Expertise and in-depth legal insight across a range of practice areas.
A Philosophy That Yields Success.
Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman’s core philosophy has one goal – achieving the best results for our clients. The key tenets of our practice are listed below. To learn more about how our philosophy can produce the best outcome for you, please contact us.
Communication is both strategic and practical. We have always been early adopters of technology – in 2002, every one of our partners carried a Blackberry at a time when such devices were a novelty (click here to see our firm profiled in the National Law Journal for our early use of technology). We continue to invest in technology to allow us to collaborate with our clients via videoconferencing, webinars and cloud-based services. But communication is more than being available whenever a client makes an inquiry and the use of technology. It’s asking the right questions and understanding our clients’ goals.
We offer a variety of services, but the focus of our practice is litigation. To us, that means trials. As a group, we have tried over 900 cases to verdict, with over a 90 percent success rate. Our partners include members of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and other, invitation-only organizations that recognize excellence in trial practice. Our reputation as trial lawyers has resulted in an international reputation as an “11th hour” go-to firm, often being asked to take over cases on the eve of trial. We have obtained recent defense verdicts for our clients in cases involving commercial, professional liability, asbestos, catastrophic injury, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death and habitability claims. We not only practice in a variety of areas – we take these cases to trial. And win.
Quality, Value and Effectiveness
Quality means results: favorable verdicts, successful motion practice, and effective negotiations. But we recognize what some firms do not: quality is measured against cost and, to be valuable, must be timely. A case with a favorable result but that goes over budget is not a victory for the client. The right answer given a day late has no value at all. We do quality legal work at the right price and deliver it when needed. We understand our clients’ need to quantify legal expenditures and risk–as a firm, we embrace data analytics and metrics. Ask us how long and how much for a particular type of matter in a particular venue, and we can break it all down for you, by single case or line of business. This data allows our clients to make informed decisions and smart business choices. It also facilitates better partnerships with our clients and ensures that we provide the quality that they deserve.
Ingenuity and Innovation
Many firms claim to offer new ways of handling cases to achieve more cost effective results. WSHB has resolved over 2,000 cases under alternative fee agreements (“AFAs”) for our clients. Many firms claim they have or will work to enter into AFAs with their clients, but WSHB arguably has more experience handling AFAs of all kinds than any firm in the United States. With the ability to be flexible, creative, and streamlined in our management and decision making process, WSHB makes AFAs work for both parties. By partnering with clients in this way, we share in the quest for quick and efficient resolution of litigation. Our trial practice has featured the innovative use of video, computer graphics and animation since the founding of the firm. By always looking forward, we have grown by adding 100 lawyers and 10 offices in the last ten years. Let our continual quest for improvement benefit you.
One of our guiding principles is the recruitment of exceptionally talented attorneys, individuals who have gone to the nation’s top schools, been members of law reviews and served as law clerks to federal judges. But our view of talent goes beyond what is learned in law school. Our attorneys include past and current military officers, general contractors, licensed insurance agents and real estate brokers. We value and recruit those who can combine exceptional legal training with real world experience in order to obtain the best results for our clients.
We achieve the best results by harnessing the diverse experience and abilities of our attorneys. We view every client as a client of the firm, not of any individual partner. Our success at trial is often the result of teams of lawyers from multiple offices working together. Cases are staffed based on the venue in which an action is pending and the experience needed to obtain the best results, so our clients gain the benefit of both our geographic breadth and our years of experience across multiple practice areas. We update our clients on legal developments pertinent to their industries and partner with them to develop effective risk management and insurance programs, accident response, and contingency plans and compliance programs, all intended to avoid litigation and mitigate the impact when it does occur.
WSHB’s diversified practice enables us to offer solutions to the most challenging legal issues. We are committed to the highest standards in everything we do and the continued success of our clients.
Billing issues are often the cause of discord between clients and their lawyers. We actively work to prevent that. At all times, we adhere to fair, reasonable and clear billing policies. WSHB offers a variety of billing programs, from flat fee and blended rates to traditional hourly fee-for-service, to meet the needs of our clients. Our in-house training programs emphasize the importance of accurate budgeting. We invite clients and their auditors to our training seminars so our attorneys learn firsthand how to work within their systems, instead of trying to work around them.
To learn more about our philosophy and how we can protect your interests, please contact us.