The following is written by Gary Burger based on a speech he gave at the 2021 Maximum Lawyer conference.
I gave a talk at the Maximum Lawyer conference a couple of weeks ago. If you run a law firm or want to, join Max law and listen to the podcasts. Here's some notes from my talk:
How to run a firm and get a $113,714,632 million verdict
You have to have a system for running a firm and trying cases and maximizing the value of your cases.
Here’s what I learned about myself and my firm in trying the Hootselle case:
Build a great team and system in your firm for trying cases and running a business.
Take risks in your business – take and try the big cases.
I am only gonna live once. My why is to fight for the little guy against the bullies. I want to be the CEO who has the amazing systems and has KPI automatic charts showing all this stuff. And coming here makes me focus on those more. But honestly, I like being a trial lawyer.
But run a kick ass business.
I have great lawyers and staff that I work with. We push to get good results for our clients and push legal envelopes.
Keep everything else going – but do more. If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.
Be gracious and honorable.
Really really surrender to the idea that you can only control what you can control – that you could lose the whole thing.
When the jury goes to deliberate I am done and relaxed, regardless of what the verdict is.
Then when you see the verdict – be open to learn the lessons from it – acceptance is the answer to all your problems today.
Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.
How I work with other people and firms
Pretty well, but it can be hard when there are a lot of leaders in the group.
I have to share – I get to share.
Success has a thousand masters – failure has none.
Cases happens and life happens.
Live your full and best life.
Humility and gratitude.
Case is a constant study for me on my ego and my humility and gratitude.
All glory is fleeting – really true
Think about all those class members who are really counting on that money – college tuition for a kid, retirement, and now dead, new house or car. Justice delayed is justice denied. They all went to work today.
Relax into your power and legal ability – your Ego.
Proud of the novelty of the case – breach of contract case to get around sovereign immunity -Became real expert in sovereign immunity.
This case is like a book and life – any imaginable twist and turn – it's happened. Now going to go and retry it - got the amount of the verdict reversed but the court said we were right on sovereign immunity, having a contract, its breach, having a class and that some of the work these officers do is compensable. All of it could be. The court is to determine compensability on the rest and recompute damages accordingly.
This case is a constant lesson in ego and humility and gratitude. Its for me to be open to the lessons. God would not give us traffic unless he wanted us to learn patience.
Failures make us appreciate success and learn.
Flower blooms when ready – but up to me to fertilize my soil, look for sunshine and find water and sustenance so I can continue to bloom when the opportunity arises.
And be a kick ass trial lawyer.
Won’t be every time, but that’s ok.