Schaefer Law Firm is devoted to providing the highest quality legal representation for individuals and groups affected by illegal conduct by corporate or government entities. The following principles are intended to guide our practice and future growth, and give every client an understanding of the values that created the firm and drive our focus on expertise, commitment and results.
Give a Voice to Victims of Illegal Conduct
We represent victims of illegal conduct by corporate or government entities. Individuals who have been wronged often cannot find an effective advocate, and thus are left with no real voice in the legal system. Once we determine that we can effectively prosecute their claims, we give our clients this voice. We assist them in forcefully telling their story, both in standing up to corporate adversaries and in pursuing their claims through to judgment, if necessary.
Limit Representation to our Areas of Expertise
The merits of the case and our experience with relevant issues are the primary focus in the intake decision process. When we offer representation, our clients can take comfort in knowing that their case has strong merits and that they have an expert advocate with decades of experience in handling precisely the issues that may arise in their case.
Representation is Exhaustive, of the Highest Quality, and Proceeds in Stages
Because much of our practice relies on contingent fees, our initial offer of representation will generally be limited to pre-court litigation, with a subsequent retainer to be executed if this initial representation is not successful (i.e., no settlement is achieved).
Our initial representation will involve an identification of the legal claims potentially at issue, an exhaustive investigation into the facts which support these claims, and an assessment of the relative strengths of these claims. This initial investigation will generally focus on securing all available documentation relevant to the claims and contacting all supportive witnesses. In this process, we will often seek to broaden our representation to include other similarly situated potential clients, and will continue to refine our legal analysis of the claims which could be prosecuted.
The decision to proceed into court litigation will involve an additional careful screening, taking into account the evidence uncovered pre-suit, how our relationship has developed with the client(s), and whether we can realistically meet client expectations in litigation or settlement.
We will distinguish ourselves from other firms and practitioners in this field by the quality of our work. Attorneys at the firm possess exceptional legal analysis, legal writing, communication, oral advocacy and trial skills.
Effective Representation Depends on Active Client Involvement
We cannot meet these high standards of advocacy without each client taking an active role in his or her case prosecution. Our clients are expected to work closely with us to identify and develop all facts necessary to prove their claims, and to be available to assist in all aspects of prosecuting their claims. The hallmark of this approach is open and active communication with our clients. Our clients will promptly be informed of all developments in their case, be involved in shaping and executing the litigation and settlement strategy, and at all times have a full understanding of all steps we are taking as advocates. Communication is necessarily a two-way street. We expect our clients to be immediately responsive to our requests, and we promise the same responsiveness. Client calls will be returned promptly (almost always within the same day), and time will always be devoted to fully explaining developments in the case and answering all questions.
Our 'Holistic' Approach to Client Representation
Once we commit to representation, we will seek to advise our clients not only about the legal aspects of their claims and the process and strategy that will be followed in advocating these claims, but also attempt to address and advise them about how to recover professionally and emotionally from the incident(s) which brought the client to us. We will attempt to serve our clients as professional "coaches" as well as legal advocates, and will refer them to the right resources in these areas when their needs may exceed our expertise. Our primary goal in representing our clients is to assist them in every way possible to best recover from the trauma they have experienced.
Maintain a Fun and Collegial Work Environment
All of our employees truly enjoy coming to work, get to know each other personally as well as professionally, and treat each other with respect at all times. The ability to find humor in our work, and to share it from our personal lives, is truly valued and encouraged. When conflicts arise we address them promptly, openly and constructively.
This collegial approach extends to our relationships with opposing counsel, co-counsel, and, most importantly, our clients. We will always seek to avoid personalizing the disputes which are part and parcel of our adversarial system, and expect to conclude every representation with a strong and respectful professional relationship with all parties and counsel involved. Our goal is to become a trusted friend and advisor to our clients, as well as a vigorous advocate.
Our Client's Interest is Our Primary Focus
We never lose sight of the reason we are in this difficult business - to serve our clients by having our representation leave them in a better place than they were in when they retained us. When proceeding with a contingent fee representation, tensions can sometime arise between a firm's interest in resolving a case (and thus getting paid), and the client's interest in seeing justice served and recovering maximum damages. By adhering to the principle that our client's interest is paramount, we avoid this tension. We ask only that our client's are realistic in their expectations and listen carefully to our advice about litigation strategy and settlement opportunities. The final decision, however, about whether and when to settle a case, and on what terms, is the client's alone. All of our clients know that they have an advocate who is committed to pursuing their claims through to all aspects of litigation, if necessary.