The Real Bulldog
A client asked me if another attorney was a “bulldog.” That’s a fairly common question when people are looking for an attorney to handle a case. The answer, however, depends on how you define “bulldog.” There are always a handful of attorneys that no one else wants to deal with. Why? Because they make everything difficult, more expensive (for both parties), and often create battles within a litigation that they know they can’t win. Those tactics frustrate opposing counsel, but often do not change the ultimate result. It’s kind of like having a really mean dog that bites everyone. That’s great when a burglar comes in the house, but not great when it’s the owner. And unless you have unlimited resources that you are willing to waste, the cost of battles you can’t win gets pretty overwhelming.
A real bulldog, in my opinion (and the type of lawyer that clients should really look for) is smart, confident, honest, and helps the client determine which battles within a larger war are worth fighting. The sooner you can identify the real issues and figure out how to deal with them, the better off you are. A lawyer should give you the information you need to make a strategic business decision consistent with your ultimate goal in the case. Sometimes that means bare-knuckled legal fighting. Sometimes it doesn’t. A bulldog that doesn’t bite you!