I was defending a business client, negotiating with opposing counsel who had threatened to sue my client, who operates in an industry governed by several hyper-technical federal and state statutes and regulations. So finding a technical violation (or perceived violation) is not difficult.
Some lawyers take advantage of this by making somewhat marginal claims, the idea being that business defendants will pay something to avoid expense and an uncertain outcome.
Anyway, I reviewed the demand with my client, and we concluded there might be a sliver of a claim, but not much.
So, I tried to pin my opponent to a specific set of facts and legal theory, to either justify payment of some sort by my client, or so that she would see there really was no claim.
I asked her to do this so that we might attempt to resolve her client’s claim. After all, she’d have to do that in court anyway.
Her response was to refuse to do this, stating that she was “not in the business to resolve claims” but rather to receive reasonable compensation for the lawsuit she had filed.
I hope someday she will see her role differently.
Lawyers have power, which can be used constructively or destructively in the overall pursuit of justice in our system. Most know this, and do their best to solve problems, not create them.