Willenken LLP is a law firm of trial lawyers. But what does that mean, and why is it important to our clients?
To some, when they hear the term “trial lawyer,” they think of personal injury “mill” lawyers with sharp suits who are well-spoken in court. We are not PI lawyers. We are business trial lawyers, and we primarily represent Fortune 500 corporate clients in complex business cases.
Undoubtedly, the depth of our trial experience is second to none. We have tried over 140 cases to verdict or judgment, and our lawyers can take witnesses on cold cross with the best of them. But, we also know that, in order to win complex business cases, simply being Perry Mason in the courtroom is often not enough.
In truth, trials generally are won not because of courtroom dramatics but rather due to the analysis, preparation and investigation that precede it. We live by this truth. Although it may sound odd, we prepare winning cases by going backwards. We begin each case by formulating the closing argument. That will then guide each litigation task we perform from there on. In particular, at the outset, we assign seasoned trial lawyers (not a young associate) to personally interview key witnesses and review pertinent documents, so as to identify the critical unchangeable facts and unchangeable law that give shape to our theory of the case. We then flesh out and continually refine our case theory, whether by litigating select motions or conducting focused discovery.
The end result of our "backwards" litigation approach? A cogent trial presentation that is able to connect each argument and fact to our core theory and a cost-efficient budget for the client. Having figured out up front what we really need to win, we know just what fights to pick and which rocks to turn over.
Moreover, even winning cases should not always be tried. The cost of going to trial, especially in a large, complex business case, can be prohibitive. Sometimes, true victory may only be attained by finding and making the right legal arguments in pre-trial motions.This plays to another one of our core strengths: our motion and appellate work experience. Our lawyers routinely brief and argue appellate cases around the country, including twice on the merits before the United States Supreme Court. Further, one-third of our firm’s lawyers have clerked for judges on the United States Court of Appeals.
What we bring to the table is the trial lawyer’s keen eye for the right law and the right facts that are needed to get our clients the optimal result at the earliest practical stage of litigation. Ultimately – and if necessary – we have the requisite experience and ability to put all the chips on the table when it matters most and actually try the case.
And when that happens, you will have a seasoned trial lawyer sitting with you at counsel table who has done it many times before and won more than his or her fair share of cases. For us, trial is not a crisis but an opportunity for success.