WORDS TO LIVE BY
Long ago, Abraham Lincoln set forth the following advice for his fellow members of the legal profession:
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser--in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man.
Honest Abe's words are just as true today as they were then. Any attorney who does not adhere to this maxim does a tremendous disservice to both his clients and the legal profession. Undoubtedly, most lawyers know this advice to be true, and utilize it in practice, although there will always be a few who just don't get it.
In my years of legal practice, I have found that a willingness to compromise can often save people time, money and heartache. It is the attorney's job to point this out, even though it may cost him or her a fee.