesspersons. I work with them to determine which facts are important and which are not important so that the appropriate strategy can be developed. Hollywood and television are infatuated with the courtroom, the legal process, the detective work, and most of all, the truth. But "the truth" can rarely be agreed upon by all. Rather, the practice of law and my work as a lawyer involves determination of the "proof". Proof that is logical and persuasive.
As a lawyer, my job entails finding a balance between or among conflicting, inconsistent or adversarial positions. Lawyers and judges attempt to fashion this balance. The better lawyers are able to work with their clients and opposing counsel to define and strike this balance. Other lawyers spend time in the courtroom asking the judge to strike a balance that the lawyer was unable to achieve on behalf of his client. Taking matters to trial, though costly and time consuming, is sometimes necessary. A lot of my work entails helping my clients avoid disputes, e.g., with a good contract. When a dispute develops, I always exhaust every imaginable effort to create a workable solution. My role as a lawyer is not to make cases and arguments where they do not exist. Rather, I see my role as narrowing the issues, sorting out what is undisputed from what is disputed, and putting together a legal strategy that is aimed at an efficient, fair, and economical resolution.
My hobbies include soccer, windsurfing, surfing, badmitten, golf, hiking, snowboarding, running, swimming, and pretty much everything else.
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