Hey, what do you know -- Jeff Sloman's a plaintiff's attorney!
This great Julie Kay article on the perils of suing clients for unpaid fees is instructive, but I had another takeaway -- the perils of litigating issues instead of attempting to resolve them:
The litigation triggered the competitor, Fort Myers-based Storm Catcher, to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine Armor’s patents, which were ultimately deemed invalid.Litigation always has the potential to spin out of control, and always has the potential to result in unintended -- and even unforeseen -- consequences.
The patent ruling destroyed Armor’s business, valued at more than $2 million, said Warren Trazenfeld, a Miami solo attorney who is representing Armor in the malpractice case.
“The patents were the most valuable part of the company,” he said. “Now the business’s valuation has been substantially affected.”
Trazenfeld claims the Squire Sanders lawyers should have requested a re-examination of the patents and could have fixed them in Armor’s favor. Instead, the firm deliberately headed into litigation to run up high legal bills, he alleges.
“It absolutely could have been an easy fix,” Trazenfeld said.
It's funny to see businesses that work so hard to contain and/or eliminate risk throw caution to the wind when they're embroiled in litigation (not that I'm complaining).
Besides the billable hour economic self-interest, why is reaching out early for a compromise resolution sometimes so difficult to do?
Swlip, this one's for you!