This is the second part of the Disruptive Lawyer’s Searching for the Unicorn series. As we discussed last week, the insurance industry seems to be emphasizing process over people. When the process falls short, they default to the belief that effective early resolution is like finding a unicorn.
But when does the industry focus on great negotiators and dealmakers? Given that 97% of all cases settle, is there a more important skill than negotiating? And, when does the industry start utilizing metrics to identify dealmakers on its panel? Just because someone went to law school does not mean they are a great negotiator – just as going to medical school doesn’t make everyone a brain surgeon. There are many types of lawyers with unique expertise and skill sets, just like doctors. If you want to close cases, you need to hire closers. If you want to find a unicorn, scope out the metrics!
Here is just a sample of metrics from our New York, California, and Georgia offices. We especially love sharing New York and California metrics because whenever we talk about disruptive lawyering, clients routinely say, “Your philosophy is great, but New York and California are just different. Early resolution is not feasible in these states.” Well, the numbers below suggest otherwise.
So, take a look at just the New York general liability cases. Are you closing GL cases in New York in a year or less? Let’s say your average legal fees per case are higher – say $30,000/case. The $20,000 difference in legal costs on 500 New York cases is $10,000,00! And we promise indemnity is lower as well – tell me when a case gets better for the defendant.Looking at all of the EPL cases above, the key is to keep them out of suit. If an EPL case goes into suit, the legal fees reach at least $50,000. In the Cruser Mitchell metrics above, the average total cost of case (legal + indemnity) is less than the legal fees alone for cases which would go into suit.
The numbers don’t lie. And unicorns are real.