Working With Opposing Counsel

May 17, 2022

On this episode, the lady lawyers talk about how not to be an asshole and how not to be lazy with friend, and opposing counsel, Meagan Spomer, Esq. Even though Meagan is opposing counsel to the legal team at Hightower Reff Law, a friendship and working relationship have been cultivated over many years of simply doing the right thing. Learning to work with opposing counsel in your life doesn’t only apply to attorneys; this episode is all about working together (even with the opposition) to find a respectful and productive outcome for all parties involved.

Additional Resources:

Learn more about Meagan K. Spomer, Esq. at!


Tracy Hightower-Henne: On today’s episode, we have one of our favorite opposing counsel, Meagan Spomer, and we’re going to talk about how not to be an asshole and how not to be lazy.

Intro: Welcome to the Lady Lawyer League podcast. They are a league of lady lawyers in an all-female law firm in Omaha, Nebraska, called Hightower Reff Law. On this podcast, you’ll hear stories of what it’s like to be a lady lawyer and an entrepreneur. Now it’s time to talk about the law, share real-life stories about representing clients and discuss the current events of the week. It’s the Lady Lawyer League podcast with Susan Reff and Tracy Hightower-Henne.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Welcome to the Lady Lawyer League podcast. We have coffee sticks in our mouth.

Susan Reff: All right. And Meagan Spomer.

Tracy: And Meagan Spomer’s here.

Susan: Hello. Hi, Meagan. Thanks for joining us.

Meagan Spomer: Hi, Susan. Thanks for having me.

Susan: Yeah, so Meagan and I, how do we know you, Meagan? Like cases. Like, did we meet socially? I don’t even remember.

Meagan: I don’t really know how we met. Yeah, my first meeting. So it’s my 10th year practicing and we’ve known.

Susan: Congratulations. Thank you. Are you going to buy your jeans?

Tracy: You have 30 more years to pay off your student loan, right? They haven’t been paid off at all yet. Even though you’ve been paying no one.

Meagan: I’ve been ignoring them for the last two years. Thank you, Joe Biden.

Susan: Covid relief.

Tracy: And it keeps getting extended.

Meagan: I just hope it gets extended again and again and again until it’s just gone.

Tracy: Yeah. I mean, basically with my student loan payment, I could have a whole other house payment, so. Oh yeah, that.

Susan: Well, fun fact. Meagan is also married to an attorney, so she probably has, like, the double student loans.

Tracy: Oh, yeah, you could have two extra houses.

Meagan: Yes, we do have double student loans. And my husband, my dear husband, he worked for UNO for a long time and made $0. And so we that loan like got bigger and bigger and bigger.

Tracy: So he’s maybe in the net positive now. No. Oh, still not. Okay. Oh we’ll die.

Meagan: We’ll die with these. It’ll be fine.

Susan: Perfect. Ah. He’s for in the COVID relief also. Yes. Yes. Congratulations. Thank you. Mine are not. I am too old. I’m too old. But you said you’ve been practicing ten years.

Meagan: Ten years this year.

Susan: Have you always been in the family law realm?

Meagan: I’ve been family law adjacent. I was, for the first four years of my career, a child support enforcement attorney at Young Williams in Douglas County. And then in that fourth year, I left and went into private practice. And I’ve been doing exclusively family law since then.

Susan: Are you crazy yet.

Meagan: You feel.

Susan: Crazy? Oh, you were.

Meagan: You started crazy. Started crazy?

Susan: Yeah.

Tracy: You are the definition of crazy. Aren’t we all in this room?

Susan: Yeah, totally. So currently your practice is mostly divorce cases, mostly divorce.

Meagan: Some paternity, some custody. I don’t do a whole lot of just child support anymore. They usually come with custody issues. But my mediation practice has really grown and I’ve enjoyed transitioning a good chunk of it to less litigious matters.

Susan: That’s kind of a good umbrella for our conversation today.

Tracy: Yeah, because when you do family law, there’s always an opposing counsel. And if there’s not, then there’s a pro se party on the other side, which might be worse than the opposing counsel.

Meagan: Almost always.

Announcer: Yeah.

Susan: What? I have to email you these documents. I have to sign things, but.

Tracy: I don’t even use email.

Meagan: What does default mean? Yeah.

Tracy: I’m the defendant.

Susan: I have to go to court. What?

Tracy: Well, there are some opposing counsels that ask those questions too.

Meagan: That’s fair.

Tracy: Can I fax that to you? No, you can email it or bring it to my office.

Meagan: Faxes our emails. Yes. So fine. Fax me.

Announcer: Fax away.

Susan: So we wanted to have Meagan on to talk about what it’s like to work with another attorney on a family law or divorce case and kind of like lift the veil and say, we can get along, we can be professional, collegial, and we can also even be friends. And we still do our job as human beings.

Tracy: Yes. With an opposing counsel. And I think one of the biggest things is like how do we talk to our clients when we are friends with opposing counsel? Because sometimes it can bite us later when we have an opposing counsel who’s friends with us. And we may describe our relationship with opposing counsel as I’m friends with Meagan. And then later, the second that something doesn’t go our client’s way, they’re like, “That’s because you’re friends with Meagan.” Yes, that’s exactly.

Meagan: Yeah. Yes, we are. We are colluding to ruin your case. Now, it can be a challenge. And I think a lot of it comes down to like trusting your gut about the client sitting in front of you. And it’s hard because you’ve met this person for maybe half an hour or an hour. And I found that if you can approach it with like a “Hey, I have a good working relationship with this person or I work frequently with them. We communicate well.” If you use words like that, that can kind of signal to the client that things can go in a direction that’s much more positive for them because it doesn’t always go that way.

Tracy: Yeah. And I think the minute that our client says you’re working against me with opposing counsel, it’s like, that’s where we question I’m going, yeah, we’re going to now take this relationship and end it. Yes, yes.

Susan: Well, and there’s really only one way to get the case done smoothly, and that’s working with the other person. It’s not against the client to try to get things done efficiently.

Tracy: Yeah.

Meagan: No. And especially in this area of the law where this is oftentimes the only time they’ve ever had a lawyer or working on a case. It can seem like the relationship with opposing counsel is creating more costs. Where they don’t understand is the more time I spend on the phone with opposing counsel, the more is getting done and the less time I’m going to be spending preparing for a trial.

Tracy: Right. Right. We’re not just like chit-chatting on the phone with opposing counsel most of the time.

Meagan: I mean, sometimes we are, but we don’t bill for that.

Susan: Well, yeah. And we’re definitely not colluding against our clients. Like, “Hey, Meagan, we have this case together. Like, let’s work together to screw both of our clients. Do you think so?” Yeah, that’s a great way to build your reputation.

Tracy: Exactly. I think the stories that people hear from their friends and family about divorce and like other people’s experience with divorce are the shitty cases. Right? They’re hearing the really bad.

Susan: The worst of the worst.

Tracy: Yeah. And so then they are not understanding that a case can be easy because no one’s telling those stories to them. Right. Their neighbors and their friends aren’t talking about their easy divorce cases.

Susan: Right.

Tracy: So when we have clients that say, well, you know, you are being too nice to opposing counsel, I need you to be more aggressive.

Meagan: Well, I think the answer to that is I’m not opposing counsel an enemy. This isn’t our case. There’s absolutely no reason under the sun why I can’t remain friendly with the opposing counsel because you and your ex spouse aren’t currently getting along. In fact, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t trying to remove myself from that hostility and have a constructive conversation with the other side through counsel. That’s exactly why they’ve hired a lawyer is to do that, not to be their louder voice than what they’re already using.

Tracy: Oftentimes, being the loudest voice doesn’t get you anywhere in court.

Meagan: No, no. Might get us kicked out, though.

Tracy: Yeah, it might get you out in the hallway. That’s where it will go.

Susan: So we talked a little bit about like how do we describe our relationship with opposing counsel to our clients to kind of help set them up for the case? And we’ve decided that maybe saying, oh, well, I’m friends with Meagan, like we go to happy hour and we like, we probably don’t say that, right, because that does tend to maybe create some distrust. So we say things like, I’ve worked with Meagan before and she’s easy to work with. She will return phone calls, timely. She will respond. She’s not going to file frivolous motions.

Tracy: I think what happens for me during a consultation, if we don’t know yet who opposing counsel is, because maybe we’re going to be the filing party. I will tell my client as soon as I know who opposing counsel is. I can tell you exactly how this case is going to go. You know, our experience is that we pretty much know the family law attorneys in town and we know if, not naming names, so-and-so is on the other side, the case is going to be long and litigious and is going to trial. Or if so-and-so’s on the other side, this case might get settled.

Meagan: Mmhmm. Yeah. And at the end of the day, I mean, being friendly with opposing counsel doesn’t guarantee settlement, but it gives the clients a much better shot at getting to an agreeable resolution that they’re both satisfied with. I don’t use the word happy because no one’s ever.

Susan: No one’s.

Meagan: Happy. No one’s happy at the end. But we want them at least satisfied and feeling like the result is at least fair. And having someone on the other side that you can work well with and have constructive conversations with that don’t go off into crazytown. That really does serve the client’s interest. At the end of the day.

Tracy: My client just said to me the other day, I mean, if we settle this case, I know you won’t make as much money. And I was like, Whoa, hold on. I actually prefer the cases get settled. And frankly, your case is going to be a shit show if it goes to trial. So I would really like this to settle. I don’t need your extra money, right?

Meagan: I mean, and that’s the beauty of of having, we have a really good family law bar in town. And for the most part, most of us.

Tracy: Get along, 95% of it.

Meagan: Is and do a good job. And because we do a good job, I think we all have enough work that we don’t need to drive our cases to trial. I think we’d all prefer to settle one. It lets us have more clients because we’re not spending all our time preparing for trial and we have happier clients.

Tracy: Yeah, well. And the bench. Meaning the judges really put the onus on us to settle cases. If we, as the family law bar in Nebraska or in Omaha, took more cases to trial, the bench would, I think, put more pressure on us to settle the cases.

Meagan: You know, one thing I talked to potential clients about when I know that there’s a difficult attorney on the other side is I evaluate with them how much client control the other attorney has over the person that they’re going to be representing. And when I say client control, I don’t mean you make all the decisions and you tell the client what to do, but you communicate expectations in a way that helps the client understand what the likely outcome is going to be so that they don’t take unreasonable positions. And there are those lawyers out there that not only are they difficult humans to work with, but they have zero client control and they don’t set reasonable expectations. So their client just expects to get everything they want and no boundaries or compromise are ever entered into.

Tracy: So when I use the phrase client control, because I also use that often to describe the lack of control that opposing counsel has, like you’re describing. But I never use it to describe what I’m doing to my client. Of course not, because my client is being controlled by me and that’s part of my job. But I don’t use that to explain it to my client.

Susan: I just got a settlement offer. This is like reasonable expectation in client control. I got a settlement offer where it’s a 25-year marriage and they had one house and the husband still lives in the house. And the husband’s attorney said, well, the house is not a marital asset because the husband owned it before the marriage. And I was like and my client immediately, like head on fire, like, oh, my God, what, what? You know? And so, you know, explaining well, there is some premarital value that he has. But to just claim that this house is not marital like why and this other attorney, she knows better. She knows that that’s not true. So it’s like that’s what her client wants and that’s what he’s put all over his discovery that this house is mine, it’s not hers. She can’t have any of it.

Meagan: It’s like, yeah, and you go to trial and the judge is going to look at both of you like you have six heads. Yeah, yeah.

Susan: Like we’re fighting about this, right?

Meagan: Like, okay, fine. Like you said, a portion might be premarital that feels easy enough to discern, and then the rest is going to be split with the marital estate. And the fact that we’re here is making me angry. Yeah.

Tracy: Those. It’s the black and white cases. I think that is like add up the debts and assets, divide by two, distribute. And those cases that don’t get settled are the ones that the judges look at you like, are you kidding me right now? Why are you here?

Meagan: A total side tangent. But the judges, I think, can do so much more to incentivize some of these difficult attorneys to settle. There is such a lack of like a word of attorney’s fees in these cases. And I will give major props to one of the newer judges who awarded me like $20,000 in attorney’s fees once it was determined. No way the other side didn’t make a single settlement offer and ignored several from us. And if more of the judges do that.

Susan: Yeah.

Meagan: We, I think we’ll see much more cooperative opposing counsel.

Tracy: Wow. $20,000.

Meagan: $20,000.

Tracy: That’s amazing.

Meagan: We asked for 44 listeners.

Tracy: The attorneys don’t get to keep those attorney’s fees.

Susan: They know they have to go back to the client or pay the attorney’s outstanding bill.

Meagan: Exactly. Yes, my client had paid me and so all that money went to her. She was very pleased with that result.

Tracy: I once had an attorney fee awarded against my client, so my client had to pay the attorney’s fee. She was making $12 an hour. And Judge, we won’t say his name. He’s still on the bench. He’s still on the bench. I was mad at some things she did and she was like 25. And at the end of the case, he brought us back and said, I’m going to give you the decision on the record weeks after the trial. And he said, “Ma’am, I’m going to order you to pay $10,000 of attorney fees.” I thought it was $20. I think it was $10,000. And my jaw dropped. I’ve never had like the cartoon drop of jaw, but it was like, and the judge looked at me and was like, “Miss Hightower, I can see that you’re shocked by this, but that’s because your client did such and such and she moved with the kid.”

Susan: Yeah. And then, I mean, it was like, just far enough away that it, like, kind of messed with parenting time, but not so far away.

Tracy: Yeah. And it was with an opposing counsel who I despise, and I was like, are you fucking kidding me? Right, now he’s getting that money. No way. It feels.

Susan: Really yucky judge.

Tracy: Yeah. Yeah.

Meagan: So I object on the grounds that it’s icky. Yeah.

Tracy: I object. I don’t know why, but I do the.

Susan: Oh, side note, too. A judge one time asked me what the basis of my objection was. And I just said I’m just objecting because. I didn’t really have one. But, you know, sometimes you have to object.

Tracy: For listeners, for the record, if you’re ever like representing yourself or if you’re a lawyer and you make an objection, you have to follow up with the reason for your objection. You don’t just get to say objection, much less what they do in the movies. So you have to have objection, hearsay, objection, relevance. And so if you just say objection, the judge is waiting for your reason and sometimes you don’t have one, you just want to object.

Meagan: I don’t like his face.

Susan: This is a super good segue into like the next area that we’re talking about, which is like how not to take cases personally. Yeah, like how? Because really it seems like that’s what these jerk attorneys are doing is they’re either taking it personally and they’re like attacking you or they’re attacking your client or they’re like, “Well, I have this jerkwad reputation to uphold that I am like this tough guy. And so I’m going to do everything I can to continue my tough guy reputation.”

Tracy: And that’s the question. Are they intentionally being an asshole or are they lazy or is it a combination of both?

Meagan: Yeah. And all of those are frustrating to deal with, but in very different ways. Yeah. You know, some of the attorneys and they are primarily men, older men.

Tracy: She said it.

Susan: But we took a vote earlier and we all were in agreement.

Meagan: You know, they want, it’s this chest pounding, absurd, aggressive approach to cases from the very beginning. Yeah, right. It’s one thing like cases kind of go down that road sometimes, but there are those attorneys that that is just their thing and they’re proud of it and that’s fine. But at least you know that going into it and you can prepare your client for what that’s going to look like. I think what’s more frustrating, honestly, is when you have an attorney that you know knows better, but for whatever reason is taking things so personally that they’re not thinking straight. You’re not giving rational advice. I mean, and.

Tracy: Then the minute you point that out to them, then they get even, like spin out more angry. Yeah. Yeah.

Meagan: You know, and it makes it so that you just can’t have rational settlement negotiations. So it’s very, very frustrating. And that’s, we’re not doing our jobs. If we’re doing that, if we’re letting our client’s emotions or the facts of the case drive us to a place where we can’t filter through that and give objective, rational advice, we are not serving our clients.

Tracy: And I think oftentimes the attorneys that take the cases personally get so wrapped up in what is the judge going to think of me if I’m bringing this bad client to them? And I think most judges realize this is not a reflection of us as lawyers of what our client did.

Susan: You know, I think we’re pretty lucky in that most of the time we end up with the client who hasn’t done something bad if they’re phenomenal.

Tracy: I truly think that attorneys attract clients who are similar in personality than them.

Susan: That’s true. That’s probably true. Jerk clients get jerk lawyers.

Meagan: Yeah. And anecdotally, I mean, I think that’s true. And part of that is that we communicate who we are. Yes. As people to our prospective clients. And if it’s not a good fit, they don’t end up hiring us. Right. You know, if they want somebody who’s going to just pound the table and be obnoxious, I’m not that person. I’m not going to project that in my consult with the client. I’m very clear about how I handle cases and what my reputation is, and that that’s more valuable to me than making some silly point to opposing counsel. And if that’s not what they want in a lawyer, then they go elsewhere. Right.

Tracy: Let’s talk about communication with opposing counsel. Have you ever been hung up on?

Susan: Well, there’s this one attorney in town, and I know we’ve all probably had a case with him, who doesn’t ever, like, end the phone call with any sort of sound.

Tracy: His name is beep, beep, beep.

Susan: Beep, beep, beep, beep. And he just hangs up.

Tracy: With a toy car.

Susan: Beep, beep, beep. I mean, like, what’s the beep?

Tracy: I don’t know.

Susan: No, it’s like the drip, drip, drip, drip. But he, like, doesn’t he say, like, “Okay, great. Meagan, I’ll get back to you next week by …” Like he just, the phone call just, it’s usually towards the end and it, like, makes sense, but there’s no, like.

Tracy: Okay. Have either of you ever hung up on another attorney?

Susan: I don’t hang up on people, ever. But I do the whole, like, “I don’t like the way you’re talking to me or I feel like we’re not getting anywhere. So I’m going to end this phone call.”

Tracy: And then do you hang up?

Susan: And I mean, I usually would say, like, goodbye. Drip, drip.

Tracy: How about you, Meagan?

Meagan: I’ve never just hung up on somebody. I think I’ve said something similar, like, this isn’t constructive. I think it’s best that we take a beat and reconnect later. I have been hung up on by our so-and-so that we’re discussing, our bleep bleep. This was several years ago when I was, I think, still classified as a baby lawyer. And, you know, anyone who’s practiced and as a female knows that if you’re young and a woman, you are going to get condescended to regularly.

Tracy: And hung up on.

Meagan: Yeah. And hung up on. Well not necessarily hung up on, definitely the first two, but this was all three, this was the trifecta. He called me, he was screaming at me about some case and that’s what he does. He just calls and yells. There was no lead in. There was no argument to be had. He was.

Susan: It was like an attack.

Meagan: Yeah, I did. I was ambushed. I was ambushed. And he’s screaming at me and he gets to this place in the call or says what he wants to say, and he hangs up. And I was kind of taken aback and I sat there stunned for a second because I just was like, “What just happened to me?” And I called him back and I said, “So-and-so, I’m really sorry. I think we got disconnected.”

Meagan: And I could feel the palpable rage through the phone where he goes, “I was done with you.” And I said, “Oh. But you just took my call again today though. You picked up the phone and it turns out I wasn’t done with you.” And he was like, “Wow, no one’s ever said that to me before.” We actually had a conversation after that and we talked about some of the things in the case and made a tiny bit of progress, and that’s kind of just stuck with me.

Susan: Mm hmm. Was that the same person?

Meagan: Same, same person.

Tracy: So I was hung up on once, and it was a different person than whom you’re talking about. Male, also a male of course. And I was so mad that he hung up on me that I slammed my phone down so hard and I was like, “Oh, shit, I think I broke the phone dial tone.” Still, they’re good because those were expensive. But I called him back too, because we were so close to a settlement and who knows? Something was said that made him mad. And I called him back and I said, “We are going to settle this case.” And he was like.

Susan: Is this the person that works at the father’s rights law firm?

Tracy: No.

Susan: Oh.

Meagan: No.

Tracy: We’re not naming names.

Susan: I didn’t name any name of a law firm or a person.

Tracy: And we ended up settling the case. And it’s just it’s so not productive to end the phone call when you’re in the middle of the settlement discussion.

Meagan: No.

Susan: Have you ever asked someone like, “Hey, it seems like you’re taking this personally” or like why you don’t have a dog in this fight? Like, what’s the deal? Like, have you ever thrown it at the person to see what they say?

Tracy: So I once and this was a woman lawyer on the other side. I once called her a bully to other women lawyers.

Susan: What was the response?

Tracy: I think there was silence and that was pretty recent. And so now every time I see her, I wonder if she, I don’t think she remembers that I called her a bully, but she was.

Susan: Well, if you’re a bully, when someone calls you a bully, of course it doesn’t stick in your brain. Right? Right. It’s gone. You don’t believe it?

Meagan: Yeah.

Susan: Now she thinks you’re crazy.

Meagan: Probably so. I have. I have both a male and female attorney experience with this. So I was on a case for a long time, and it was kind of ridiculous. You know, the husband had an insane amount of money, like stupid level money. And my client was a stay-at-home parent and he had moved to another state. And this, and the local attorney who’s a man, he would defend him to a point, but was just kind of like, what am I going to do? Right. Well, I got to this place in the case where like I had to file a contempt against his client. And I like to warn opposing counsel before I do that. And I filed this contempt and something set him off. And he calls me and he’s so upset. And I was like, so and so why are you so upset about this? Like, this isn’t personal. And he says to me, he goes, he goes, I think these were his words. “We’re not friends anymore.”

Susan: He broke up with you.

Meagan: Broke up with me. And and I was like.

Tracy: It’s like you’re on the playground. Okay.

Susan: And did you consider this person your friend? I mean.

Meagan: We were friendly. We weren’t going out for drinks or anything.

Susan: You’re like we weren’t friends before, right?

Meagan: I was like, okay. And he ends the call. I ended up calling calling him back later that day, and he was like, I’m sorry.

Tracy: So you hang up on Meagan, she’ll call you back.

Meagan: I call you back. Yeah, I call you back. I want to know what’s going on. They’re not.

Susan: Friends anymore.

Tracy: Have you repaired that relationship or has that relationship been repaired? Not on you to do it.

Meagan: Yes. And also taking other turns, it improved after that. And then things went a little sideways for other reasons later on. And then I’m actually in the middle of a case right now where opposing counsel who’s a woman represents the father and from the beginning has just been so personally invested in this case that everything that happens she takes personally and we just can’t have constructive conversations because of it. And it’s just gotten to the point where I don’t even, I’m not going to send her emails. I’m not going to call her. Like there’s just no point.

Tracy: And that’s where, you know, you just then have to take your motions to court and have the judge make the decisions. And I think that’s one of the takeaways, too, is having trust in the attorney that you hire to know how we are as the attorney, how we’re going to behave with a certain opposing counsel. Right. So it may take us being the bigger person against an aggressive opposing counsel and the client may say, “Why aren’t you being aggressive like them?” And we have to explain to our client that’s not getting us anywhere and the judge is not appreciating the aggressiveness.

Meagan: Yeah. And I’ll say to my clients, like, think about how much I bill per hour. Do you want me to spend that money having a pissing match over who’s right and who’s wrong and and who’s meaner and who’s nicer with opposing counsel? Or do you just want me to put our legal positions on paper, file the motion, and have the hearing, because that’s a much more productive use of your money in my time than doing all of that nonsense and then still having to have the motion in the hearing.

Tracy: Right.

Susan: Right. And, you know, I think a takeaway, too, is our reputations are what get us our clients and what get us an adequate result in court or judges knowing like when I see Meagan or I see Susan or I see Tracy come into court, I know that they’re going to put on a good case. I might not agree with everything they’re saying, but we’re not going to, it’s not going to be a mess, you know, and it’s going to be a clearly presented case where I’m going to understand the decisions I have before me. And those reputations exist beyond that one case. And there’s like, we have 30, 40 clients at any given time. And to continue that reputation matters, you know, and that we’re none of us in this room are going to risk our reputation on that one case.

Meagan: Right. And it’s our one case with that client. Most likely it is one of hundreds that we’re going to have with opposing counsel in our career. And it’s just so important to keep that perspective as you go through the case, because you break your word once to somebody, you act out once to somebody, you have just permanently damaged that.

Tracy: It’s like a credit score. It takes a long time to repair.

Meagan: It does. It really does. And I’ll tell this story, too, because it’s props to Hightower Reff. We got a huge compliment from one of the judges in Sarpy County on a case when Joy entered her appearance on something and she and I went to court, we had a hearing and we said to the judge, “Listen, Joy, Joy’s just getting in on this. Give us a chance to to work this out before we move on the trial.” And he said, “You know what, knowing both counsel, I have every confidence that you’ll be able to do that. “Yeah. And so being able to to have that reputation, not only with opposing counsel but with the judges earns you so much credibility. And when you ask for something, you get it. And when you need an exception or you need a favor because you’ve given it, because you’ve been graceful to that opposing counsel, because you’ve shown that to the court, you’re likely to get that in return. And that’s just so valuable, not only to you professionally, but to your client in their case.

Tracy: Yeah. And I think maintaining integrity is the biggest thing that, you know, as far as reputation goes, is the most important in how our relationship with opposing counsel happens.

Meagan: So that’s exactly.

Susan: Right. The other thing I think is what this podcast has proven is, it’s like it’s so good to know the reputation ahead of time of who’s on the other side of the case.

Tracy: Yeah.

Susan: Because that helps you set up, set those expectations for your client, like, okay, I’m working with Meagan now. We might not be able to settle this case because clients have their positions, but it’s not going to be a shit show. We’re not going to be in court for every little thing. We’re going to be able to work out agreements on at least process things. But we may still end up in front of the judge, but it’ll be, it’s not going to be a bully fest or no.

Meagan: And it likely won’t be on everything.

Susan: Right.

Tracy: So to the potential clients listening, if you want an aggressive bulldog, all of those shark phrases that you hear, that is probably not in your best interest. No. And anyone that’s telling you that they had an aggressive bulldog shark lawyer paid a lot of money to have that. They got nowhere.

Meagan: Yeah, they paid a lot of money. They likely pissed off the judge and they they almost certainly ended up with the exact same result that they could have negotiated with reasonable.

Tracy: $30,000 ago and eight months ago.

Meagan: Exactly. Yes. Because the law, this isn’t rocket science. What we do here. I mean, it is so easy to predict the outcome of nine out of ten cases, probably more than that. There are very few exceptions to what typically happens in in these cases. And so if your lawyer is telling you, listen, this is how this is going to go, you can either settle it now or spend another $20,000 and try it and get to the same place and then maybe owe attorney’s fees, depending on who your judge is.

Susan: And the stress of it. Yeah, yeah. Stress of trial. Yeah.

Tracy: So this is how opposing counsels behave together.

Susan: We can talk about it.

Tracy: We have, we have a lot more stories, but we would have to bleep out every other word, so we’ll save that for happy hour. So thanks for listening.

Susan: Thanks, Meagan.

Meagan: Thanks for having me.

Outro: Thank you for listening to the Lady Lawyer League. Be sure to like and subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. If you would like to learn more about our firm, visit us at We’ll see you next week.

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