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Mike talked about his beginnings at a defense firm and how that lead to him eventually creating Rafi Law Firm. He also shared the benefits of social media marketing and what his Georgia personal injury lawyer tips of day on LinkedIn have done for the business and his networking. Another topic touched on was the importance of owning “bad facts” and acknowledging the weaknesses in your case. Mike discusses a specific case where patience paid off when it came to timing the settlement discussions to optimize case value. Another thing talked about is building relationships and bonds with clients and how that is important to the firm. The human factor of law is something that is easy to overlook, but crucial for a successful practice. Mike also mentions the types of cases that offer the most “heat”.
A police chase gone wrong
Another case that Mike brought up involved our client who was injured while detained in the back of a police car during a pursuit. Our client was handcuffed, but was not restrained with a seatbelt, and broke his neck. Our client’s recount of the events differed than the police officer’s story. Rafi Law Firm got to work to uncover the truth. This involved attempting to recover the car’s “black box,” but instead finding some questionable practices involving the police car. Mike’s takeaway from this case is that as a plaintiff’s attorney, you cannot just rely on the idea that other side will do what they are supposed to; you must hold their feet to the fire. The case became less about our client’s actions, and instead more about the county’s actions afterward.
Finding the heat
Mike states that he doesn’t think juries will award large settlements purely from sympathy. Instead, he believes that human nature dictates that there will always be a juror who believes that they would have done things differently. To get a large settlement, you must first have an honest and sympathetic client. However, the secret weapon is to find the heat. This is an aspect that increase the stakes and makes the jury want to award the client a larger settlement. Mike states the number one way to do this is to make the jurors unhappy with the other side. Mike shares an example from a recent case involving the defense being dishonest and with what the judge described as the most impeachments they had seen in one trial. This jury awarded 1.73 million, and Mike states that this number was heavily influenced by the jury’s negative attitudes towards the defense.
In this podcast, Mike Rafi listed several tips for lawyers. First was to have a solid plan and to include anything that can go wrong. Know what to do if plan A doesn’t work; but also know what to do if plans B and C don’t work either. Second, he advised that honesty is important and bringing out bad facts as soon as jury selections or opening statements. Mike emphasized how crucial it is to have all of your ducks in a row before mediation or sending a settlement offer. This is essential to avoid surprises. Another idea mentioned is that asking the right questions can lead to new and important information. Notably, Mike mentions the importance of providing value through marketing without just trying to sell something to someone. Being top of mind and respected is valuable in and of itself.