No, this post is not about adopting a dog. Rather, it’s about what you may want to consider when hiring an attorney.

It is not unusual for an individual looking for representation to state, “I want a bulldog attorney,” or something similar. This typically means the person wants an attorney who will very aggressively litigate their case, an understandable goal. The stereotypical yelling attorney who slams his hand on a table in court and screams at opposing counsel can be appealing to someone going through what may be one of the most stressful events in their life.

But is a “bulldog” attorney the best option for your case? The litigation and resolution of a family matter often is not helped by the attorney who seeks to argue about each and every facet of a case. The most immediate effect of such an approach is an increase in fees. A less immediate and potentially more important impact of hyper-aggressive litigation is the effect on the individuals involved. A contentious case can lead to a contentious post-resolution relationship.

Does this mean you need to compromise on everything? Absolutely not. A critical part of virtually every case is identifying what is most important to you, whether it be pursuing the parenting time schedule you desire or a property distribution that is fair. We will vigorously pursue the goals you identify as significant to you and your family, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. It is possible, however, to achieve those goals without contentious and expensive litigation.

On the priority list of attorney characteristics you may want to consider, it is advisable to put “effective” over “bulldog” on your list.

Please feel free to call or e-mail our firm should you have any questions about your case.