The 5 Core Values of The New York Injury & Malpractice Law Firm, P.C.

PASSION: “We are passionate about the rights of the disabled.”

GRATITUDE: “We focus on the positive things in our lives.”

TRANSPARENCY: “We never agree to confidential settlements.”

HONESTY: “We are brutally honest with our clients.”

INTEGRITY: “We do not accept cases that have questionable merit.”

These 5 core values will guide our law firm for as long as we exist. When questions arise as to what we should do, we always turn to our firm’s purpose, values and mission.

The following stories illustrate how our firm’s core values have influenced how we act and make decisions.

TRANSPARENCY: “We never agree to confidential settlements.”

On the first day of trial, the defendants make a settlement offer that is accepted by our client. Our client will not have to worry about her lack of income or paying for medical expenses with the $4,000,000 settlement.

In the courtroom, I begin putting the terms of the settlement on the record in the presence of the Judge and 4 defense attorneys. About halfway through my statement of the terms of the settlement, one of the defense lawyers blurts out, “We’re going to have to have confidentiality.” I responded by telling the Judge that, “We have never agreed to a confidential settlement and today won’t be the first time.”

Then, the defense lawyer quickly muttered a few words to the claims adjuster in the back of the courtroom and responded, “We won’t need confidentiality.” I knew this was coming.

When you draw a line in the sand and tell opposing counsel that you will never agree to a confidential settlement, they will back down every time. And you will become known as an idealistic and value-oriented lawyer. Isn’t this why you became a lawyer?

PASSION: “We are passionate about the rights of the disabled.”

In the late morning after jury deliberations, the jury announces a defense verdict in a grueling and hard-fought malpractice trial in a rural county (where there are more bears than people). The defense verdict was devastating, as our client was brain damaged and partially paralyzed.

One of our litigation paralegals did not return to work that day and the next day I asked what she did after the verdict. The answer was not what I expected. Our team member shared that she was shaken up by the defense verdict and she had to pull her car to the side of the road after leaving court, where she was trembling and wept for our clients. Our team member was so shaken up that she could not compose herself enough to return to work.

When you have team members who are as passionate as you about the rights of the disabled, you have something special. A generally over-used term, “culture” is best defined as a group of people who share common beliefs and values. Truth be told, our team members will only succeed at our firm if they are passionate about the rights of the disabled. If you work for a paycheck, you won’t succeed at our firm. Nothing is more important.

INTEGRITY: “We do not accept cases that have questionable merit.”

On the night before his trial testimony, our expect medical expert discloses damaging (and stupid) comments that he wrote on a yellow sticky note and he asks whether he should remove them from his file. I told the medical expert to keep everything in his file, as otherwise he will be forced to commit perjury if asked whether his file is complete when questioned by defense counsel.

What happens next was the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen in a courtroom. The sticky notes contain idiotic questions such as “Should I wink at the jury?” and “How can I get the jury to like me?” None of the notes are relevant to the lawsuit, but the defense lawyer has a field day during cross examination of the expert. And the inevitable defense verdict follows a couple of days later.

I could have told the medical expert to remove the notes from his file and no one would have known…except me. Our integrity is our most important possession. We would rather lose cases than compromise our integrity.