Friday, October 24, 2014

Springfield Auto Accident Attorney

Top Springfield Missouri Auto Accident Attorney Recognized

Springfield Missouri -

Local Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney, Joel Harris, of Harris Law, has been recognized as one of the top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Attorneys in the State of Missouri by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

Joel Harris began his practice in 2009 and since then has expanded from criminal defense into other areas such as family law and Auto Accident Litigation. Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris uses his cross discipline knowledge and experience to help persons injured in an auto accident to receive the recovery they deserve.

There is no doubt that it is difficult to evaluate a lawyer’s performance in a multidisciplinary platform. So when you ask friends or family how they go about selecting the right attorney for a specific matter, you’ll probably hear terms such as “specialist,” “experienced” and “niche.” These are perfectly acceptable answers. Deep experience with specific industries, products and even courtrooms, “knowing the ropes,” has always been considered the litigation gold standard.

But if you ask the same clients, immediately after the case, what made their attorney effective and successful, you’ll hear a different story. They’ll likely tell you that it had less to do about “niche” and more to do about an expansive knowledge and preparedness. Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris attributes his success in auto litigation to five key traits that he believes is paramount is a successful attorney.

1. Credibility. The first is credibility, the foundation of trust. Building a high level of trust with clients, judges, jurors and even opposing counsel is the cornerstone of effective representation. But it is a trait that is earned, not just learned. When a credible attorney tells a client he must be available on a certain day for a deposition with no exceptions, that client will listen. It’s simple: When you make a promise, you keep a promise. No exceptions. When that same attorney makes a promise to a judge or to opposing counsel, the promise is believed and kept. The time and cost of undoing agreements with any party is not only a time-consuming distraction, but it also diminishes the chances that anyone will believe the trial lawyer, no matter how experienced he is.

2. Civility. Litigation at its core is an argument. But it doesn’t have to be confrontational. Effective litigators understand that in the art of persuasion, civility is not only the high road, but can also be a powerful tool. Using hostile tactics of volume, anger and intimidation may result in a short-term gain, but tends to undermine an attorney’s long-term ability to persuade.  It can pull attention away from key witnesses and facts in favor of emotional reactions that are more difficult to control. And in the case of settlements, uncivil behavior tends to harm an attorney’s ability to negotiate in a reasonable time and manner with the opposition. There will always be a role for celebrity pit bulls, but the most effective trial lawyers fight relentlessly for their clients with respect, intelligence and grace.

3. Confidence. During the course of a trial, a lawyer makes literally thousands of decisions and assessments about risk, timing, pace, advantage, leverage and value. The Attorney makes most of these without the benefit of absolute certainty, knowledge or a complete assessment of the facts. To be effective in the midst of such a large gray area requires enormous levels of personal and professional confidence.  And don’t confuse confidence with false certainty or hubris. No decision can be certain and no lawyer is always right. But the most effective litigators learn by instinct to translate mountains of structured and unstructured information into clear and decisive action, often in the heat of a trial. This is a trait that is well developed in general practitioners. Understanding how key aspects of multiple areas of law intertwine helps make those spur of the moment decisions more accurate across the board.

4. Curiosity. The benefit of deep specialization in a narrow field of law or business often comes at the expense of broader perspective. Psychologists call it the curse of knowledge.  A general practice attorney will, “resist the narrow confines of deep specialties and maintain a relentless curiosity about the world they live in.” They possess an insatiable curiosity beyond law for a variety of topics and life experiences in science, art, psychology, physics and even pop culture. They have obscure hobbies and eclectic tastes. They know that solutions to courtroom challenges often come from the most unlikely places.  Juries and judges are rarely expert specialists. They are, by design, non-expert representatives of society at large. In general, courtroom communications are most effective if they’re on a fifth-grade level.  This can often frustrate specialists who struggle to relate their language and thinking to lay audiences. Relentless curiosity not only leads to innovative approaches and solutions, but also keeps the job of litigation continually fresh and exciting.

5. Competitive Spirit. What drives an effective trial lawyer? An innate competitive spirit. Effective litigators tend to take on every matter, large or small, as their must-win Super Bowl moment. To this trial lawyer type, there are no routine trials, meetings or even moments.  They thrive on the thrill of the challenge, not just the legal outcome. Competitive spirit comes in many flavors. But effective trial lawyers consider beating their opponents as secondary to the relentless pursuit of finding the simple, elegant trial solution. One trial lawyer calls it his “obvious surprise,” an insight that is immediately understood and familiar. Another calls it the “one simple thing” that can sway a jury, change the conversation and produce the right outcome. This type of fire in the belly never goes out. It helps trial lawyers take on the difficult cases with fearlessness, focus and seemingly boundless energy. These types are at their best when a case seems unwinnable. Just try and tell them that something is impossible. They can’t help simmering on your matter 24/7, on the soccer field, driving in traffic or at 4:00 in the morning.  For clients, it’s added value. For opponents, it’s an unfair advantage.

Many factors go into choosing the right trial lawyer, and conflicts and costs can limit your options. Of course experience matters, but it is far from the only measure. The most effective lawyers don’t just lean on their experience. They use it to enhance their five key traits and continually improve their craft. Learn more about Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris at

Harris Law

Harris Law
Welcome to my life in the Law.