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What Kind of A Lawyer Are You? Are You A Junkyard Dog?

What’s most important to me is what works for my client. But maybe it’s more important to start by telling you about the kind of lawyer I am not.

There was a lawyer in Cincinnati who ran yellow pages ads for his law firm under the header “JUNKYARD DOGS 24/7”. He was very successful – until he wasn’t. He was just permanently disbarred by the Supreme Court for the way he treated his clients.

Another law firm posted a large billboard next to the Beechmont Levy Westbound. The billboard had a picture of the three lawyers in the firm, wearing business suits and ties and carrying briefcases. Looking nice.

AND showing fins growing out of their back.

You know, like sharks.

As far as I know, the “shark” lawyers are still working as lawyers, but I haven’t seen the billboard in a while.

I am aggressive, but I am not a shark, or a junkyard dog.

So what am I like? I am aggressive. You have to get to the facts first. You have to find the law that helps you. You have to make an impact with your first statement about the case to the judge, to the other lawyer, and – maybe most important of all – to the insurance adjuster.

I do all this. One of my clients said of me:

“He filed the lawsuit, made court appearances, found me a wonderful orthopedic surgeon, gathered all of the evidence, supoenead and deposed all witnesses, and mediated the agreement. He made sure the agreement protected me, and negotiated a settlement with my personal health insurance company. After the mediation agreement was reached, I truly believed that we left with all of the money that they were authorized to dispense on that day. I am so grateful for all of his hard work.”

Another client said:

“I would never want to be up against Mr. Strubbe in court. He serves his clients with honesty and integrity, and always got to the bottom line.”

But you can be both aggressive and friendly. You can be aggressive and courteous. You can be aggressive and keep your word. You can be aggressive and maintain the respect of the judges.

Too many lawyers think being aggressive means you have to be hostile, rude, deceptive or unreasonable. This backfires; often, it hurts both them and their clients.

Here’s what this conduct means:

If an adjuster thinks you’re lying to him, he’ll spend money and time to find out the truth.

If the adjuster thinks you’re trying to scare him, he’ll hire a lawyer – who will slow things down.

If you ask him for the moon, and tell the adjuster nothing else will do, he’ll tell his lawyer to try the case – and maybe, instead of the moon, you wind up with sand.

When the insurance lawyer thinks you are withholding records, he either discounts your case or gets his own copy – which slows everything down.

I have – on at least two occasions – seen insurance companies reduce their offers because they thought the other attorney was being unreasonable.

Sometimes it’s about who’s loudest – and I can be as loud as anyone. And I make it clear what my client wants from the get-go.

But you’re trying to change minds. Sometimes that means not yelling. Or listening. And responding quickly, and pointedly.

The attorneys I like and admire have figured out how to be both aggressive and professional. I like to think of myself that way.

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I think I am successful because I am aggressive, honest and courteous. If you want to know know more about how I will work for you, call me, William Strubbe, a Cincinnati Accident lawyer, at 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.

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