Planet Upside: Lessons on “Turning Obstacles into Success” for Trial Attorneys

May 2, 2022

May 2, 2022

Planet Upside: Lessons on “Turning Obstacles into Success” for Trial Attorneys

“It’s naïve to imagine that life can be perfect all the time,” Thomas Erikson writes in Surrounded by Setbacks: Turning Obstacles into Success (When Everything Goes to Hell). “To achieve that, you would probably have to get your very own planet.”

Though the sentiment no doubt resonates with plaintiff attorneys, don’t go running off to book a seat on the next Space X flight just yet: There are mindset shifts and actions you can undertake right here, right now on Planet Earth (Planet Law?) to shift the odds in your favor.

1. Pursuing perfectionism is not the answer

Erikson warns against preparing oneself “so well that [you] will completely avoid unpleasant surprises.”

“This attitude often results in perfectionism taking over, and nothing happens,” he continues. “To avoid driving into a ditch, they perfect and polish their ideas for so long that the initial purpose is completely lost.”

The key, then, is to mitigate rather than eliminate risk.

As the LevelEsq Journal piece “A Vital Safeguard for Trial Lawyers” notes: “Freed from the fear of those losses, attorneys can now not only focus more fully on pursuing justice for their clients, but also increasing case volume and profitability – i.e., running their law firm more like a business.”

And what happens when risk is mitigated?

Well, triumphs that previously looked so unlikely you’d think the contest should perhaps be avoided entirely suddenly become very, very real.

2. Don’t hide from adversity

Erikson defines a setback (within reason; not a personal catastrophe) as “something positive.”

“It’s like a muscle that you want to strengthen,” he writes. “If you put it under stress, it will become stronger. If you never exercise it, it will wither away. To make yourself stronger, you need to push your mental muscle.”

It’s not for nothing that the LevelEsq mascots are male and female super lawyers: We want to empower plaintiff attorneys to join the fray.

Take, for example, this excerpt from the Journal article “How Do I Leverage My LevelEsq Policy?”:

When the stakes are high, the defense knows that your cost exposure may influence your decision making. They know that your personal funds are on the line.  

Are you focused on obtaining the best result for your client?  

Of course.  

But the reality is, you have hard dollars in the case, and as it gets closer to a zero-sum game, the risk becomes more palpable. As trial looms, the real spending begins.  

LCP removes this dynamic from your decision making as well as that of the defense. Put your LCP policy front and center!  

At mediation, for example, LCP bolsters your settlement demand... When you’re armed with an LCP policy, the defense can no longer attempt to ‘call your bluff’ or try to take advantage of any perceived economic concerns.  

They’ll be forced to reckon [finally] with a level playing field and a different class of lawyer.  

A stronger lawyer, we might add.

3. Reward requires smart, strategic risk

“Success demands that you be prepared for the risk of meeting setbacks,” Erikson writes. “My own theory is that this is what leads many people to give up far too early.”

On Planet Law, this can come in the form of settling too soon.  

This, too, however, can be put into a more balanced, just orbit by a Litigation Cost Protection policy.

“LCP encourages the proper resolution and removes the increasing cost of litigation into the decision making of plaintiff’s counsel,” our Journal article on increasing access to the courts argues. “Further, with LCP, LevelEsq provides an alternative that removes disincentives for plaintiffs to persist in litigation. And by setting plaintiffs on equal footing, defendants should be encouraged to properly value their cases and resolve them efficiently before trial.”

How can we help your firm?

Lawsuit Cost Financing

Quick and seamless access to capital to fund your case expenses.

Litigation Cost Protection

Protect the downside with insurance coverage for litigation costs.