What would you say to a prospective client?
When prospective clients come in, one of the first thing I do is (trying to be the gentleman my mother thinks she raised) ask them how they found us, or me, because we always want to be sure to thank our referral sources. To the extent we can, if it’s a lawyer for example, to then when we’re done with the case share with the referral source what we’ve done for the client that they sent in with a particular problem. So “how did you find us?”, we always want to know that and thank our referral sources.
To get to the meat of the matter, it’s interesting because I say often: we’re lawyers but we like to talk about business, and the business people who come in here like to talk about law. You wouldn’t think it’s that way, but they’ll come in and say, “Michael, I am so angry at my franchisor and I hear you’re a mean S.O.B. and I want to sue them for every dollar they have.” And I say, “You know, I’m really not a mean S.OB. I’m the gentleman my mother thinks she raised.” I can use the aggressive mode if that’s what’s called for, but suing someone isn’t a business objective, really, it’s a legal strategy. What if I could pick up the phone, call the franchisor lawyer, and work this out for you? And I know every franchisor lawyer in America because I’ve been doing this for so long, and we’ve helped people in over 400 different systems.
“You could do that, Michael?”
My answer is, as lawyers often have to [say]: well, maybe. Tell me what your business objective is, and I’ll tell you if it’s a (what we like to call) Goldilocks objective – not too aggressive, not too milquetoast. Is it something that’s realistic and achievable? We’ll help you formulate that objective, and then we’ll tell you what we might do to maximize your opportunity to accomplish that object just as effectively and efficiently as we possibly can. Often times that does involve one of two things: either number one, they’re in a system that they want to stay in but something is seriously wrong, and they want to know if they can get it fixed and stay; or kind of the second category we see often is they’ve been told that they have to stay in, they’re in a system where they’ve lost lots of money and they don’t have any more money to invest in it, and they’re wondering “Might I get out?”; and if so, “Might I be able to recover my losses?” So it’s either help them stay in (maybe it was a termination notice or something is wrong), or help them get out and recover their losses.
In terms of categories of work that we do here at Dady & Gardner, more often than not its in one of those two categories of dispute.