Principal at Callahan & Blaine
Interviewed on May 4, 2010
A: One of the principles that I live by is to do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it. Run your practice with integrity, play hard but play fair, and always be prepared. If I'm prepared and I live by these simple rules, I also lead by example. The attorneys that work with me must do the same. Each of us will hold the others accountable. Contrary to popular belief, a good excuse is not as good as a good result.
That's what we're all about. We're about producing results and producing value. Our firm currently has more than 20 attorneys. There are a lot of firms that are larger, but we are all litigators and trial lawyers. Most large firms' litigation departments generate much of their business from other departments in the firm. For example, their M&A department, corporate department, or trust and estate department feed business into the litigation department. We, on the other hand, are basically a stand alone litigation department. We do not have other departments that feed us work.
Adding to the complexity of the business is the fact that lawsuits usually are resolved within two years, and 80% of our clients only have one piece of critical litigation. Therefore, 80% of our clientele turnover within two years. Thus, it is important that we nurture and maintain our referral sources on an ongoing basis. That is where our business comes from.
Q: So in effect, every two years you're sort of rebuilding your business, your clientele.
A: Exactly. It is important to produce reliable results and communicate those results to the people that refer you business. You must work to maintain and build a great reputation so people continue to refer business to you. I believe that I receive 70% of my business as referrals from other law firms. The balance of the business comes from referrals from existing clients. It is important to remember that it takes years to build a solid reputation, but only moments to
destroy it. Vigilance, integrity, and excellent results are the key to our business model.