I have built my practice on two principles: delivering superior personal services and helping to win the largest award possible for each case. I make a simple vow to each client: I will do my best.
A Commitment to Personal Service
Like all legal matters, personal injury law can be complex and confusing, so I establish a personal relationship from the first time I meet a client. I often travel to their homes to meet them so they are comfortable. I see my clients through all phases of a case from the time of the injury through a trial or settlement. Unlike larger law firms, where clients get bounced from attorney to attorney, I think it’s very important that clients have one person they can count on. I am my client’s personal lawyer.
Over the years, many of my clients have started out with other attorneys and they came to me complaining that the other attorney never returned their phone calls or paid no attention to their case. That is so unacceptable. Part of delivering great service means frequent communication. When developing a case, a trial attorney and a client have to work as a team. I keep my clients up-to-date on all developments. I call them. I send regular emails. I send letters with news. If a client calls me, I return the call as soon as possible.
I make sure to speak with each of my clients at least once every two weeks. I understand that your case is the most important case in the world to you and I treat it that way.
A Focus on Each Case
Practicing law for over twenty years has taught me that each case is unique, each case has its own fact pattern and each client brings a unique set of needs and interests to the case. There is no generic case, no run-of-the mill legal matter.
I opened a solo practice so I could pick and choose my cases and ensure that I had the time to devote to each case. I’ve worked in places with large caseloads; it’s profitable for the firm, but not best for the client. I limit my caseload so I can give my clients the attention they deserve. I understand that the most important case in the world is your case.
Focusing on Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Clients
I only take personal injury and medical malpractice cases so I can focus my energies and knowledge. I do not try to be all things to all people. Like a doctor who specializes, I do not pretend to be a divorce lawyer or handle wills and estates. I want to be the best personal injury lawyer possible.
Several years ago, I realized that I was working very hard for my clients, but they did not always see the work I performed for them. From a client’s perspective, a case might begin with a flurry of activity, and then go for long periods of time with no action or communication. To improve communication and to ensure that each client fully understood the status of his or her case, I have established a schedule of reports that I deliver to each client as part of my service:
- Welcome Kit: This package provides an overview of the legal process and the services I will deliver for the client. It also contains all the papers a client will need to sign to retain me as his or her attorney and to begin investigating the case.
- Case Assessment: Prepared after completing my initial investigation, this document provides a comprehensive review of the case, assesses liability and damages and estimates the value of the case at trial and in settlement talks.
- Suit Report: Prepared after filing suit, this document provides details on the nature of the suit and the legal process.
- Discovery Report: Prepared at the beginning of the Discovery process, this report identifies all witnesses that we or the defense will depose and the evidence and records that we will exchange.
- Deposition Guidelines: Delivered shortly before a client’s deposition, this document provides advice on how to prepare for the deposition and what to do during the deposition.
- Trial Report: Prepared as we approach the trial, this document provides an overview of how we will prosecute the case at trial and offers guidance for my client to follow.
These six documents were years in the making and provide a detailed and comprehensive status update and education from the beginning to the end of the legal process. I will be glad to show you samples of each document. I know of no other lawyer or law firm who prepares anything like my six client reports.
Aggressively Prosecuting Each Case
Although I love practicing law and relish the opportunity to try a case, I must admit that I often hate the legal system. The court system move ridiculously slowly and cases can take many years to resolve. Most defense firms are paid by the hour so they have an interest in dragging out cases so they receive more revenue. I hate the way the system moves so slowly. I push very hard to move my cases along. I hold the defense’s feet to the fire and press the courts to move cases. Paying attention makes a difference. Colleagues have asked me how I get cases to move so quickly. The answer is that I push every case, respond to a defense demands quickly, fight requests for adjournments and push for early deposition dates; that’s how I move my cases along.
Exploring Opportunities for Settlements
I work hard to move cases towards trial. At the same time, I explore every opportunity to settle cases early if that can bring full value sooner. Many cases can settle early – meaning more money in the hands of my clients sooner. After completing a case assessment, I prepare a settlement package for every case. If we can receive full value in an early settlement, it benefits everyone to do so. I would never recommend settling a case for less than full value, but there is no need to wait years for a trial if I can deliver a settlement in much less time.
A Solo Practice, Yet Each Case Has the Best Team Possible
I want my clients to benefit from the focus and personal touch of my solo law practice, but they should also receive the same support that a large firm might offer. Winning large awards and bringing justice to her clients requires great skill and commitment. For each case, I assemble a team of experts needed to best try that case. That team might include doctors, nurses, accident reconstruction experts, vocational counselors, economists, security experts, design experts, architect, or engineers. My team of experts bests any team that the largest law firm can assemble. I assemble not only a team of leaders in their field, but the right people for the case at hand.
For example, I had a case involving a client who fell down a defective stairway at a crowded bar. For that case, my team included a medical reviewer, the client’s treating doctors, an engineer with expertise on stairway design and safety and a security expert with expertise on crowd control at a bar.
Fighting for Large Settlements
I have made many clients happy by earning them early and large settlements. The best way to force an early settlement that meets my client’s needs is to prepare an aggressive trial strategy. I love going to trial. I believe passionately in my clients, I prepare well and I relish standing before a judge and jury arguing for my clients.
It is important to know that my past experience cannot guarantee the outcome of any new case, but I give my all to uphold my reputation as someone who wins large cases and large awards.
Fighting for Justice
When a person suffers an injury, he or she must first focus on getting the best medical care possible. Part of the recovery process involves seeking justice. Justice includes an holding the negligent party responsible. Justice includes compensation for pain and suffering, for lost wages and expenses. Justice also includes an effort to insure that no one else suffers a similar injury due to that person’s negligence.
In the end, it is all about my clients. I strive to be the best personal injury lawyer for my clients.
Carol L. Schlitt – New York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved has been injured in through the neglect or actions of another person or organization, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. You should contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney. If you think you have a case or if you have questions, you can call me and I will be glad to discuss your rights, answer your questions and help you with a potential case. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or send me an e-mail at Carol@SchlittLaw.com. The consultation is free and I will be glad to help you.
I hope you have found this information helpful.