What do you enjoy most about your practice?
What I enjoy most about my practice is the variety of litigation that I have been involved in over the years. The phrase "variety is the spice of life" applies in the legal field as well because it keeps the lawyer fresh and engaged at all times. In my early years as a lawyer, I tried smaller personal injury matters and arbitrated at least 60 such cases as well. I then moved into larger and more complex cases in the insurance bad faith arena which involve a variety of underlying cases such as construction defects, patent infringement, trade name or dress, unfair competition, libel and slander, and many garden variety matters as well. The diverse nature of the cases put me in contact with a wide variety of businesses and people and countless unique factual scenarios. This has kept the practice of law fresh for me.
What is the secret to obtaining successful trial results?
In my view, the key to a successful trial is credibility. The lawyer that overplays his hand often loses credibility with the jury and, as a result, the client suffers. The client that is crossed up in testimony will often lose sympathy from a jury and his case will suffer as a result. Keeping a close eye on credibility issues, capitalizing on them when they are in the other party's camp, and identifying them, preventing them or keeping them in check in your own often will lead to amore successful result.
What are your favorite pastimes when you are not practicing law?
When I am not practicing law, I enjoy being with my three boys, playing tennis (including USTA teams), golf and baseball (when my body cooperates), reading lousy detective novels and, when Ican, being a spectator at live events (the US Open, Professional Tennis events, the Ojai tennis tournament, the Super Bowl, Dodger Baseball, visiting other baseball parks around the country when possible, Bruce Springsteen concerts, etc.). I volunteer with the Ojai Tennis tournament and with local charities, as well.