When we cannot solve disputes voluntarily we turn to lawyers and lawsuits. We must be ready to have a judge or jury solve our dispute after a courtroom battle that days or weeks after months or even years of seemingly endless preparation. The resulting judgment often does not address the real issues, since winning or losing money is the only solution a court can offer.

Lawyers are advocates. Our job is to persuade the judge and jury that our client should win . That’s the fundamental nature of our adversary system of justice. Judges and juries give only one answer. Once it is given, there is no more negotiating; there is no more room for compromise. There is only the costly route of appeal to a higher court.

Any litigation takes on a life of its own. The dispute that caused the lawsuit becomes ever more entrenched. The lawsuit changes from being a tool for resolving a dispute and becomes a central fact of life, polarizing the parties and demanding their involvement and commitment.

Many cases involving local government draw media attention. The media looks for sound bites and spin, then quickly moves off the story when it is no longer “breaking news.” The public officials who are sued feel attacked and alienated. Their professional judgment will be put in the hands of a jury who knows nothing about their profession (other than the highly dramatized and wildly inaccurate portrayals on television and in the movies.)

For the ones who make the claim, life can be put on hold. Closure of grieving the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of dignity or a need for vindication of unfair treatment can become a central part of one’s life while the lawsuit is still alive.

My mission is to help my clients survive this process, to offer mediation and arbitration alternatives as an honest broker and neutral decider for all parties, and to use my skills and experience to help bring claims made against local governments and their officials to a successful and cost-effective resolution for my clients, whether they be plaintiffs or defendants.

© 2010 William G. Blair, PC | (503) 608-7222 | Bill@BlairLawOregon.com