Lessons learned from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Partner Marc Anidjar.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Partner Marc Anidjar has always enjoyed a clear vision for the Florida law firm—a firm that would encompass all practice areas. But the path for making this vision a reality required some roadbuilding.
“Anytime you enter into a new area of law, it is your obligation to your clients to do so with someone who is well-versed in that area of law,” he said.
And so began the firm’s exploration of strategic partnerships with other law firms.
A New Way of Looking at the Legal Practice
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine first co-counseled with another law firm while breaking into mass torts. The firm advertised for clients who suffered from defective hip replacements. Metal components were breaking down in patients’ bodies, poisoning them and requiring surgery to remove and replace the medical devices. The firm learned a lot from its first collaboration, according to Anidjar.
“I always viewed other attorneys as my adversaries,” Anidjar said. “They were either classified as ‘against our interest’ or our competition. Mass torts taught us that you can work together in a symbiotic relationship that’s a win-win-win. Attorney, co-counsel, and client—all working to correct a wrong.”
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Why Mass Torts Make Strong Co-Counsel Cases
Anidjar explained that several mass tort characteristics make these types of cases especially well-suited for co-counseling arrangements.
Victims Come From All Over the Country
First, mass tort cases typically involve multiple jurisdictions, as people who have suffered injuries come from all over the country. Every state has its own distinct set of laws, rules of procedure, and statute of limitations.
To avoid possible pitfalls, law firms that handle mass torts might choose to work with attorneys in the states connected with the case.
Splitting the Cost Among Multiple Firms
“These cases also can get very expensive and can take several years to achieve a resolution,” Anidjar said. “From a cost perspective, aggregating multiple attorneys and diversifying the expense is ideal for the attorney and ultimately for the client, as well.”
Trust in Your Co-Counsel, But Be Prepared
Still, the benefits of strategic partnerships do not cloud Anidjar’s sense of pragmatism. A partnership might fail, but the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine prepares for this possibility with a single, golden rule: “Never put all your eggs in one basket.”
Co-counseling allows the firm to achieve insights from multiple sources regarding the best strategies to employ in a client’s case. If things go south, preparing ahead of time enables the firm to pivot and move the cases to another suitor, if necessary. Anidjar said that, thankfully, he’s never executed his backup plan.
The benefits to co-counseling reach far and wide, touching many aspects of both the law firm and the client experience. The firm benefits most from the learning opportunities that come from partnering with other professionals in the legal industry.
“I feel there are certain professions that are always evolving—medicine, accounting, and law are always subject to change,” Anidjar said. “As a master of your trade, you need to constantly learn new areas of law, new practice techniques, new management styles, and the like. This allows you to learn and apply what you have mastered to other areas of your practice.”
Clients, too, benefit from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine’s foray into co-counseling partnerships. For starters, the firm’s clients enjoy a higher level of service from having more than one firm working on their case at no additional costs to clients. Anidjar added that clients achieve higher awards for their cases by reducing the expenses charged on their files.
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It’s All About Keeping an Open Mind
The real key to the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine’s success with strategic partnerships and co-counseling all comes down to having an open mind—something that’s easier said than done for many attorneys.
“Lawyers tend to know what works, and they don’t want to change,” Anidjar explained.
“However, as you mature as an attorney, you realize that you have other attorneys with a wealth of experience and knowledge that are willing to share if you know how to work well with others.”
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