We’re avid readers of Seth Godin’s blog and his piece this morning, “The End of the Diva Paradox,” struck a chord. He wrote of a day and age when the sheer quality of a person’s performance – he refers to surgeons and opera singers – made it unnecessary to treat others with respect or even courtesy. Having worked as an attorney for 25 years, I have met my share of legal divas – lawyers with great legal skills who didn’t bother with the niceties of treating others well. Godin believes the day of the diva has passed and I wholeheartedly agree.
When my husband and I decided to work together, we focused first on the purpose and principles for our business. We wanted to do things the way we thought they should be done and that meant building a customer-centric law practice. That’s not simply a buzzword: we wanted a practice where clients were the center of everything we did. We wanted to make a difference in our client’s lives by delivering the most compensation for their losses and delivering world class customer service. We live in an increasingly uncaring, complex and impersonal world and we wanted to weigh against that tide: we wanted to deliver great personal service
I received a call from a woman yesterday who tripped and fell in Manhattan over the Fourth of July weekend and wants to know if she has a case.
Here is a brief recap of the facts of the case:
The woman and some friends had ventured to the west side of Manhattan so they could watch the fireworks. They stopped at the McDonald’s on 34th Street to buy some sodas and to use the bathroom. When they came out, the woman got caught up in the crowd and tripped over something. She fell hard and suffered significant injuries, including a broken tooth, two cracked teeth and a fractured wrist as well as significant bruising and abrasions.
In January 2011, a Brooklyn man out for a walk on the Brooklyn Promenade slipped and fell on an uncleared patch of ice. The incident tore the ligaments in his left elbow and required surgery and months of intensive physical therapy to repair the damage. The man asked me to represent him. I worked with the man to investigate the incident and to evaluate the medical condition. I made a settlement offer to the City of New York and we negotiated a settlement of $120,000 to compensate the man for his injuries.
On Tuesday, November 27, 2007, a nurse employed at Montefiore Medical Center drove along a Westchester road. Suddenly, a mini bus pulled off a highway and broadsided her car. The collision left the woman with neck and back injuries that required extensive physical therapy and epidural and facet injections. She retained the law firm of Crasto and Associates to represent her and they, in turn, retained Carol L. Schlitt to serve as trial counsel. On the eve of trial, as the defense saw the case that Mr. Crasto and Ms. Schlitt had mounted, the insurance company settled the case for $140,000.
On a Monday morning in July 2010, a woman walking to work was struck by a car. The woman asked me to represent her. After conducting an investigation into the matter and building the case, I negotiated a settlement for the full value of the case. The woman has since relocated out of state and will receive her settlement today.
In the past week, I have delivered three settlement checks to clients and that may be the most satisfying aspect of my practice. It is wonderful to see the gratification on a person’s face when he or she receives the check to compensate her for an injury. That check represents the culmination of all the work I do for my clients. For my clients – good men and women hurt through no fault of their own – the settlement or award check not only compensates for damages and a loss, but provides a special opportunity in their lives. I take great satisfaction and inspiration to see the look of hope and joy on a client’s face when delivering that check.
On a Thursday morning in November 2010, a woman entered a supermarket in Yonkers to do some shopping. While walking near the bakery department, she slipped and fell on some wax paper on the floor. The incident injured her ankle, knee and lower back. The woman asked me to represent her. After conducting an investigation into the matter and building the case, she received a settlement for the full value of the case.
On Friday morning, January 28, 2011, a student attended class at her New York City-based university. She parked her car in the designated parking lot, yet the footing proved treacherous given the uneven job a contractor had done in clearing the parking lot of ice and snow. The young woman slipped on a patch of ice and fractured her right ankle. The woman asked me to represent her. After conducting an investigation into the matter and building the case, she received a settlement for the full value of the case.