At Romanucci & Blandin, we have a wide array of practice areas ranging from personal injury and medical malpractice, to civil rights cases and class actions. Working on such a diverse caseload is a privilege, but it also poses challenges that can only be overcome with diligence and organization.
When presented with new, and often complex types of cases, it is vital for the attorney and their team to thoughtfully and efficiently come up with a case strategy. The case strategy must then be broken down into clear action items that allow for the most efficient route to a resolution in the case. Teamwork and division of labor is the most efficient way to get those action items done, and make sure time is not wasted by unnecessarily duplicating work. Successful teamwork can only be accomplished through consistent, open communication between all members of the team, and requires strong leadership from the attorney. Strong leadership from the attorney means creating an environment where constructive criticism from support staff is welcomed, because they are often the “boots on the ground” who are helping to carry out the case strategy action items. Paralegals, law clerks, and secretaries will have some of the most accurate feedback about what is, and more importantly – what isn’t – working in the discovery process. And in cases where multiple attorneys are involved, the same type organization structure and division of labor is critical, so everyone knows their role and proverbial lane. Successful teamwork necessitates respectful feedback from all assisting on the case, no matter what an individual’s role is. A successful legal team will thrive only if there is consistent and honest communication, which must be made a priority by the attorney so that meetings and feedback do not get drowned out by busy schedules.
Additionally, in our firm, our communications team is a valuable partner to the legal team, as any external communication with media by attorneys or clients, engagement with community advocates or others must reflect and support the litigation strategy. Keeping our communicators tracking with the progress in the case, and together discussing messaging and key themes, is essential to best protect and support our clients.
For example, our team is pursing an environmental lawsuit against corporations who were polluting toxic emissions into the air, water and soil in McHenry county. Discovery in this case involves over 200,000 pages of documents, and the path to resolution does not parallel a “typical” case. This has required our team to be particularly diligent about having biweekly meetings, which means every single attorney, paralegal and law clerk working on the case coming together (including via Zoom) to discuss the ongoing assignments, progress made, obstacles encountered, suggestions to remedy said problems, and plan our next steps. After each meeting, we make sure that every member of the team feels clear on what their assignments are, the steps needed to accomplish those assignments-and most importantly- why that assignment is important in furthering our case. Without this disciplined approach to make sure we maintain consistent, clear communication, a case of this magnitude would never move at a pace that our client deserves.
Our firm believes that justice means not only putting forward the best case on behalf of our clients, but also doing so at a pace and with efficiency so that our clients’ time is never wasted and we truly create a path to justice.
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