One of the interesting things about our settlement with my former firm is the way it happened. I invited the attorney that replaced me at my old firm, who happened to be the attorney they assigned to litigate against me, to lunch to discuss settlement. But before I did that, I welcomed him with open arms and gave him a tour not only of the firm, but also of our innovative business model. I showed him how we operated on a priority, rather than a people based system. I showed him how digital dictation drove our extranet/task based business process. I noted how we were completely transparent to our clients. I explained to him that the bills we send out only suggest what a client might pay but that every client can choose for themselves what they pay us for a month’s services. I explained to him how we regularly take risks and provide credit to clients on what would otherwise be traditionally hourly work. I showed him how our website drove massive amounts of business to our firm in a variety of niche practice areas including mass tort, domain name disputes, non-compete contracts and technology company representation.
In short, I think I blew his mind. In the process, I think he must have realized that everything he was hearing from the old partners at my old firm was flawed. He realized that they lived in a world that was closed and uninformed. You see, my old firm I’m sure thought that my business was struggling. After two years, they have very little idea of what I do or how I do it. In their minds, I was only living off of their success and the fact that I had worked for their firm for five years.
By dispelling the myths about my firm, I accomplished something, which was incredibly important to me. I made it clear to these people that I was not created by my former firm. It became clear that I had been severely held back by living under a business model created by someone else, most of my best talents had been quashed. It also must have been apparent that my business model was far superior to the one they were using, not only in terms of revenue but also in client service.
This more than anything else felt good. Expressing myself at lunch in explaining all of the things that I was doing with my new firm was the best part of the settlement of the lawsuit brought by my old firm against me.