Saturday, March 23, 2019

How Chess Helps My Litigation Strategy


Personal Injury Litigation and the Game of Chess:
Strategy and Execution


By: John A. Blyth, Esq. – Hach & Rose, LLP                                                                                     


            Litigating a personal injury case is similar to a game of chess.  A personal injury lawyer must be prepared, devise a strategy, expect the unexpected and execute a game plan.  If just one of these factors is missing, the case, or the chess game one is playing, is in jeopardy. 

            Like a game of chess, there are a host of critical decisions that a personal injury lawyer must make in order to achieve the best result for his or her client. These considerations include:

            The Opening (Pre-Suit) – Before you file a lawsuit, it is important to conduct a diligent investigation of the subject accident and the injuries sustained by your client. This includes conducting a thorough interview of your client, speaking to witnesses, obtaining accident reports, videos and other evidence, and reviewing medical records.

..... In a chess match, you set the board and try to draw white since white moves first.  Assume your opponent, regardless of age or experience, is a worthy adversary.  Attempt to “control the middle” with your initial moves.

            Selecting the Best Venue – When its time to file a lawsuit, the first question is what venue(s) (i.e. courthouses) are available bring the case in? In deciding whether you should choose (or avoid) a particular venue, a primary consideration is the demographic of the jury pool in that location. This is a simple, yet critical strategic decision that could have serious implications for your client’s case at the time of trial.  

…. In a chess, you need to have a plan of attack in place the moment you make your first move. As the match gets underway, you continue to develop control over your middle or “venue.”  You must think ahead, what four, five, six next moves will you make to effectively execute your game plan.

            Countering your Adversary’s Position – During the discovery phase, the attorney must uncover evidence and elicit testimony that substantiates your client’s claims and discredits the Defendant’s defenses. The Defendant’s lawyer will try to use the evidence to weaken your client’s case. At the time of trial, the attorney will counter the Defendant’s arguments by presenting the evidence to the jury in the light most favorable to the client.

…The same is true in a chess match. Each of your opponent’s moves must be countered while keeping to your own strategy. You are transitioning from the middle to the end game.

            The Jury Trial – at trial, the personal injury attorney’s goal is to persuade the jury that the Defendant was responsible for the accident and the injuries suffered by our client. The attorney will present witness testimony, expert opinions, medical records and other evidence in a clear and convincing manner in order to establish that the defendant was negligent and that the Plaintiff deserves a sizable monetary award.

….Finish your opponent off.  Make your final moves to ensure victory.

            The Verdict – Thanks to the attorney’s hard work and meticulous preparation during the pre-suit phase, in gathering the critical evidence, developing a trial strategy, and presenting the evidence at trial, the jury renders a verdict in Plaintiff’s favor and awards your client compensation for her injuries. Justice has been served.

…Checkmate! You did your homework, planned accordingly, countered when needed, and executed your well-developed game plan. 


About John Blyth:

            John Blyth is an attorney with Hach & Rose, LLP and practices in the fields of personal injury, mass torts, and complex civil litigation. He handles all types of catastrophic injury cases, including those involving motor vehicle crashes, premises liability, elder neglect, construction injuries, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death. He performs all aspects of the litigation from the pre-trial phase up to, and including, trial.

            John can be contacted directly at jb@hachroselw.com or (646) 968-9803. For more information about John Blyth and Hach & Rose, please visit www.unionlawfirm.com


Monday, March 18, 2019

The Biggest Benefits Chess Brings to An Attorney


Check out our latest interview with Leona Krasner, founder of Krasner Law, PLLC. 
E: Tell me a little about yourself. 
L:  I am the product of two divorced parents. While the divorce was mild, I felt the sadness of going to daddy’s house only on Saturdays, just to play the violin. Being married myself and hearing the horror stories, my chief aim is to help people to reach their goals faster, more cost-effectively and with as little emotional turmoil as possible.  My aim to is break down the divorce process step by step through a series of homework assignments where the pressure is low, but the aim is to have the divorce finalized efficiently.
E: Tell us about the step-by-step process.
L: The first step is deciding whether to hire an attorney or not, and if so, whether you want to file an uncontested divorce, go through mediation or file a contested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both parties know that they want the divorce to be finalized. This way is usually the fastest, easiest and least expensive. Through mediation, the two parties negotiate their own divorce terms and the mediator acts as a moderator through a series of two hour sessions. The couple figures out what will happen to property, accounts, support, car, dogs, jewelry, etc. Typical mediations are completed within 8-12 hours. In a contested divorce, these partners are usually the least happy and want their date in court. They are not usually looking to negotiate and one if not both partners often have put their foot down. These divorces are the most costly in terms of time, money and emotional turmoil.
E: How do you do go about deciding which method each couple will use?
L: Through the initial consultation, one partner will share the current relationship of the two partners and what their goals are. Are they just looking to be done? Are they looking to go through the laundry list of items of their divorce and decide together?  Is the fighting really bad?
E: How do you think the divorce process compares to a chess game?

L: The partners will often act as fierce competitors and they must always be three steps ahead of the other. By working together, keeping an eye on the clock/calendar, and knowing that both want to end the game quickly, each must play his best hand from the start.
E: How do you help your client develop short-term tactics and long-term strategies?
L: Short-term, the most important thing for the client to do is to separate the emotion, the fear and the fear from the negotiations, so that concrete steps are taken to get the divorce finalized. Long-term, the key is reminding the client that we are not just thinking about the day after the divorce is finalized, but also to take a future-forward approach.
E: What do you see as the biggest benefits that learning chess can bring to a client?

L: Partners often don’t feel as though they are in the driver’s seat of their divorce negotiations. Chess puts each player in that drivers seat, into the present, where making choices that are based purely on emotion lead to a losing game. Emotions have no place in chess and we do the best to keep them outside of divorces as well.
E: What do you see as the biggest benefits that learning chess can bring to an attorney?
L: Attorneys are fantastic at staying in the office long past the time that they probably ought to go home. Chess provides an opportunity for attorneys to stop agonizing over their cases, take a much needed break and sharpen their strategy, outside-of-the-box thinking and stamina under pressure. It scratches their competitive itch.
E: If you were to do chess classes, what format would you take and why?

L: I would take chess to law students because they get a break and will likely feel less guilty about playing chess than they would about going to a club.
E: Is there anything else would like to add?

L: First, book a corporate class or private lesson with Premier Chess because they are phenomenal! Secondly, if they have any questions about the divorce process, please feel free to contact us: leona@lkrasner.com, 917 589 6519, LKrasner.com.
For a list of recommendations of companies/individuals of all industries, check out the new Premier Chess Partners page!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Dating Without a Plan is as Bad as Chess Without Strategy


At A Good First Date we help men and women date better.  People come to us because they haven’t been able to find the relationship they want.  Some are simply new to dating and have no idea how to get started while others have been dating for years and keep running into the same blocks.  Regardless of their context, age, gender or orientation, each person ultimately wants an answer to this question: Why am I single?

Most people are single because they’re getting in their own way.  They don’t know what they want, aren’t meeting the right people, faltering on first dates or can’t navigate early stage relationships.  Directionless dating leads to erratic behavior patterns, months and years lost to dead end relationships and no clear way to self-correct. 

Dating without a plan is as bad as chess without strategy: it doesn’t really work and wastes everybody’s time.

Planning starts with visualizing the end result.  Just as you’d want to know the final position of your key pieces, you also want to know what your ideal relationship looks like.  How do you see spending time with your partner - watching sports, the opera, exotic travel, the movies?  What values must you share - family, fitness, learning, adventure?  What kind of relationship do you want - marriage, committed or are you simply not sure?  Having a clear vision of your ideal relationship is the first step in creating your dating plan.

Once we have an end goal in sight, we work on execution and, like chess, it’s all about being at the right place at the right time.  Drawing from your plan, we think about where your ideal match would be and how to meet them.  In real life, this looks like doing the things you love to do and being open to connecting with new people.  Online, we write a dating profile that truly represents who you are and choose the apps that will reach your ideal audience.

The final stage of the dating plan is the end game: first dates and early stage relationships.  We work with you to get you on good, qualified first dates and help you to decide if you should move forward.  When getting to those 7th or 8th dates, we help you to figure out “what’s going on” and to communicate your needs to the other person.   With patience and commitment to your plan, you will have clarity and control over your dating process.

While dating and chess have a lot of similarities, their key difference is this: you cannot control how or when you will find love.  Finding your match can be as serendipitous as it is planned.  Our recommended strategy is not to be like Bobbie Fischer, it’s to be yourself.  We don’t ask you to memorize 100 opening sequences, we ask you to create your own. 

The truth is that we can’t control who is out there.  By controlling your mindset and approach to dating, you will be putting yourself in the best possible position to find the relationship you are looking for.  Every relationship begins with a good first date, and every good first date begins with you.