Timothy: Do you really know who you’re hiring to represent you in the most important battle of your life? Find out on the next episode of Off the Record.
Noel: So, there’s a difference in having a brick-and-mortar office, a full-time staff, a conference room, your own offices, and other lawyers and other staff members in your office that you can bounce ideas off. Now, Tim, give us a little insight into what it’s like now? There is used to be a solo, I used to be a solo, what’s the difference now?
Timothy: Well, the difference is the power of collaboration. There’s difference of putting multiple heads together, it’s the difference between having at the time, the 12, 13, 15 years of experience now combined.
We have over 40 years, Noel, and between the two of us. It’s the power of just collaboration.
When we get a case in or when a new client retains us, the first thing we like to do is sit down in the conference room, not at over the phone if we have to if it’s a client that’s overseas or in Korea. But we sit down the conference between you, me, our investigator who is amazing, he’s a full-time staff member. And we sit down and do a full debrief. And to learn about the facts of the case, what exactly happened. To come up with the defense investigative plan and do execute on that plan by talking to witnesses going through the evidence.
But any lawyer solo can do that, but the difference is having a law partner like yourself. I can bounce ideas off or we can collaborate, we can sit in the conference room and I can tell you how many hours we spend just to wargaming case.
You walk into our conference room and there’s papers, everywhere kind of laid out, I’ve got my whiteboard which I love to use, we’ve got our investigator in there, our associate attorney, and military council they come in and wargame with us. And we just put together the case and we’re sharpshooting each other. I’ll play devil’s advocate and you play devil’s advocate, and just have another person there or more people there that can really put the case together.
We can mock trial, we can do cross-examinations against each other. If I have a client I can have you cross-examine them. It’s just the power of having the people there in office, we have in a real office where your office right down the hall from mine. If I need or if I have a question I don’t need to call you, this is not an operation where you’re working out of your basement in your mom’s house, and you’re my counsel attorney, and there’s four other ones.
This is a real deal where I can walk out of my office, walk into yours, we sit down in the conference room, get our investigator in, and actually wargame cases and do these amazing in-depth strategy sessions. And I can’t tell you how many times where I’ve come up with one theory of defense, you’ve shot it down telling me I’m crazy, it’s never gonna work.
I’d go back and forth we come up with a hybrid and those are the examples that work. Or even when I’m trying a case you can cover down for me, I’m covering down for you or we can try cases together. That power of collaboration and putting more than just one person coming up with the ideas is incredibly powerful. And frankly, it helps me win cases. I win a lot more cases now that we have a full firm than I did when I was just a solo person.
Noel: Well, it’s that accessibility that you’re talking about. It’s there now just like in a real firm. I mean, before we ever got together and combined our law firms and created the firm that we have today, I was a solo and I knew you were practicing in Hawaii, and I thought about the notion of just kind of collaborating with other people, having that loose kind of organization where there’s people across the country that maybe I can tap into. And I get that, I get that understanding of, hey, maybe there’s some guys that I want to kind of loosely collaborate with, and maybe refer a case as to each other. But absolutely nothing beats the accessibility that we have today.
The ability to walk down to the hall, knock on your door and say, “Hey, Tim, come meet me in the conference room. I’m gonna brief you up on this case and we can talk about it.”
Timothy: I’ve got an issue and how do I resolve it? And Noel…
Noel: And not end from a different service too.
Noel: From a completely different services and that like we’re a bunch of Air Force guys that got together and we’re only staying within that niche.
Timothy: Well, how is that different? What we’ve put together than some people that may list on their website, four attorneys or five attorneys call them all of counsel. And one has allegedly has an office in Georgia, one has an office out of California, one has an office out of Texas, and they’re claimed to be a larger law firm, and they’re all off counsel. How is what we have different than that or distinguishes from that?
Accessibility and Collaboration
Noel: The fundamental difference is accessibility and the ability to collaborate with someone in our office, walking down the hall, telling them on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. I mean, how many times that have we called each other in on the weekend, on the weekend before trial prep and say, “Hey, Tim, I need you to come down into the office and do a mock cross-examination. I got to bounce an idea off with you.”
Timothy: And it’s a partnership and I think that’s important. It’s a partnership that means when you hire Bilecki & Tipon or where your attorneys it’s Bilecki & Tipon, it’s not, “Hey, I’ve got someone listed on my website, they live in North Carolina.
I’m gonna send you over to them, and they’re my off counsel attorney.” It’s a actual partnership law firm that we have, that we are collaborating and we are in this together. Not just, call my office, am gonna send you off to someone else I list on my website, which I think is fundamentally different than what we have set up and what’s made us so successful.
Noel: And we have those combined resources. I mean, it’s no different than in a real law firm that you see nowadays that they share physical office space, and we have those combined resources so that we can get an investigator and staff to back up and cover down…
Timothy: You use the word term real law firm, you see this proliferation of counsel out there that put up a website up the list, three or four of council, “Associates.” What’s the issues you see with that?
Noel: Well, I don’t see any problem fundamentally with having of counsel.
Noel: Someone that you can reach out and talk to.
Timothy: Of course you can have that, certainly.
Noel: Sure. But the problem that I see is when you have this loose affiliation of people that don’t really have some sort of accountability back and forth with each other. Some sort of real reach back, the ability to collaborate on a daily and minute-by-minute basis. I mean, it’s almost like it’s a fallacy, like it’s not really a brick and mortar law.
Timothy: I think that accountability is the reality of it because if it’s us, we’re accountable to each other, and we’re accountable to the firm. If it’s some person that I’ve met twice or over the phone and they’re my of counsel sitting in some state working out of their home, if there’s a problem, that means that problems theirs, it’s not mine. Because they’re this of counsel relationships, I can almost like a referral network. And again, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a fundamentally different way to do business and to practice here. Over, and over, and over again, the power of having that collaboration and being able to cover down, it drives fundamentally better results.
Getting The Results You Need With Experienced Attorneys
Noel: And isn’t that the point, the results?
Noel: At the end of the day.
Timothy: What matters at the other day is the results. Getting the best results for the clients.
Timothy: That’s what matters and what we’ve put together I think has contributed greatly to that.
Noel: And there is no substitute for that experience and that combined. If you’re gonna go with a law firm make sure that it is one of those law firms that’s a real law firm.