Billy Newcomb and I recently won summary judgment for a top 100 accounting firm. A publicly traded company had sued in a Florida court, alleging negligent failure to detect fraud and claiming damages well into eight figures. Six other defendants, including a top 10 accounting firm, settled with the Plaintiff just after suit was filed, leaving our clients as the sole defendants. At court-ordered mediation, the Plaintiff, perhaps a little too confident in its home court advantage, refused to lower its demand under $5 million. Immediately after the mediation failed, the trial court granted summary judgment to CCS’ clients and dismissed all of the Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice.
Billy practiced law in Florida for five years and regularly litigates Florida cases, and he and I have done well in Florida over the years. We felt strongly about our liability and damages defenses and didn’t want to waste our clients’ money on an excessive settlement. Our clients agreed and had the confidence to stand up to the Plaintiff. If early summary judgment had not been granted, Billy and I planned to prevail on another dispositive motion or at trial.
When a Plaintiff makes a reasonable demand, we often recommend settlement to our clients. But, when the plaintiffs are unreasonable, we know how to get a better result at the courthouse.
As Churchill announced:
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender…
There are no sure things in litigation, but if you want to know what a case is worth, sometimes you must have the courage to fight. We are both very grateful to our clients for their courage in letting us go forward.