The people in a law firm will determine its success. I am blessed to have Jean Niven on our team and working directly with me. Without Jean, the Leeds would not have won their case. She made me look good at trial and saved my neck on appeal.

In my post last Sunday, Sinkhole Coverage and Losses are Extraordinarily Complex, I noted that Jean appeared to do a fantastic job at the appellate argument. This week, while in the Advanced Trial Advocacy Course, we received notice that the Florida Second District Court of Appeal affirmed our trial win. I wrote a note to our firm that I felt Jean won the trial and appeal because the insurance company alleged that I created error in the trial of the case. Jean did the trial preparation and presented the first part of the case. I came on towards the end to take on the experts and bring home the verdict in summation. Jean justified our positions and affirmed the win for our clients, the Leeds.

Eventually, every policyholder attorney must present a client’s case to a jury. This week’s program revitalized my belief in what we do and the importance of improving skills of advocacy–becoming better advocates for our clients’ position.

Litigation is not like television. The typical insurance company hires only good attorneys, experienced in creating significant obstacles to recovery. Those bright, tenacious, rascally, and well paid insurance company attorneys will find something to argue against recovery. Often, trying to predict the outcome of a trial and what proof will be necessary helps us get a better and quicker recovery for our client without ever having to take the case to trial in the first place.

I feel lucky to have an accomplished advocate, Jean Niven, working with me day to day, for the policyholders who place their trust with us. I am thrilled for the Leeds.