September 20, 2009
We’re on the way back from a wonderful vacation break in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Note to self: come back here soon! A highlight was two sails on a very cool, 75 year-old, wooden boat (an Alden) that our captain had restored. http://www.sanjanclassicdaysailing.com/ When he learned we were lawyers, and then we got to know each other a bit better we heard a story about his encounter with the legal system that left him soured. To make a long story short, he was taken advantage of in a business deal, hired a lawyer and brought a lawsuit. A jury trial ended in a verdict for the bad guy – who lied on the witness stand. I know we just heard our captain’s side, but after spending two days with him on the boat, I’m sure he was telling the truth. I know we know only a small piece of a long story, but it’s clear that an interesting, hard working, honest guy’s encounter with our legal system left him bitter. So a guy who didn’t go to college, who built up a business and then ultimately lost his investment because of a greedy agent gets to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the bad guy’s legal fees. Should getting a case to trial cost that much? Might a mediation have helped?